The learning of biosciences by preregistration students has been recognized as being problematic, and the need for better resourcing of education has been identified. The Project 2000 initiative (UKCC, 1988) expanded the breadth and depth of the curriculum content in order to support the delivery of holistic care, and so the resources for bioscience education seemed likely to remain limited. However, the UKCC has concluded that there has been a shortfall in the acquisition of practice skills by preregistration students (UKCC, 2001). To address this, new directives indicate that curricula should move to competency-based outcomes, and use student-focused learning. However, there is a lack of clarity as to what the basic expectation is for bioscience learning at registration, and how this might be continued in postregistration programmes. The authors argue that if resources for bioscience teaching in preregistration curricula cannot be improved then it is time to review the situation to ensure that expectations are realistic and attainable. Criteria are required to establish exactly what life-long learning means in relation to the biosciences, from registration through to specialist practice.