Practical Introduction to Transfusion Science (PITS) - 5 day course


This course provides an introduction to the fundamental knowledge underpinning routine practical techniques used within a transfusion laboratory. Alongside the theoretical background and knowledge, the course offers basic practical experience of routine transfusion techniques, performed within a transfusion laboratory environment.

The course is structured to deliver knowledge using a combination of digital learning sessions or modules, and practical training in a laboratory environment. The 5 day course is deliberately constructed to offer an accessible learning experience to prepare learners for either progression onto our specialist courses or for hands-on experience in a role within a live environment, such as a transfusion laboratory to embed their skills.

If you are an NHS England Employee refer to NHS Course Booking information before enrolling onto a course.

If you are interested in courses taking place in the next financial year, please view our future dates and request to be added to our waiting list

Attendees should be working in an NHSBT laboratory or be working in or rotating into a hospital transfusion laboratory, and have basic knowledge of laboratory procedures and health and safety.

This course is specifically designed for:

  • Trainee Biomedical Scientists
  • Trainee Healthcare Scientists or Clinical Scientists
  • Biomedical Scientists from multi-disciplinary pathology laboratories who require basic transfusion science laboratory knowledge and skills
  • Newly HCPC-registered Biomedical Scientists
  • Biomedical Scientists with limited knowledge of blood transfusion, or who are returning to work from a career break.

If you do not fit into one of these categories, then please contact to discuss which transfusion science course best fits your needs.

This course will enable you to:

  • Perform basic ABO and RhD grouping using the appropriate techniques and interpret results and data
  • Perform antibody screening and identification, and correctly identify samples containing an irregular antibody
  • Perform a serological crossmatch and identify incompatible units as well as those suitable for transfusion
  • Have an increased understanding of the underpinning knowledge required to carry out these techniques

The following topics are covered within this course:

  • Red cell antigens and antibodies
  • Basic ABO, Rh and other major blood group information
  • Antibody screening and basic antibody identification methods
  • Pre-transfusion testing guidelines
  • Basic ‘blood group serology' techniques
  • Provision of blood components
  • Hazards of transfusion

The Practical Introduction to Transfusion Science course is a 5-day programme.

There are 3 days of structured digital learning packages and virtual classroom teaching over Zoom, presenting opportunity for the application of theory to case-based exercises and providing facilitated learning and group discussion.

There are 2 days of face-to-face, practical laboratory-based teaching in a training laboratory

Please ensure that you have received an email confirming your enrolment and Joining Instructions for accessing the Brightspace e-learning platform. The Zoom link for the virtual classroom sessions will be posted in Announcements in Brightspace prior to the course starting. If you have any problems in accessing Brightspace or the Zoom virtual classroom, then please email

As this is a two-part course you MUST ensure you book a part 1 (Online/Theory) session that is BEFORE a part 2 (Practical) session. Bookings that are made with part 2 first will be cancelled and you will be asked to rebook following the above instructions.

When you are booking your part one and part two booking should be within 3 months of each other. If this isn't possible for any reason, please contact us directly on where one of our team will assist.

Please Contact Us if you have any questions.

Courses included in this program:

Please select your 2 course sessions from this list.

Select Date Location Delivery Method Seats Remaining
19-20 August 2024 Barnsley Part 2 (Practical) 1
28-30 August 2024 Online Part 1 (Theory) 13
02-04 September 2024 Online Part 1 (Theory) 4
05-06 September 2024 Newcastle Part 2 (Practical) 1
05-07 November 2024 Online Part 1 (Theory) 15
11-13 November 2024 Online Part 1 (Theory) 9
14-15 November 2024 Filton Part 2 (Practical) 5
14-15 November 2024 Tooting Part 2 (Practical) 11
18-19 November 2024 Barnsley Part 2 (Practical) 10
08-10 January 2025 Online Part 1 (Theory) 16
13-15 January 2025 Online Part 1 (Theory) 14
20-21 January 2025 Manchester Part 2 (Practical) 6
20-21 January 2025 Newcastle Part 2 (Practical) 8
20-21 January 2025 Tooting Part 2 (Practical) 12
05-07 February 2025 Online Part 1 (Theory) 16
10-12 February 2025 Online Part 1 (Theory) 16
17-18 February 2025 Filton Part 2 (Practical) 12
17-18 February 2025 Barnsley Part 2 (Practical) 12
17-18 February 2025 Manchester Part 2 (Practical) 8
19-21 March 2025 Online Part 1 (Theory) 16
24-26 March 2025 Online Part 1 (Theory) 16