Training, development and registration (anatomical pathology)

Training combines academic learning with work based experiential learning.

Training and development

Training and education in anatomical pathology combines academic learning with work based experiential learning.

Initially, you’ll be based within a mortuary and start your training with a short period observing the wide range of mortuary procedures, followed by direct involvement in work under the supervision of senior APTs and pathologists. During this time you will attend teaching sessions on a level 3 diploma course awarded by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH). Your theoretical learning will involve time away from the mortuary but practical skills will be developed during the course of your employment. Qualifications have both a theoretical and practical element.

Topics include:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • post mortem room techniques
  • hygiene
  • health and safety
  • legislation and codes of practice
  • administration and documentation.

Trainees who successfully complete all the elements of training including an examination will currently be awarded the RSPH level 3 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology, combining written, practical and oral work.

Find out more about the entry requirements, skills and interests required to enter a career in anatomical pathology.

Continuing professional development

As part of your career progression you will be expected to participate in continuing professional development (CPD) to show that you are keeping up to date with the policies, procedures and developments in your area of work.

Find out more general information about professional development

CPPD for healthcare science staff

The Accredited Scientific Practice (ASP) programme provides the opportunity to regularise the approach and develop a formalised model of structured continuing personal and professional (CPPD) in healthcare science, driven by the service and employers. It provides you with a transparent education and training CPPD framework linked to academic qualifications and quality assured work-based training.

To keep abreast of the introduction of new scientific and technological developments, employers will require you to develop new knowledge and technical skills. ASP, an innovative and well defined programme of professional development, will:

  • address the fast pace of change in science and technology by ensuring that new and required technical, specialist and expert skills (beyond those acquired through the formal Modernising Scientific Careers programmes) are provided through focused and quality assured work-based and academic programmes;
  • address specific workforce, service and patient needs;
  • support the appropriate and focused continuous learning and development of the healthcare science workforce.

Read more about ASP on the Health Education England website


Registration is required for many healthcare science roles. For anatomical pathology technologists, there is a voluntary register.

Find out more about the voluntary register held by the Academy for Healthcare Science.

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