1. Clinical Embryologist with completed core training
The Clinical Embryologist is a laboratory professional, directly involved in the treatment of infertility with Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR), who has had theoretical and practical training in the laboratory part of infertility treatment by reproductive cells, tissues, and embryos. Training involves:
a) a range of assessments and manipulations of biological samples (semen, spermatozoa, seminal plasma, testicular tissue, follicular fluid, cumulus-oocyte-complexes, oocytes, ovarian tissue, zygotes, early cleavage embryos, blastocysts and genetic material of reproductive cells and embryos)
b) processing of reproductive cells, tissues and embryos (cell separation methods, cell and embryo culture, insemination, micromanipulation techniques on reproductive cells, cryopreservation and cryobanking); preparation of reproductive cells, tissues and embryos for transfer or transplantation into the recipients, or for distribution to other tissue establishments.
c) knowledge of quality management procedure and audit according to the EU legislation on setting standards of quality and safety for the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells.
2. Senior Clinical Embryologist with completed advanced training
Advanced Senior Clinical Embryologist training, demanding several specific areas of knowledge, is additional to the core training of Clinical Embryologists. These professionals should be able to:
- set up and lead ART laboratories, andrology laboratories and cryobanks of reproductive cells.
- coordinate work among laboratory co-workers, ensuring the highest laboratory standards
- follow and critically interpret published innovations in the field of ART
- participate in an interdisciplinary consultation with gynaecologists, reproductive medicine subspecialists, geneticists, andrologists, oncologists and other professionals
- be capable to be tutors for training in Clinical Embryology
ESHRE offers theoretical knowledge certification for Clinical Embryologists from European and Non-European countries. Accreditation of training centres for the implementation of standardised training in Clinical Embryology is currently open only to European ART centres.
Although the theoretical and practical part of the education from Clinical Embryology can be performed separately, ESHRE recommends that theoretical knowledge (described in ESHRE curriculum) and practical training (described in ESHRE syllabus) are achieved simultaneously:
a. Core training (3 years) should be completed after verification of logbook and after passing the ESHRE examination for Clinical Embryologists.
b. Advanced training (3 additional years) should be completed after verification of logbook and after passing the ESHRE exam for Senior Clinical Embryologists.
The ESHRE basic level or advanced level diplomas will only be issued after the candidate has obtained the ESHRE certificate from the theoretical knowledge examination for Clinical Embryologist or Senior Clinical Embryologists and obtained the completed ESHRE accredited basic or advanced training.
Together, the certificate and diploma are documents that confirm the acquisition of knowledge and skills in a given time. Thereafter, in order to maintain competencies in Clinical Embryology, evidence that the embryologist has regularly kept up-to-date with knowledge, a continuous professional development (CPD) is needed. Therefore, after attainment, the ESHRE certificates and diplomas validity needs to be supported by the ESHRE CPD certificate, which is issued annually and certifies professional activity and development in three years periods. The first validation begins three years after the initial awards.
It is important to know that once someone obtains the certificate and diploma, these qualifications cannot be taken away. However, it is the revalidation (reliant on compulsory CPD) that makes them "live". From 1st January 2024 onwards, CPD is compulsory to maintain the validity of all ESHRE embryology certificates or diplomas.
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