Training programme and logbooks

Training rules

1. Training

1. The training programme should take place in an ESHRE accredited MAR centre for training in Clinical Embryology and should preferably be organised by:

  • an ESHRE certified Senior or Clinical Embryologist, active in CPD – for the core training (name stated as tutor in the application form)
  • an ESHRE certified Senior Clinical Embryologist, active in CPD – for the advanced training (name stated as tutor in the application form)

2. The training programme can be combined between two or more MAR centres, if one centre cannot provide a complete training programme. During the application, the main training centre should provide a letter of intent to show that there is an agreement for collaboration with other MAR centres in order to provide a complete training programme.

3. The number of training posts in one training centre should be agreed with ESHRE to ensure provision of sufficient expertise.

4. The training centre should use guidelines and protocols finalised by national / international professional bodies with evidence of review at regular intervals.


2. Entry requirements to become a Trainee in Clinical Embryology:

1. At least a BSc degree from Natural /Live sciences for the first 3 years of practical training (core level) and at least a MSc degree from Natural /Live sciences for the next 3 years (advanced level). Both degrees need to be validated by Nuffic. If degrees have already been validated by Nuffic as part of an application for the theoretical examination, this validation can be used for application for the training (and vice versa).

2. Acceptance into a recognised training post in an ESHRE accredited MAR centre.


3. Training and involvement

Training should be directed towards achieving competence. Trainees should participate in all clinical laboratory activities and in educational activities, including the teaching of other healthcare professionals. Participation in audit and clinical or basic research is essential for the completion of training programme.


4. Duration and content of training

The training has to be accompanied by acquiring of theoretical knowledge (see: Curriculum for theoretical knowledge in Clinical Embryology) from:

1. Basic Cell Biology
2. Genetics
3. Developmental Biology
4. Female Reproduction
5. Male Reproduction
6. ART Laboratory Procedures
7. Cryobiology
8. Laboratory and Quality Management

The duration of basic practical training should include a minimum of three years in an approved programme (see: syllabus: Practical training programme in Clinical Embryology: Core programme) and should cover the clinical laboratory aspects of the following areas:

1. Basic principles of working aseptically in a medical laboratory for ART
2. Laboratory equipment and operation
3. Semen analysis
4. Sperm processing for ART
5. Oocyte processing for ART
6. Oocyte insemination via conventional IVF
8. Embryo culture, evaluation of fertilisation and embryo development
9. Embryo transfer
10. Cryopreservation

The duration of advanced training should include an additional three years on an approved programme (see syllabus Practical training programme in Clinical Embryology: Advanced programme). As well as furthering skills in basic embryology, this programme should cover additional clinical laboratory and research aspects for the following areas:

1. Cell, tissue and embryo cryobanking
2. Designing and setting up a new laboratory and equipment
3. Preparation of laboratory results and counselling
4. Managing ART laboratory and cryobank
5. Research, statistics and audit
6. Teaching
7. Ethical and legal aspects
8. Continuing Professional Development
9. Maturation in vitro of reproductive cells (optional)
10. Embryo micromanipulation for biopsy and genetic analysis (optional)


5. Training plan and logbook

Training should be structured throughout with clearly defined targets to be met after specified intervals. An agreed educational plan should be drawn up with the Trainee at the start of the training programme and progress should be monitored regularly via a logbook overseen by the Tutor. All procedures carried out by the Trainee must be fully traceable.

6. Training in another laboratories

The Trainee's Tutor can organise part of the training in another MAR centre. The Tutor can allocate additional supervisors to perform specific parts of the training. This must be clearly recorded in the Trainee logbook. Trainees are also encouraged to visit other types of medical laboratories (genetic, endocrine, biomedical, microbiological, cyto-histological) to broaden their overall knowledge.