Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology


AAPT Subscription Renewal Message 2012/13 from James Lowell (Chair)

The annual renewal message provides me with the opportunity to communicate with every member in what has been, in many ways, a breakthrough year for the Association. As ever, I thank you for your invaluable membership and support of your professional body. 

Dear Colleague,

The annual renewal message provides me with the opportunity to communicate with every member in what has been, in many ways, a breakthrough year for the Association. As ever, I thank you for your invaluable membership and support of your professional body. 


An extraordinary year

2011 has been an extraordinary year for the country as we have seen riots on our streets and non-stop talk of recession. These events however have not stopped us providing the care and expertise that we are known for and the profession has, like so many others, continued to move forward.

Against a backdrop of the Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) project and nationwide financial constraints within the NHS and beyond, the AAPT has made excellent progress in collaborative work with the Department of Health. 

Education, training and regulation had been the fundamental cornerstones by which the AAPT had been founded back in 2003, and the Council have continued to provide a consistent non-reactionary message that technologists need “better education & training and should be a regulated profession”. You the profession named these as two of your top priorities, a reassuring sign that we are on track to deliver what you want from your professional body.

Whilst it would be premature to declare victory, it would seem there is an amber-green light from the Department of Health for the progressive steps of an overhaul of the RSPH Certificate and Diploma, and, the introduction of a higher qualification in Anatomical Pathology Technology. This revised career pathway would equal a quantifiable educational currency, be led by anatomical pathology technologists and robustly assessed against practical and theoretical elements.

Voluntary Registration – still vital

To aid this process the Association recommends that its members apply to the Voluntary Registration Council for Healthcare Scientists. By becoming voluntary registered this enforces the message that anatomical pathology technologists are committed to professional standards and to a protection of the public. What at first may seem a daunting task can be tremendously fulfilling – Council members would be more than willing to assist any member with their application to the VRC and following feedback, we aim to facilitate more regional application workshops in 2012/13.

I cannot stress how important VRC is to our profession as without this independent verification of competency and measure to professional standards we are severely hampered in proving our equivalency with other professional groups. Whilst the current government do not want to extend statutory regulation, rather increase voluntary registration; APT staff need to be the first professional group to be ready for any government policy change in the future.

Engaging with members and non-members

You will be aware that the Association ran a survey for members and non-members and the results of which were published unedited and in full on our website. It is highly encouraging to see so many respondents taking the time to reply and influence policy and strategic direction for your professional body. Council agreed it was vital that the Association directly survey and this is essential to generate new ideas & for member endorsement of Association policy in the key areas of education & training, regulation and best practice.

National Bereavement Alliance

As our involvement with the wider professional community continues to grow the Association is always keen to hear from technologists who are interested in being involved with its work. 2011 saw the AAPT become a co-founding member of a National Bereavement Alliance, collaborate with other professional bodies to form the Medical Examiners Officer support body and continue to represent our interests with other key stakeholder organisations. 

Helping colleagues

If you have a few hours a month that you can gift to further your profession then please contact the AAPT offices. Many people believe that the only way to be involved is by becoming a full council member however this is not always the case and any help will assist the greater APT community. 

Glasgow a success: and now for Bristol 2012

A personal highlight for many Association members is the annual conference and AGM. In September 2011 this was held in Glasgow and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all that attended, networked with colleagues and witnessed a fascinating lecture programme. I also express my gratitude to the commercial sector for their vital and continued support in providing sponsorship and the trade exhibition. Without our industry colleagues we would not be able to host such an occasion.

For 2012, the event will move to Bristol and Saturday 22nd September is the date to enter into your Association diaries. Registration is now live: please take advantage of early booking discounts and Student members can also attend at a discounted rate.

Working with other professional groups

Throughout 2012 the Association shall continue to work with colleagues within the Human Tissue Authority, Royal Society for Public Health, Royal College of Pathologists, Institute of Biomedical Science and all other stakeholders involved in mortuary service provision. The Association remains committed to improving the educational and practical standards for APT staff across the UK and beyond.

Subscription remains at 2011-12 rates

You will be pleased to note that the subscription fee has once again been frozen – and if you take advantage of the Introduce a Colleague offer you will receive 50% discount when the direct debit is collected early May.

On behalf of the Council I wish to express my best wishes to all those undertaking examinations in 2012 and please continue to support your professional body.

James Lowell MBA FAAPT
Chair of the AAPT Council

Useful links:

Introduce a Colleague 50% offer -

Voluntary Registration -

Bristol 2012 -

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