Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology

Frequently asked questions

Why is the AAPT running an online CPD scheme?

It is the personal duty of any professional to keep their knowledge and skills up to date so that they remain competent to practise. The AAPT encourages APT staff to maintain, improve and extend their knowledge, skills and practice. The AAPT CPD scheme is a free to all members of the Association regardless of grade.

By providing an online version of the CPD scheme, this allows our members to have a simple and easy to access recording system; to record activities, reflect upon those activities and to upload supporting evidence and other useful documents.

How do I create a CPD activity in order to add to my online portfolio?

This could not be easier! You’ll note the page Create a CPD activity and this is your starting point. First, enter the Activity Title (for example – Visited GOSH to further understand perinatal PMs). Then allocate a number of credits – such as 2 credits for a 2 hour visit.

Pick an Activity Type from the list – such as Training Course, and the year undertaken. A unique code will then be assigned to your activity and you can add some brief learning outcomes.

I’ve now created the Activity, so how do I add to my Portfolio?

Again – could not be easier! Any activities that you create will then appear in Add CPD Activities. Simply tick those you wish to add to the Portfolio, click Add to Basket and then go to the Basket to confirm you wish to add to your Portfolio.

What is Reflective learning and how do I add to my portfolio?

There is an increased awareness that professional development is based on ‘reflective practice’ and ‘evidence based practice’.

All professional practitioners are advised to undertake a systematic self-evaluation process following learning activities, in order to develop the potential to contribute effectively to the continuous improvement of quality.

Reflective learning (RL) aims to demonstrate not only why an individual undertakes an activity but also what they experienced as a result of this and the most important aspect of continuous development is the outcome rather than the input. 

The key to a high standard of continuing professional development lies in the critical evaluation of all learning (both theoretical and practical) and its application to safe and effective practice, demonstrating links with current and future learning.

For every CPD activity you create and add to your portfolio, you can also add an RL statement. Once the activity is recorded, simply use the + icon and complete an RL statement for extra 2 credits!

How to complete an RL statement

An RL statement has four sections to complete. So, say for example you had attended an AAPT Study day:

Section 1

What learning did you undertake? State your reasons for identifying this learning

Attendance at South east and London Study event was a good opportunity to refresh my knowledge on neuropathology and understand more about toxicology as these were the two talks arranged.

Section 2

Explain what you have learned or achieved through this activity.

I trained in neuropathology techniques many years ago so already had an understanding of this so wanted to see what has changed since then. I was very interested in the different way to incise the scalp for infants as although I have been an APT for a long time this was something I had not seen before. The different technique when opening the skull also meant that there were much clearer views of the neck and spine enabling easier removal of the brain. The information about why not to used ‘slings’ or blue roll was also very different to what I had previously been taught however the evidence regarding artefacts was very clear.

Section 3

How have you applied or will apply this learning in your day-to-day practice?

When removing a brain I will try the new technique although I may ask for some neurological assistance at the time in case I do not remember the technique exactly. I have made arrangements to go and see this done at another centre for further training. It will also be something I discuss when taking post mortem consent as it changes the incision options that I previously knew about. Whilst I will not do this routinely I now know that other places may. I will check with centres we use regularly to ensure I have the right information. I will also be sure not to use the slings that I have previously as they leave marks on the brain which in turn can hinder diagnosis.

Section 4

How could this benefit the service user?

My increased knowledge shall inform the consent taking process and lead to better understanding for the bereaved.

What is the credit allocation for the activities undertaken?

The AAPT believes that CPD be self-regulated although participants might wish to plan their CPD activity in accordance with employers and service delivery. In order to “reward” participants for their CPD activity, the AAPT offers a self-regulated credit based system. For each hour of CPD activity, 1 credit should be recorded.

The Association have also given a number of activities a set number of credits:

Completion of a recognised educational qualification/prep course (Example: Level 3 Diploma, Level 4 Diploma etc)

30 credits

Successful submission of an article at

5 credits

Lecturing at a national event

5 credits

Setting RTR questions (email for info)

5 credits

Initial Registration with the AHCS or Science Council

5 credits

External Assessor Awareness Training

6 credits

External Assessor Practical Training

6 credits

Assessment of a L3/4 student (One only to be claimed per year)

5 credits

Meet and Greet Day of students (One only to be claimed per year)

6 credits

An additional 2 credits can be recorded for reflecting upon any activity. This is known as reflective learning.

Are there recommended credit allocations?

APT staff should record attendance at suitable credited courses.


Activity Credits Maximum
  • AAPT Conference
  • Bereavement counselling
  • Major incident planning
  • Digital photography
  • Specimen preservation
  • Preparatory courses for the Royal Institute of Public Health Diploma and Certificate of Anatomical Pathology Technology
  • Religious and cultural issues
  • Embalming
  • Basic anthropology
  • Radiography equipment
  • Manual handling
  • Infectious disease
  • Reconstruction
1 per hour 40 per activity
Planning or running courses 5  
Further education 1 per hour 40 per activity
Undertaking research 1 per hour 40 per activity
Submission of articles or papers 5  
Online learning activities 1 per hour 5 per activity
Professional body membership and participation 5  
Lecturing and teaching 5  
Maintaining and developing specialist skills Record as reflective learning
Presentation at conferences 5  
National Assessor 5