If you are a senior registered nurse or midwife, you may be able to transition to a career as a genetic counsellor by completing additional training in genetics and counselling.
What is a Genetic Counsellor?
Genetic Counsellors are healthcare professionals with advanced training in both genetics and counselling, whose role it is to help patients understand and make decisions in situations where their genes affect their health.
Why train as a Genetic Counsellor?
Genetic testing is increasingly being used to guide patient care in many areas of medicine, yet few healthcare professionals are trained to understand genetic test results and explain genetic information to patients and families. We anticipate that the demand for healthcare professionals who are genetically literate will increase due to initiatives such as the 100,000 Genomes Project and the Personalised Medicine Agenda.
The Cambridge Gateway to Genetic Counselling
As part of the Cambridge Genomic Medicine Programme, we are offering a training programme in medical genetics and counselling which fulfils the educational components of the Set B criteria required for a senior nurse or midwife to be eligible to submit a Notification of Intention to Register form to the The Genetic Counsellor Registration Board.
The Cambridge Gateway to Genetic Counselling is offered by the Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge, in partnership with Wellcome Sanger Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences, and EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute.
The programme includes:
- A full-time week of in-person teaching in Human Genetics and Genomics, followed by the completion of an assessed assignment, accredited through the Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge
- A full-time week of in-person training in Genomic Counselling, followed by the completion of an assessed assignment, accredited through the Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge
- Provision of resources and supervision to facilitate guided-learning.
Funding is available from HEE for NHS staff for the two in-person teaching weeks.
For details of dates, accommodation, funding and to register, please email Gillian Barclay at the ICE.
Routes to train as a Genetic Counsellor if you are not already a nurse or midwife:
Other training routes involve the completion of Master’s level training in Genetic/Genomic Counselling. This can be undertaken through the NHS Scientist Training Programme or through Master’s programmes provided by some universities such as:
Links to professional organisations
- The Genetic Counsellor Registration Board
- The Association of Genetic Counsellors and Nurses
- The British Society for Genetic Medicine
- European Board of Medical Genetics
- The National Society of Genetic Counsellors (USA)
Or you can go back to the Education main page for information.