Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology

Member Profiles

Kate, Anatomical Pathology Technologist, Mortuary Lead at Alder Hey Hospital

Being the daughter of a detective sergeant in Merseyside police, I became fascinated by crime and death at a very young age. I would bombard my dad with questions about his day from the second he walked through the door.

While in senior school, a teacher overheard me talking to friends about how much I wanted to be a pathologist and how interested I was in historic crimes such as the Ripper murders. This teacher convinced me to read a book by Patricia Cornwell and I knew that this was the field of work that I wanted to get in to. I researched how I could become Kay Scarpetta and soon realised that medical school wasn’t really for me but a contact of my dad’s in the local city mortuary, told me about what it was like for him being an APT.

The APT in the city mortuary piqued my curiosity and after a lot of harassment on my part, gave me a lot of advice and soon I was handing in my notice at Argos and joining the Royal Liverpool Hospital as a medical laboratory assistant in Biochemistry. I waited two years when finally, in 2010, a trainee post was advertised in the Countess of Chester. After an agonising afternoon of waiting for news, I was offered the position.

I joined what I think, is the greatest certificate cohort of all time and I still consider them to be some of my most amazing friends. We’ve had weddings, babies and a few reunions at the AAPT educational event over the years. Its always nice to catch up and talk about what we have all been up to!

In 2013, I said goodbye to the Countess and came home (to the better side of the river Mersey) to Alder Hey where I experienced paediatrics for the first time. I have never looked back and have definitely found my calling here.

The satisfaction I get looking after every one of my patients from booking them in to the mortuary, to reconstruction, to releasing them back to their families is off the charts. My patients are the epicentre of everything I do here, and I love knowing that I have brought even a tiny bit of comfort to a family at the worst time of their lives.

We are constantly improving and expanding the paediatric service that we provide here; we now cover a wider area including Northern Ireland. We have also set up a forensic paediatric ophthalmology service that serves police forces across the UK and we are currently developing our digital pathology service. 

I have recently been appointed the mortuary lead for Alder Hey and I am about to finish the Edward Jenner Leadership course. Over the next few months that I will be making a start on my voluntary registration with the Science Council and hope to get to the next AAPT educational event for another class of 2012 reunion!

Amy,  Mortuary Manager:

"When I began working as a trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologist at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in February 2006 I already knew that the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technologists existed but was not sure of its relevance.

My senior at the time advised me and the other trainee who had started two months previously about the benefits of becoming a member of the AAPT but after looking at the website we were not convinced and as a trainee on low wage paying to be a member did not appeal to us.

After a while the benefits of becoming a member became clear to include access to an online forum for members provided a place to ask questions and chat to your colleagues and discount for events and the annual conference. Despite this I was still reluctant until I went to my first Conference – Birmingham 2008.

It took me two years to build up the courage to sign up and after meeting fellow APTs on my Certificate Course in London I felt that I wouldn’t be standing in a room with strangers.

There was no need to worry, everyone was so welcoming and friendly and I started to feel part of a big family. After that there was no stopping me I joined the Association and began attending courses and annual Conferences.

In 2008 I passed my Certificate; in 2009 I passed my Diploma and became Senior APT at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Next on the AAPT agenda, for me, was to be persuaded to become Voluntarily Registered. This progression again was faced with a lot of resistance from members and non-members but the truth was that when it was first discussed the resistance was due to lack of understanding.

The Council have spent a lot of time and energy into helping APTs understand the importance of being voluntarily registered and after a long journey it is now a case that compulsory registration of our profession will happen so join us or suffer the consequences. I became voluntarily registered in 2012. It took me 3 years after passing my Diploma to apply but the actual application took me a few hours.

The Association are continually looking for ways of improving us as APTs and I that should be celebrated, the membership numbers have increased to over 300 but there are still many APTs out there that do not know or appreciate the benefits of becoming a member and how important it is to stand together as one group of people following a unique and rewarding career.

It has taken 8 years to get where I am today and I can honestly say that the support of the Association and the knowledge of my fellow APTs have been the reason why I have continued to progress. Next stop Council!"


Sam, Senior Anatomical Pathology Technologist, Walsall Manor Mortuary

Since from a young age I have always been fascinated with the human body and how it works, and all the different individual systems.

After school I started a career in Hairdressing which I did for a few years and I really enjoyed. After this i started a career in Dental Nursing. I loved the biology side to this job, finding out the bones in the skull , how the teeth are their own system and how they try to protect themselves. I really enjoyed interacting with the patients and during my time at College Road Dental Practice we used to see a lot of nervous patients.

After 9 years of dental nursing I fancied a new challenge and I applied for a job in Biochemistry as a Medical Laboratory Assistant at Worcester Royal Hospital, I stayed there for a couple of years then moved onto Histopathology. Where I learnt to do Cytology and process tissue in wax for further examination. I got to work closely with a team of pathologists.

Then one day I got asked to cover the Mortuary , I was so excited as that was the area I had dreamed of working in!

That was 10 years ago, and this area of work is where I have stayed. I completed my Level 3 Diploma in 2018 at Worcester Royal.. I fell in love with the job straight away, I find it a privilege to do the job I do, to look after someone’s loved one when they cant do it for themselves anymore.

My previous experience in my other careers has helped me in this career, hairdressing – aided me to make people look their best when loved ones want to view, Dental Nursing – aided me to assist the forensic odontologist when needing to identify a person from dental records making their job a lot easier.

I moved to Igene (Digital Autopsy facility at Sandwell Crematorium) in October 2021 where I was employed as an Angiograph Technician. I found this job really interesting and seeing how far technology has come, but I missed working in a Mortuary environment and applied for a vacancy to cover maternity leave as Mortuary Manager at Walsall Manor for a year. I have loved my time here and all the new challenges I have faced.

My fixed term is nearly at an end and I am excited for what is to come. I can never see me doing any other employment, I love my job and aiding people in their darkest times.


Lucia, R&D Scientific Assistant, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Italy in Natural Sciences, I decided to come to the UK to attend the Master’s in Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology at Cranfield University. I then became Team member for Blake Emergency Services in April 2021 and for CRICC in September 2021.

Blake Emergency Services is a UK based private organisation with international competences in the emergency preparedness and response arena.

I joined as an on-call Forensic Anthropologist and Archaeologist to assist the National Authority in identifying the fatalities.

While in September 2021, I was deployed in Sicily with the CRICC (Cranfield Recovery and Investigation of Conflict Causalities) Team, which is in partnership with DPAA. I worked as Forensic Archaeologist conducting the scientific recovery of US POW/MIA from WW2. Here I was able to assist the team in the recovery of human remains, fragments of a plane and firearms bullets. While studying at Cranfield University, I volunteered at the Walthamstow Public Mortuary in London, as part of the Mortuary Support team. I assisted the Mortuary Staff in different tasks including admitting/releasing the deceased, performing condition checks, setting up the Post-mortem room for future autopsies and assisting at Post-mortem examinations. 

Since I really enjoyed my time in the mortuary I wanted to pursue this or a similar type of career. One year ago I then applied for my current position. I was amazed when I read the job description, it was the right mixture of research and practical work that I wanted.

I’m currently setting up a new biopsy post-mortem service within the Imperial Trust working alongside with the trust pathologists. Since post-mortems are decreasing in the UK and worldwide, this service aims to give a valuable alternative to full post-mortem in case family members refuse the latter for cultural, religious or other reasons. I’m responsible for organizing the service, by preparing the paperwork and buying new equipment (e.g. ultrasound machine, biopsy needles).

I’m also conducting a literature review, which will then be published on a suitable paper. I was trained to utilize the ultrasound machine while performing the biopsy on the deceased and obtaining consent from the bereaved. My manager was the one that suggested I joined the AAPT. It has been an interesting experience since then and the benefits are truly worthy.

I was able to attend the AAPT educational event in Liverpool and the consent training sessions, these have been great opportunities to meet new people with similar interests and learn more about the APT world. I’m looking forward to new seminars and exciting occasions to improve my knowledge.


Decky, Trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologist, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

As a child I would watch an animation series called ‘Once upon a time…life’ which tells the story of the human body for children. It was a way of learning about the mechanisms of the human body with characters representing various organs, system’s such as red blood cells or viruses. Each series would feature a different part of the body like the heart or the circulatory system. To this day I still remember how much I loved it and how it got me interested in how the body works.   

I have worked as a Medical Photographer for the NHS since 2006 as a student working my way up to a senior position.  My career came to an end when I was finally offered a position as a trainee APT in September 2021 and I will never look back!!

During my time as a photographer, I would attend the mortuary for various clinical reasons to photograph and document requests from coroners or pathologists which I would find interesting and ask questions as you do when you are curious and want to learn about the process. I began to take more interest in the roles of the mortuary staff and learn more about the work carried out and why.

My role as a photographer would also allow me to work with various consultants on the wards and in theatres which made every day vary as you didn’t know what you would be called to. I would be documenting anything from a diabetic foot to aortic heart valve replacement, it gave me the chance to learn more about anatomy and what the body does to recover and heal. 

It is early days for me here as I am still to start the RSPH Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology), but I have learnt such a vast amount already, including how to care for the deceased, the importance of policies, HTA and other services that are customers to the mortuary such as Funeral services, Police services, coroners and most importantly families. 

I am keen to learn and develop my skills to make the department run as sufficient as possible. I am also pleased to be part of the AAPT, the courses give me so much more scope on what is happening in other areas, how changes come into play and the chance of what I am learning the though the courses get implemented in my everyday working role. 



Anja , Senior Anatomical Pathology Technologist, Norwich & Norfolk Hospital

Like most teenagers growing up I was slightly unsure what I wanted to do as a career. At college one of the A levels that I chose was Human Biology and I was absolutely hooked. I found the human body fascinating and knew then that my career would involve science in some way.

At university I studied Forensic Science and after leaving felt that this was the route I was going to go down. However I finished in 2008 just as the recession hit and struggled to find a job in this sector. To tide me over I took part in training to become a Health Care Assistant at the local hospital and found that I absolutely loved looking after patients, but I still felt that there was a role out there waiting for me to experience. After being an HCA for a year I then got a job in the Pathology Lab processing blood specimens, I continued to do this for another year.

During my time in the laboratories we used to receive toxicology specimens from the mortuary that had been taken at post mortem. I was really interested in so I messaged the Mortuary manager in the hospital and asked if I could come and have a chat, I wanted to find out a little bit more about the department and the role that the APTs carried out.

As it happens a few months later I was scrolling through NHS jobs and found the Trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologist position was being advertised. I read the job specification and knew that I could this. I’d found the job I was meant to do! I frantically filled out the job application and waited nervously to hear if I had been successful for interview.

I eventually found out that I had been successful and spent even more time really researching everything about the mortuary. I found that a really important part of working in the mortuary was ensuring that HTA rules were adhered to and I made sure to extensively research this area to gain more understanding. I was lucky enough to be successful in interview and began my new job role in 2010.

I began my new job and studying to complete the old Certificate which I finished in 2012. I was lucky to experience a range of different services such as Coronal and Hospital post mortems, Forensic post mortems and Paediatric work. I enjoyed the combination of looking after patients and giving the care and respect I had given to living patients when I worked as a HCA, but I also really enjoyed studying anatomy and the information that the body could give us after death.

I was really keen to continue my learning and wanted to complete the diploma however by the time I had the chance to apply for this course it had become obsolete. The only way I could gain my next level was to complete the new Level 3 Diploma. At first I was a bit frustrated that I had to complete this course before I could move forward and do the Level 4 Diploma but after starting it I realised how much more in depth it was and how much value there was in doing it. I really enjoyed the course and completed it in 2018.

I have now become a senior in my department and have nearly finished my Level 4 Diploma. I have learnt so much in the past 10 years as an APT and that there are so many different parts to being an APT, not just looking after deceased patients, but also the importance of documents, HTA, health and safety, infection control and the bereavement services. There is also a fantastic community that is found through the AAPT and also from doing the APT courses and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of it all.


Eve, Anatomical Pathology Technologist

Since childhood I have always had an interest in the human body and how it works. I was also curious about death, and I remember my first question once I found out somebody had passed away (until I was old enough to know it wasn’t generally a polite thing to ask!) was always “how?”.

In school I loved to learn about human biology so I went to university in Liverpool where I studied Anatomy, which provided me with my first encounters with the dead. Dissection was a huge part of the course and was always my favourite day of the week. I loved the patience that it required and the atmosphere of respect that we all shared while learning from the specimens so many donors had provided us with.

As my degree progressed, I began to consider what would come afterwards. I discovered the discipline of forensic pathology online, and immediately knew this was of great interest to me.

I knew that to become a forensic pathologist you had to go to medical school, so I decided this was what I had to do. A chance encounter introduced me to a pathologist named Jon, who very generously agreed to be my mentor through the application process. It was Jon who first told me about APTs, and this role appealed to me greatly.

I spent the rest of my time at university going to the coroner’s court to watch inquests and studying for entrance exams. I had interviews at all of the medical schools I applied for, but I didn’t make the final cut for any. However, I was undeterred, and turned my attention to APT roles instead. I applied for many posts in my third year of uni, but never having seen an actual post-mortem, I didn’t hear back.

It wasn’t until the end of third year that things started to progress - I had a week’s work experience in the mortuary at the Royal in Liverpool, where I was able to watch several post-mortems, including two forensics. I was in my element and very pleased to find that the APT role appealed to me much more than the pathologist. I loved being able to follow a patient through the process of the post-mortem and all that came afterwards, and found the reconstruction and cleaning very cathartic.

After this, I began having more luck with my applications for trainee APT jobs, but I still never quite managed to get past interview.

In a stroke of luck, I managed to get a job doing something else I loved - working at St. George’s Medical School in London dissecting specimens for their anatomy department.

This job taught me a lot very quickly as I had to prepare for an HTA inspection within my first month of work. I also taught medical students when demonstrators were short, and had to prepare and run a six week-long programme in which I taught students how to dissect a whole human body.

I thoroughly enjoyed working here, but after a year I was craving more varied work, so it seemed like fate when a trainee APT position came up in the mortuary at St. George’s in the summer of 2019. Luckily this application was more successful than my previous ones, and I was thrilled when I found out I’d got the job.

Being an APT has been everything I’d hoped for, and I adore the work I do. I love being able to care for the deceased and give them the dignity they deserve, and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you’ve made what is probably a very difficult time for their loved ones that bit easier.

I am currently on my Level 3 training which I am enjoying so far, but the disruption of the COVID-19 crisis has sent us trainees on a slightly different (but still essential) learning curve. The AAPT has been instrumental in ensuring that we are assessed fairly during this difficult time.

In the long-run, I hope to get involved in public engagement, so that the general population can gain an understanding of the work we do. I would love to pursue extra training in specialisms such as DVI, and feel that the AAPT will be incredibly helpful in allowing me to meet these goals.

Kimberley , trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologist

Why did I choose the APT career path? When my Great Nan passed away, I was asked to wait outside the room while my Mum went in to see her. As a child I questioned why I was not allowed in the room, and I was told I was too young which raised my curiosity even more even at such a young age - "what would I find in that room?".

As time progressed, I lost that curiosity, I went to College and studied performing arts, always being more musically minded than anything else; violin, flute, guitar, dance and not once did I think I would be where I am today.

When I finished College, that curiosity of working in a mortuary came back. I called into the local jobcentre to enquire about this type of work, however, nothing came to fruition, and I felt deflated.
Soon after, I gained employment in a completely different field, and I was also asked if I would like to pick up where a previous dance teacher left off within the local community centre which I did each Friday afternoon. I would spend any spare time coming up with routines while working full time.

One particular Friday I got speaking to a Community Support Officer where I told him about my curiosity and how I wanted to work in a mortuary. He mentioned that his Uncle worked in a local hospital as a consultant and that he would find out some details for me. Which he did! He gave me the number for the volunteering department at Whiston hospital and all I had to do was give them a call.

Eager, I made that call and within a few months, I had completed an application form, had an informal chat, had my Hep B injections, had a local induction, and had a start date with the team. I volunteered here for a few years one day each week, whilst still working full time and teaching each Friday afternoon - I met one of the best APTs here!

Eventually, I applied for a trainee APT post at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and although I did not get the position, the manager said she would like me as a volunteer. This gave me so much more hands-on experience and the opportunity to see how another mortuary operates.

I was volunteering at Tameside for approximately 4 months before being offered a Mortuary & Bereavement Assistant position at Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust in April 2018, where I was for four and a half years before finally gaining employment as a Trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologist at Alder Hey Children’s Foundation Trust in November 2022. 

My first time blading a PM-40 as a trainee, I found myself thinking "I've actually made it!"

I had so many interviews and so many knock backs before getting the position I have today, but the experience I had volunteering led me to this point and in a specialised field such as a paediatric mortuary.

I feel so proud to be part of a team that has been welcoming and supportive since I started and the cohort I am part of to complete the RSPH Diploma in Helathcare Science (APT) is phenomenal, I have learned so much from the course and from my fellow cohort members.

The AAPT, knowing they are there to support, is a big relief. I will definitely keep my membership, especially with the opportunities they provide with CPD and the Science Council registration awards, amongst a plethora of other opportunities and knowledge they provide.

Gemma, Anatomical Pathology Technologist

From a very young age I strongly wanted to be a vet, then at around eleven years of age that switched to a fascination with History and Archaeology.

I ultimately went on to study Archaeology at a degree level and while there I discovered a fascination for human remains after I took a module in that subject. After this I studied for a Masters degree in Forensic Archaeological Science. A part of me then strongly considered working in a mortuary, but had ruled it out early due to a belief that you would need to have a medical background of some kind.

Directly after leaving university I really struggled to find employment. I worked as a field archaeologist for a period of about six months but it was a tough career to follow with contracts only lasting around one to two weeks. I put my archaeology career on hold, applying for jobs where I could in museums and other establishments but the only work I could get for a long time was in the department store where I had a weekend job when I was sixteen. I worked there for five years and became Assistant Sales Manager.

After five years I decided to try and move into something completely different, mainly motivated by not wanting to work weekends anymore. A friend of mine put me forward for a job where she worked at a big third-party financial administrator. I worked there for around five years also and became a Technical Expert in assisting with new projects and issues. Both of these jobs I made some excellent friends and met some great people, but all along I knew that I had to do a job I felt passionate about to make me happy.

During a conversation with a close friend of mine from university I uttered the words that I would quite like to work in a mortuary but I had no idea how. She just answered very simply told me to email the manager of the local mortuary and ask, which I did almost immediately.

After a brief email exchange I was convinced that this was the job I wanted. I was told that my background was quite well suited to work in a mortuary and that I could be a good candidate. I kept my eyes open for any trainee jobs I could see and applied for any that came up. I also tried to get any other job I could at the NHS as I was advised by others that working in the NHS already could be an advantage, and I was willing to try everything I could.

I didn’t hear much back at all from any of the jobs I applied for, only rejections and no interviews until I emailed again to my local mortuary asking what else I could do. He offered me a work placement for one week where I could observe the mortuary and I jumped at the chance. I took a week annual leave from my finance job and went to the mortuary, my colleagues could barely understand why I’d go spend my leave in a mortuary for a week but I had an excellent manager who supported me and knew that I was pursuing something important.

In the meantime, I was successful in getting an interview and subsequently a job at Guy’s Hospital as a Rota Coordinator in Oncology.

After around six months at Guy’s, a job came up at my local hospital for a Mortuary Assistant. I threw everything I could into getting that job, asked the mortuary staff at St. Thomas’ for help and looked into every possible interview question that could come up. I was successful and started my job as a Mortuary Assistant in October 2017. Since then I have applied for and been successful in getting a Trainee position.

I have also begun the Level 3 diploma and joined the AAPT Council as the Student Representative. I absolutely love my job, being involved in the AAPT and being able to do extra activities outside of my work such as running my Death Café, writing for my blog and attending events hosted by others. I feel like this career was so worth the wait but I am incredibly lucky to have found my dream job, particularly in a field a lot of people do not understand but is filled with wonderful people who do amazing things. 


Ellen, Queens Medical Centre, Anatomical Pathology Technologist

Working in a mortuary had entered my mind numerous times over the years but only as a flight of fancy.  I believed it to be a pipe dream that could never be realised because I didn’t follow a science based pathway educationally.   I did get accepted onto a BSc university course, however, it was for Special Effects design.  I intended to channel my interest in the aesthetics of injury and disease into a vocation creating anatomically correct prosthetic body parts for film and TV.  In the end that course fell through and I studied filmmaking instead.

Whilst at school and university I acquired a lot of body piercings and had started to collect  a few pieces of body modification.  Halfway through my third year at university in 2009, I left to begin a body piercing apprenticeship with the body modification studio I was a regular at. They approached me about studying with them and it was there that I started to learn about basic human anatomy, infection control and COSHH.  Enjoying these topics as I did made me again ponder mortuary work but instead of looking in to the possibility I assumed the qualifications and experience I had would not be suitable for it, and carried on with my apprenticeship. 

A conversation with a friend who worked in the Emergency Department of QMC switched a lightbulb on for me in 2012 and I realised a move into healthcare was the next logical step.  For for the first time ever a job within a mortuary seemed like a future possibility.  I joined NHS jobs and scrolled through endless pages of jobs that meant delivering direct patient care to people who would likely be in discomfort or pain, something I now knew was not for me.  This search was disheartening until I found a job advert for a healthcare assistant in the operating theatres.  The patients would be unconscious, I would get a better understanding of anatomy in context and most of my skills from piercing would be translatable to a role in healthcare.  I was successful in this application and began straight away trying to find out how to contact the mortuary to register my interest and find out more about what the role of a mortuary worker would entail. 

The same friend that led to me joining the NUH knew a little about the role of an APT from having to accompany deceased patients from Resus to the mortuary. She explained to me what she understood of the role and took me to the mortuary so I could ask advice on how to be a desirable candidate should a Trainee position come up in the future.  I was invited down for an insight visit and a senior APT described to me what the role involved and explained that Emergency Theatres was a good department to come from as I would endure similar traumatic sights and unpleasant smells as well having some understanding of anatomy.  This visit confirmed what I already knew, that I wanted desperately to work in a mortuary.  I kept in regular contact with the staff and spent an invaluable morning in the PM room observing a senior APT carry out eviscerations.

In September 2016 a Trainee APT role came up in the mortuary and for a second time I applied and was interviewed, only this time I was offered a Trainee position.

Every day is different and brings with it plenty of opportunity to learn new information and techniques. Only 9 months into the role I booked myself a place to attend the AAPT conference in Cardiff and I was so delighted to be there.  It is amazing to be apart of a community of APTs and related professionals, for the knowledge, shared experiences and support, not to mention adding to the betterment of the career itself.

In being a trainee APT I have found my forever job, the career I have always wanted, that fills me with pride to do and to tell anyone who will listen, about.  


Ruth,  Anatomical Pathology Technologist

I obtained my Children’s Nursing degree in the summer of 2011. While searching for a staff nurse position, I came across an advertisement for an APT at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The job sounded so interesting that I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to be involved in such a fascinating field – so I took a leap of faith and applied.

I am glad I did as I started working as a trainee APT in the December of 2011. When I started my post the original qualification route was changing and so I waited to start the Level 3. Under the guidance of my manager, pathologist and colleagues I utilised my time as best I could and learned as much of the knowledge and skills required for working in a hospital mortuary.

In 2014 I started the Level 3. I was excited about starting it because it was a sign of progression in our profession and I was thrilled to be part of it. I was part of the first intake for the new course and this involved travelling to Hartlepool every so often for in house training. The course work itself is essential for our role but sometimes I found it tricky to find the time to do it due to work commitments but it was manageable.

We had also formed good friendships and a great support network within our class which I definitely think made a difference. I knew that we could all depend on one another as well as our module leader Michelle Lancaster - as we all wanted each other to succeed – and this helped boost morale.
A couple of months after starting the Level 3 I decided that I wanted more experience in the forensic side of post-mortems and joined Queen Street Public Mortuary, Aberdeen in 2014. This is a small but busy facility which is primarily focussed on finding out the cause of sudden & unexplained deaths under instruction from the Procurator Fiscal. I have been here two and half years and I love it. The job itself can be challenging at times but I like the idea of being involved in a unique field.

Five years ago I made the scary decision to change my career path and at times I was unsure I had made the right decision. However last year I became the first in Scotland to achieve the RSPH Level 3 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology. Not only has this achievement helped me validate my choice but it also allowed me the opportunity to attend the University of Chester to carry on my studies and obtain the Level 4.

Tarot, Anatomical Pathology Technologist

"I began working as an assistant APT in 2010. This was something that I was interested in before I started university. As an assistant, I was taught the basics of what was really involved with APT work, and I loved every aspect of it. Once I became a trainee, under a brilliant team, I was taught everything I needed to know for this role. My managers from both my assistant and trainee posts recommended joining the AAPT. I was unsure at first, not knowing much about it, but joined because of the resources available to me as a student member, as well as the chance to network with other APTs.

By 2013, I had passed my Certificate and Diploma courses and made a network of new friends along the way. Through meetings, conferences and events with the AAPT, I learned the importance of the AAPT Council and how hard they have worked towards getting the AAPT recognised, and recently in the re-hauling of the entire qualifications system. The passion of those involved has spurred me to want to be more involved within the AAPT, and I started this by becoming a CPD Scrutiniser, allowing me to be part of the process for updating our CPD to fall in line with the Biomedical Scientists, and to mark others’ work.

More recently, I jumped at the chance to become an assessor for the new Diploma courses. I had only just reached my two years post-Diploma experience, but this had the benefit of being new enough to understand how the students felt, ideally allowing them to be more relaxed and show off their skills during assessment rather than being anxious. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and assessing the students, and was glad to find that I was able to learn and pick up new skills from them.

I cannot recommend joining the AAPT enough to APTs on this career path, as it has managed to help me in continuing my studies and meet a vast network of like-minded, passionate people. I have learned so many tips and techniques from attending other mortuaries on assessment days by watching the students and discussing aspects with more experienced APTs. This has allowed me to suggest changes in my place of work for the better, which would not have happened if I had not been an AAPT member"