Certificate in Clinical Embryology

The programme is made up of 8 modules which will be delivered by online videos. The preliminary syllabus (subject to change) is listed here.

  1. 1. The Laboratory – from gamete to embryo

    • Introduction to the module: Joyce Harper
    • The history of events leading to the birth of the worlds first IVF babies: Kay Elder
    • Introduction to laboratory equipment and staff: Xavier Viñals Gonzalez
    • Culture media – development and composition: Joyce Harper
    • Culture media: sequential and single-step – what embryologist should consider: Kiri Beilby
    • Semen assessment: Steven Fleming
    • Preparing sperm for ART: Alpesh Doshi
    • Laboratory aspects of IVF: Xavier Viñals Gonzalez
    • Laboratory aspects of ICSI: Rachel Cutting
    • The embryologist role in the egg collection: Alpesh Doshi
    • How to do the PN check: Mara Simopoulou
    • Blastocyst culture; advantages and disadvantages and in which patients? Catherine Racowsky
    • Embryo selection and scoring: Kay Elder
    • Laboratory aspects of the embryo transfer procedure: Alpesh Doshi
    • How should we bring new technology into the IVF lab – a discussion of the adjuncts: Joyce Harper
    • Assisted Hatching: Gloria Calderon
    • Introduction to time-lapse: Walid Maalouf
    • Model building with time-lapse technology: Cristina Hickman
  2. 2. Oocyte, sperm and embryo cryopreservation

    • Intro to the module: Joyce Harper
    • Principles of cryopreservation: Barry Fuller
    • Sperm freezing: Steven Fleming
    • Embryo cryopreservation: Laura Rienzi
    • Oocyte cryopreservation: Ana Cobo
    • Ovarian tissue cryopreservation: Richard Anderson
    • The frozen-thaw cycle: Wael Saab
    • Should we be doing freeze all cycles? Abha Maheshwari
  3. 3. Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) and prenatal diagnosis

    • Introduction to the module:  Joyce Harper
    • An introduction to genetics and inherited disease: Joyce Harper
    • Chromosome abnormalities: Joyce Harper
    • Genetics of infertility: Darren Griffin
    • Introduction to PGT: Joyce Harper
    • Polar body, cleavage stage and blastocyst biopsy for PGT: Alpesh Doshi
    • Genetic diagnosis for PGT: Alan Handyside
    • PGT-A Roy Naga
    • Non-invasive prenatal diagnosis: Ageliki Gerovassili
    • Prenatal diagnosis: Sarah Hillman
    • Genetic counselling: Karen Sage
    • Discussion of ethical issues: Joyce Harper
  4. 4. Lab design, quality assessment and trouble shooting

    • Introduction to the module: Joyce Harper
    • Laboratory design and construction: Stephen Harbottle
    • Air quality in the IVF lab: VOCs monitoring: Ragaa Mansour
    • How to decide which equipment to buy for the lab
    • Managing a high throughput laboratory: Alpesh Doshi
    • Quality management in the IVF lab – Basak Balaban
    • How to ensure a stable culture system – Jason Swain
    • Monitoring your performance and KPIs: Dean Morbeck
    • Internal auditing of the IVF lab: Ronny Janssens
    • Trouble shooting in the IVF lab due to environmental concerns: Antonia Gilligan
  5. 5. New technology and ethics of ART

    • Introduction to the module, Joyce Harper
    • Ethical considerations in ART, Dan Reisel
    • Using donor eggs and sperm – what needs to be considered, Saghar Kasiri
    • The global surrogacy market, Christina Weis
    • Cross border reproductive care, Francoise Shenfield
    • Embryo culture system: what will be next, Roger Sturmey
    • Mitochondrial replacement techniques, Mary Herbert
    • Genome editing, Helen O’Neill
    • The future of reproduction, Joyce Harper
  6. 6. Clinical aspects of ART

    • Introduction to the module, Joyce Harper
    • Causes of male infertility, Amr Raheen
    • Clinical andrology, Pippa Sangster
    • Causes of female infertility and investigations, Anis Feki
    • Clinical aspects of infertility treatments, Timur Gurgan
    • Drug regimes in ART, Svend Lindenberg
    • Monitoring an IVF cycle, Michel De Vos
    • The failed cycle, Yacoub Khalaf
  7. 7. Gametogenesis and preimplantation development

    • Introduction to the module Joyce Harper
    • Anatomy of the female and male reproductive tract and meiosis Joyce Harper
    • Oogenesis –John Carroll
    • Spermatogenesis Greg Fitzharris
    • Fertilisation and oocyte activation – Karl Swann
    • Preimplantation development; blastocysts in 2019, Giovanni Coticchio
    • Implantation, Siobhan Quenby
  8. 8. Reproductive health

    • Introduction to the module, Joyce Harper
    • Puberty and the menstrual, cycle Joyce Harper
    • Sexually transmitted infections, TBC
    • Contraception, TBC
    • Preconception care, Judith Stephenson
    • Pregnancy: TBC
    • Miscarriage and termination, TBC
    • Menopause Ertan Saridogan

Exit Exam

The exit exam includes submission and feedback of a 3000 words essay, a practical exam, approval of the log book and an oral exam. The exit exam can only be taken when the student has passed all eight modules.

Each module costs £250 which includes the distance learning videos of the lectures, online tutorials with teachers and the exam. The exit exam costs £250 which includes submission and feedback of a 3000 word essay, recordings of you doing key lab procedures, approval of the log book and an oral exam. Students pay for each module as they take it or can pay in one go which entitles them to the exit exam for free. The exit exam can only be taken when the student has passed all eight modules.

The certificate is open to anyone in any country. The exams will take place online. When students are ready to take the exam, an individual exam will be allocated to them.

Clinical embryologists working in an IVF laboratory with a BSc degree or equivalent. There are two ways to do the certificate. The full certificate is only available to those working in an IVF laboratory as this includes passing the eight taught modules, the exit exam and submitting a log book of IVF procedures that you will have to complete and have signed off by your supervisor. But if you are not working in an IVF laboratory at the moment, you can take the taught modules and the exit exam without the log book. Your certificate will states that you have passed the taught component of the certificate in clinical embryology.

Individual modules can be taken by anyone and some are suitable for scientists, nurses and clinicians.