Entry requirements for Part 1 examination
Training must be comprehensive in both theoretical and applied aspects of the field, especially in those aspects relating to the application of laboratory work undertaken in support of transplantation of human organs, cells and tissues. Candidates must spend at least three years based in an approved laboratory and the College-approved training scheme should include visits to other laboratories specialising in specific techniques. The necessary standards will be achieved through well supervised and documented training and personal study supplemented by attendance at seminars and formal academic, professional and scientific meetings. In addition, attendance at practical courses, both formal and informal, is seen as highly desirable.
Candidates should cultivate a critical attitude to techniques used in the field and should acquire objectivity towards clinical values and limitations of laboratory investigations. Those candidates who hope for a career in histocompatibility testing must exercise their own initiative and take advantage of opportunities to widen their training and experience, e.g. by visiting specialised departments to learn techniques that are not immediately available in their own department. Evidence of this approach, together with comprehensive knowledge of the published literature, will be expected.
Detailed knowledge of the following areas is essential: good laboratory practice, theoretical background, MHC genetics, immunological aspects of the MHC and associated techniques, HLA and disease, human organ and tissue transplantation, relevant genes, statistics and computing, quality control, basic management skills and an understanding of relevant legislation.
Part 1 examination papers
No special papers will be set for non-medical candidates. The practical and oral examinations will concentrate on technical and interpretative skills, with emphasis on clinical relevance. Where appropriate, procedural detail will be provided.
The importance of cross-matching for solid organ transplantation and HLA typing by molecular biology will be emphasised. Case studies and interpretation of laboratory data, together with statistical manipulation, will usually be provided.
The oral examination will cover points of relevance and in need of further elaboration from the written and practical examinations. There will be an opportunity to discuss recent relevant developments.