Qualification in Biorepository Science (QBRS)

ISBER and ASCP BOC are pleased to announce a new Qualification in Repository Science (QBRS) for biobankers.

Upon meeting specific educational and experience requirements for the qualification, candidates will be eligible to complete an online examination and, if successful, gain recognition for their skills and competencies as biobankers. This new qualification will further advance the field of biorepository science! Biobanks are vital to medical research and precision medicine and require qualified professionals to obtain high quality results that will be useful in advancing biomedicine.


To be eligible for this Qualification, an applicant must satisfy the minimum requirements (for degrees, the stated degree or higher) of at least one of the following routes: Click here for more details.


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Application Fee: $240

Note: Once submitted, your application fee is non-refundable.

Frequently Asked Questions

This new qualification will help further the advancement of scientific discoveries through the field of biobanking, biological and environmental. Biobanks are vital for scientific progress in many arenas and disciplines (e.g., medical research, precision medicine, environmental research). Qualified biorepository professionals are essential to the high-quality results required for the advancement of biomedicine and biospecimen-based science. Given the global growth of the field of biobanking, there is an increasing demand for related education and professional standards. This new qualification is designed to help meet the needs of all ISBER members and biorepository communities.

The requirements include either:

  1. A valid ASCP technologist/scientist or specialist certification, combined with a baccalaureate degree with a major in biology, chemistry, biotechnology or a related field, or 30 semester hours of chemistry and biology coursework, plus one year of full-time experience in a biorepository within the past 5 years.
  2. The second route does not require an ASCP certification. A baccalaureate degree with a major in biology, chemistry, biotechnology or a related field, or 30 semester hours of chemistry and biology coursework is required as well as two years of full-time experience in a biorepository within the past 5 years.
  3. The third route is a Master’s degree with a major as required in Route 1 plus one year of experience in a biorepository within the past 5 years.

For the full list of requirements, please visit www.ascp.org/boc/qbrs.

You may access the application site at www.isber.org/qualification or www.ascp.org/boc/qbrs

There you will find detailed requirements, including:

  • Qualification criteria
  • The scope of the exam
  • Suggested reading material
  • Work experience documentation form
  • Information about regionally accredited colleges and universities
  • Application form for the Qualification in Biorepository Science

As noted above, information about your academic background and work experience is required to review your application prior to allowing you to register for the examination. Please complete the application process and submit all necessary documents. In addition, the ASCP BOC website (www.ascp.org/boc/qbrs) will provide valuable information about what to expect on the examination and how to prepare for it.

The process is now open through ascp.org/boc/qbrs

Once your application is approved, you will receive an admission notification by email. The exam will be available at the beginning of April, 2020. The 50 question, multiple choice, timed test is self-administered on your own computer on the date and time of your own choice within the 60-day examination period indicated on the examination notification. Ninety minutes are allocated to complete the examination.

The examination may be attempted a total of five times under one eligibility route if initially unsuccessful.

QBRS certificate holders will be required to revalidate their qualification every three years by documentation of required continuing education or other educational activities as defined by ASCP BOC. General information can be found at www.ascp.org/boc/cmp-info; specific requirements for maintaining the QBRS credential will be available at a later date.

Your previous work experience in a biobanking laboratory will be beneficial as you should have the majority of the skills and experience that will be covered as part of the exam questions. The topic outline, found at www.ascp.org/boc/qbrs provides a comprehensive list of the areas within biobanking that are covered on the exam, so that attention to those areas in your review will be helpful. A suggested reading list is also available that should help direct your review.

The qualification working group, comprised of subject matter experts sets the passing standard for the qualification exam. A rigorous procedure called standard setting is used to set the passing standard. The qualification working group undergoes training to define a valid passing standard. Using their subject matter expertise, the working group members define minimal competency and core knowledge essential to perform the job competently. The passing standard translates into the number of correct answers an examinee must achieve to pass the examination.

Within four business days of completing the exam, you will receive an email to log in to your ASCP account to view your score report. Your official score report will indicate “pass” or “fail” status and the scaled score on the examination.

The Essentials of Biobanking Course is designed to help biobankers gain knowledge required for operating and managing biobanks, how to apply knowledge gained through applying ISBER Best Practices 4th ed. and the ISO 20387:2018 standard and to help the biobank prepare for certification or accreditation by ISO, CTRNet or CAP. The Qualification in Biorepository Science (QBRS) is designed to help individuals confirm that they have the qualifications, knowledge and skills to be competent as biorepository scientists.

The ASCP BOC developed the concept of a “qualification” in the early 1990’s to address the need to recognize the competence of individuals in specific technical areas, such as cytometry, immunohistochemistry, etc. After meeting specific eligibility requirements, individuals complete a 50 question time-limited online test, at their own computer. Qualifications are for technical areas with a defined scope of study. There are no training programs accredited by an outside agency for these limited areas. Individuals apply based on specific academic requirements and experience.

There are no current plans to administer the QBRS exam in any language other than English.

No, you do not need to provide a social security number with your application.

The work ASCP BOC is authorized to do is processed without the need for affirmative consent from each applicant. The General Council of the CMSS (Council of Medical Specialty Societies) organizations have been in general agreement that much of the processing done as medical specialty organizations is authorized by GDPR.