Certificate in Clinical Embryology

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  • Target Audience
  • Delivery of modules and exams
  • Location of exams
  • Start date
  • Syllabus
  • Faculty
  • Application and fees
  • Collaborators

Date: Launching Summer 2018


Accreditation has been applied for.

The Embryology and PGD Academy have developed a unique 2 year training programme in clinical embryology that will provide the fundamental scientific background essential to successful IVF, as well as in-house supervision of practical aspects of clinical embryology. The programme will be delivered by distance learning and exams will take place in various countries so the candidates do not need to travel to London. For the first year, the exams will only be held in Egypt and India.


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.

Delivery of modules and exams

The advanced programme will consist of both online and in house learning, and is ideal for those already working in an IVF laboratory. Students need to complete the modules in order. Students will not need to leave their clinics except for exams which will be available at a number of global locations – but for the first year, exams will take place in Egypt and India. Then carry on with the remaining text.

Location of exams

The certificate is open to anyone in any country. The exams will take place in various global locations which we will develop depending on the demographics of the students. But for the first year, exams will only be conducted in Egypt and India.

Start date

The certificate will launch for the first time in Summer 2018. It will then run continuously.


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

Presenters of the lectures will be global leaders. So far confirmed:

  • Joyce Harper
  • Alpesh Doshi
  • Kay Elder
  • Daniel Brison
  • Kiri Beilby
  • Walid Maalouf
  • Ronny Janssens
  • Gloria Calderón
  • Ana Cobo
  • Nuno Costa-Borges

  1. The Laboratory – from gamete to embryo
    • The embryology lab – equipment and staff
    • Culture media: sequential and single step
    • Semen assessment
    • Preparing sperm for ART
    • Laboratory aspects of IVF
    • Laboratory aspects of ICSI
    • The embryologist role in the egg collection
    • How to do the PN check
    • Embryo selection and scoring
    • Embryo selection and adjuncts in the IVF lab
    • Assisted Hatching Techniques
    • Laboratory aspects of the embryo transfer procedure
    • Introduction to time lapse
    • Model building with time lapse technology
  2. Gametogenesis and preimplantation development
    • Anatomy of the female and male reproductive tract and meiosis
    • Oogenesis
    • Spermatogenesis
    • Sperm transport and function
    • Fertilisation
    • Preimplantation development
    • Factors affecting preimplantation development
    • Implantation
    • Reproductive immunology
  3. Oocyte, sperm and embryo cryopreservation
    • Principles of cryopreservation
    • Sperm freezing
    • Embryo cryopreservation: slow freezing
    • Embryo cryopreservation: vitrification
    • Oocyte cryopreservation
    • Ovarian tissue preservation
    • The frozen-thaw cycle
    • Should we be doing freeze all cycles?
  4. Lab design, quality assessment and trouble shooting
    • Laboratory design and construction
    • Air quality in the IVF lab: VOCs monitoring
    • Managing a high throughput laboratory
    • Quality management in the IVF lab
    • How to ensure a stable culture system:
      • Temperature controlling and monitoring
      • pH controlling and monitoring
      • Osmolality control and stability
      • QC and QA in IVF incubators
    • Monitoring your performance and KPIs
    • Auditing the IVF lab
    • Trouble shooting in the IVF lab
    • Managing infections in an IVF lab
    • IVF regulation and legislation
  5. Clinical aspects of IVF
    • Causes of male infertility
    • Clinical andrology
    • Female reproductive endocrinology/superovulation strategies
    • Causes of female infertility and investigation
    • Clinical aspects of infertility treatments
    • Getting the patient ready
    • Drug regimes in ART
    • Monitoring an ART cycle
    • The failed cycle
    • Long term health outcomes of IVF children
  6. PGD, PGS and prenatal diagnosis
    • Basic genetics
    • Inherited diseases
    • Chromosome abnormalities
    • Introduction to PGD
    • Polar body, cleavage stage and blastocyst biopsy for PGD
    • Genetic diagnosis for PGD
    • PGS
    • How to interpret PGD and PGS results
    • Prenatal diagnosis
    • Non invasive prenatal diagnosis
    • Genetic counselling
    • Discussion of ethical issues
  7. Ethics and the future
    • Cross border reproductive care
    • Using donor eggs and sperm – what needs to be considered
    • The global surrogacy market
    • How to introduce new technology into the IVF lab
    • Embryo culture system: what will be next
    • Nuclear transfer techniques
    • Mitochondrial replacement techniques
    • Genome editing
  8. Reproductive health
    • Puberty and the menstrual cycle
    • Female disorders
    • STDs
    • Contraception
    • Menopause
    • Female cancers
    • Global issues of reproductive health and infertility
    • Preconception care
    • Normal pregnancy
    • Monitoring pregnancy
    • Miscarriage, termination
    • Delivery – normal and abnormal
    • Ethical considerations including global maternal mortality


The programme has been developed by a team who have almost 90 years experience in embryology education:

  • Joyce Harper

  • Kay Elder

  • Alpesh Doshi

Experts in the field will deliver the talks including:

  • Joyce Harper
  • Alpesh Doshi
  • Kay Elder
  • Leeanda Wilton
  • Daniel Brison
  • Kiri Beilby
  • Walid Maalouf
  • Ronny Janssens
  • Gloria Calderón
  • Ana Cobo
  • Nuno Costa-Borges
  • Karen Sage
  • Steven Fleming
  • Allan Pacey
  • Helen O'Neill
  • Anna David
  • Georg Griesinger
  • Ragaa Mansour


To apply – please download the application form and send to

Download the Application Form

Application Form


Each module costs £250 which includes the distance learning videos of the lectures, online tutorials with teachers and the exam. The exit exam costs £400 which includes submission and feedback of a 3000 word essay, practical exam, approval of the log book and an oral exam. Students pay for each module as they take it. The exit exam can only be taken when the student has passed all eight modules.


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