Scope of Practice
Standards of Proficency
Newcastle GT meeting

Associated Genetic Technologists Committee (AGTC)


The Associated Genetic Technologists Committee (AGTC) was formed by technical members of the Clinical Molecular Genetics Society and the Association of Clinical Cytogeneticists. It is charged with the remit “to facilitate the regulation of Medical Technical Officers in NHS Genetic diagnostic laboratories through the Voluntary Registration Council”, as the first step towards achieving statutory regulation through the Health Professions Council.  After ascertaining the level of interest from technical staff nationally in forming a voluntary register, the AGTC met for the first time on 21st September 2004 and has since worked tirelessly towards the formation of a voluntary register for Genetic Technologists. The AGTC met its objective in April 2006 when the Voluntary Registration Council opened its registers for the initial six professions involved.

Since achieving its primary aim, the AGTC has continued to register technical staff as Genetic Technologists through the VRC and is now involved in developing a national competence manual and future pre-registration education and training routes in collaboration with the two professional bodies. These are all requirements of fulfilling its aim of regulating technical staff through the HPC.

The AGTC is committed to increasing the profile of technical staff within NHS Genetics laboratories and is focussed on representing their interests within the professional bodies and promoting a positive career structure for technical staff. To this end, the AGTC has been ratified as an official committee of both the ACC and the CMGS and is represented on both the executive committees, and the training boards, of the professional bodies. It is hoped the AGTC will become the lead on all matters pertaining to the technical staff.


The AGTC is accepting Medical Technical Officers (MTOs) in NHS Genetics Laboratories for voluntary regulation through the Voluntary Registration Council (VRC). Both molecular and cytogenetic technical staff meeting the required entry levels as set by the Professional Bodies will be eligible to apply to join the Genetics Voluntary Register in order to be registered as Genetic Technologists.

The VRC has been set-up to mirror the Health Professions Council (HPC) as closely as possible in order to make the eventual transfer from the VRC to the HPC as simple as possible. It is a limited company and takes the final decision, with guidance from the professions, as to who is accepted on to the voluntary registers.

The AGTC was heavily involved in producing the finalised VRC documents including the Application Form, the Codes of Conduct for Registrants and Council Members, and the Fitness to Practice Procedures.

The AGTC has also produced two extremely important documents relating to Genetic Technologists, the Scope of Practice and the Standards of Proficiency. These documents were drawn up in collaboration with the training boards of both professional bodies and are used to assess the suitability of Genetic Technologists for registration.

For all technical staff who wish to apply for voluntary registration please see the VRC website, www.vrcouncil.org.

Future Education & Training

In order to achieve regulation through the HPC Genetic Technologists will have to modernise their education and training routes in line with all other Healthcare Science professions. This will involve setting entry levels into the profession and introducing Institute of Higher Education accredited training schemes with the endpoint being statutory regulation.

To this end the AGTC, along with the ACC Education and Training Committee and the CMGS Training and Accreditation Board are in discussion with the Department of Health and Skills for Health to draw up the required competence based training using the National Occupational Standards. This is proving to be an extremely time-consuming process and will obviously take several years to produce and successfully implement. In the meantime the AGTC are hoping to produce a national competence based assessment document in order to pull together all the individual training guides that are in use around the country to improve the assessment of Genetic Technologists suitability for regulation.

MTO Study Day

The AGTC held an extremely successful and well attended study day on 28th June 2006 in Birmingham for Medical Technical Officers to disseminate information about registration. There were also several interesting presentations given indicating the excellent work being carried out by the technical staff around the country. The AGTC hope that in due course these will become regular events. The presentations can all be found in the study day link.


AGTC Members  

For all general enquiries please contact the AGTC registrar ( ) in the first instance.


Janice Nunn (Sheffield, CMGS)
AGTC Chair, CMGS executive rep.






Beverley Royston (Liverpool, ACC)
AGTC Vice/Chair, ACC council rep.


Michelle Fenlon (Birmingham, ACC)
AGTC Secretary, VRC rep., Scrutiniser



Borghert Jan Borghmans (Belfast, CMGS)
AGTC Registrar, VRC rep, Scrutiniser


Marcus Allen (Birmingham, CMGS)
Education Lead, CMGS TAB rep.


Sarah Willis (Sheffield, ACC)
Education Lead, ACC ETC rep., Scrutiniser


Jane Cooper (Newcastle, CMGS)


Karen Thompson (Newcastle, ACC)
Elected ACC council representative


Helen Snowden (Leeds, CMGS)
AGTC Member


Elaine Clements (Bristol, CMGS)
AGTC Member