Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology


Council Elections 2016

The AAPT are delighted with the response from members calling for nominations to the Council. There are six seats available and ten nominations. Voting forms will be sent in the post week commencing 4th July 2016. Only Fellows, Members and Students can vote.

To inform your decision, the candidates also sent their reasoning for standing for election:

Gemma BEST

I have been an APT for almost 8 years, training and working firstly in Peterborough City Hospital mortuary, and more recently relocating to work at Flax Bourton Public and Forensic mortuary.  During this time I have been extremely impressed with the progress made, especially in regards to the new qualification.  I feel very honoured to have been part of the working party, putting together the national practical standards for mortuaries and Post Mortem examinations.  I believe this will increase the level of care and respect given to the deceased, along with registration due to accountability.

I wish to stand for election to the AAPT council for the following reasons:

1)    Registration and CPD – As one of the AAPT scrutinisers for CPD, I am extremely keen to take a more active role in the registration process for APT’s. I greatly believe as a profession we should be registered, allowing accountability in such a responsible role.  I believe this will in turn increase the quality of care given to patients and loved ones.  I would continue with assessing CPD, but also promote this subject and the importance of it.  I would like to assist members with the process of completing CPD portfolios and registration. 

2)    Education and training – I have taken particular interest in education, and the new examination process. After partaking in the level 3 assessment process, externally assessing trainee APT’s and assisting with the practical standards, I would like to take a more active role.  I would like to assist with the training sessions for new assessors, and with the organisation of the ‘assess the assessor’ peer review days. I am also keen to promote the Level 3 / 4 Diploma courses and help to increase uptake.

3)    Professional engagement and communication – As a member I am aware there is a drive to increase the communication between members and the council, I do understand there is still a way to go.  I would like to join the team to assist with this between both parties.  To become a stronger team, communication is key.  I would like to be a voice for all, engaging members, encouraging them to participate in the aims and aspirations of the AAPT.  I will do this by communicating upcoming meetings and agendas, I would like to have a spokesperson in place to gather information and questions from members to be voiced at council meetings, and to communicate to members the outcomes of these meetings in a more approachable manner.

Debbie JAMES

I have had the absolute pleasure of being on AAPT Council for the last 3 years which have given me a thorough understanding of the framework and ideals of the Association.

I would like to reapply for a Council position to continue to be able to support the developments that the Council have made to date and remain involved in sustaining and developing the Association further for all APTs now and in years to come, whilst also building on my existing role and responsibilities within the Council.

I have enjoyed being challenged with tasks and being involved with behind the scenes activities of the Council to provide AAPT members & APTs information and helpful educational events to attend and continue their professional development.

The AAPT Council has enhanced my professional outlook and given me confidence in myself to engage with other professionals within our domain.

I am organised in my working methods and can work to deadlines when required. I can collate information, present and disseminate findings for others to utilise. I can organise events and ensure all aspects are covered to maintain a safe and enjoyable environment for all.

I would be honoured to be able to continue enhancing all APTs knowledge and provide, along with the council, relevant information available in the future.


I have been an APT for 26 years and I am passionate about the profession I work in. I have gained a range of experience and I am now at a point where I manage a team of 4 other APTs.

The AAPT has worked hard to raise the profile of APT's to a standard where were we are acknowledged and respected as a profession. It continues to evolve to meet an ever changing climate in the NHS and Coronial service where UKAS, HTA and CQC impacts on mortuary services.

With the introduction of new qualifications and being accepted as an assessor I am very proud of playing a small part in the education of future APTs.

I would like to see HCPC registration for all APTs implemented and our profession recognised on par with Biomedical Scientists.

I have seen the excellent work undertaken by the AAPT Council on behalf of its members and would like the opportunity to be part of a group aiming to improve and strengthen our position as a profession.


I have been an active member of the AAPT since beginning my training in 2007, both in terms of participating on the site's forum and in attendance at the annual conference every year.

During this time I have witnessed many developments both within our profession and the professional body. The AAPT and its' members have been a great source of support and encouragement to me particularly during my initial training period and ongoing career progression.

I now feel as an experienced diploma qualified technologist, that I am in a place where I can offer something constructive towards maintaining and improving the profession's achievements; whilst progressing its future in the medical world.

I am dedicated to my profession and would relish the opportunity of being influential in developing the roles, values and abilities of APTs both in the short and long term. I have worked for extensive periods in 3 very different, busy NHS mortuaries and have gained a wealth of experience from this, particularly in areas such as forensics and teaching.

I am the lead for teaching in my department and act as a facilitator in Trust wide educational programs such as 'Opening the Spiritual Gate'. I actively participate in CPD related activities, and am constantly looking to improve myself within our field of expertise. I would consider myself to be level headed, diplomatic, hardworking and conscientious. I embrace change and always seek to advance best practice.

I believe for these reasons I would be an asset to the Council.


Hello my name is Natalia McLackland and up until 2 years ago I was your Student representative on council. This was a wonderful position which I thoroughly enjoyed getting involved with helping to guide and council new trainees.

When I qualified to diploma level I had to pass on this role and now after being in the profession a lot longer I have grown professionally and personally and I wish to return to council.

The areas I am passionate about are education and training, policies and procedures – maintaining good practice to a high standard, and bereavement with end of life care. I also think it is important to look after APT’s mental and physical wellbeing and I hope to bring that forward for all members along with any other issues or praises.

I wish to be a part of the AAPT Council to help grow the APT community and let the quiet voices be heard. To offer my time to help, guide and support a new generation of APT’S to be the best they can be and help the current generation maintain and build our growing set of standards. We maybe a forgotten profession sometimes but we are strongest coming together and sharing our work and achievements, and learning from our mistakes.

Training a new generation doesn’t just stop there; I am passionate about the new level 4/5 and 6, getting those qualifications promoted amongst the eligible APT’s and networking together. This profession gives me a sense of pride and satisfaction, knowing that I’m apart of helping and guiding others through a hard period of their life. The new qualifications cover a extension of what we provide as a service, that will be for everyone. It has set a path for achievement, and I’m happy to be walking it.


I qualified as an APT in 2006, in the extensive time that has followed the change in our profession has been outstanding. I do not feel that at any point in my role as an APT that I have ever felt more encouraged and driven to excel as I do now, or more proud of my role and the standards that we, as a team, achieve.

This is largely because of the support and knowledge that has been given by the AAPT and its members. I would like to become a more involved member of the AAPT so that I can offer that support and knowledge gained back out to others and the Association. Time has taught me within this profession, the importance of being non-judgmental, patient, confidentially and the ability to have a broad outlook and understanding of others.

This has been gained by peers, self-learning and making mistakes myself! I have worked in a senior role in both NHS and Public mortuaries and have a good knowledge of best practice on both spectrums. I manage a small team of 3, all at different levels within their careers. I have good working relationships with all of my colleagues. I believe the key to working in a team is communication and the sharing of a mutual goal. I have also recently become an assessor for the AAPT working with L3 Diploma students and I am hoping to be accepted to work with L4 Diploma.

I mentored my own trainee last year, which I found both exciting and challenging. I try to support my team consistently in all areas including AAPT updates and CPD as well as manage my own file. Now that I fully understand CPD (thanks to the AAPT) I know how important it is within our own roles, and encouraging to us professionals.

I am registered with the AHCS and feel that I am now at a point in my career where I am able to offer some quality time and commitment to the AAPT, become more involved in our future as well as the standards and policies set by the AAPT. I am already involved in regional meetings for the Midlands area and enjoy getting involved. I aim to attend all meetings organised by the AAPT where possible.

I believe the AAPT is an essential organisation which has given me the opportunities to communicate with other APTs, keep informed of events and training, and I really do believe I would not be in the position I am without the confidence it has given me to succeed.

I now would like to be more of part of that organisation to help others achieve and continue high standards. To be accepted a council member would, again, be a great achievement for me alongside an opportunity to offer my own knowledge and experiences and be part of a team that is aiming to make our profession exemplary.


It has been three years since I joined the AAPT Council and I have enjoyed my term of office with a great passion. I have grown to fully understand the future of AAPT and enjoyed being an integral part of this.

Although I was not designated to one set area of Council work, I have worked with various members of Council to collate and supply information (such as the HTA reports) to other AAPT members. I'm now involved in the process that allocates an Level 3 Diploma assessor to a student.

The future of APTs is fast growing and it is brilliant to be part of this structure and change. I would like to be elected to Council; to continue with my existing role and responsibilities. As a member of the Council I have grown in confidence and in my own professional development - it would be a great honour to continue in this role. I work to deadlines as part of a team or individual targets and I am passionate about all aspects of our work as an APT and as a member of the AAPT Council.


Since becoming a member of the AAPT I have learned how much work the council do towards supporting their members.

At conferences I was amazed to hear how much work that the Council had put in to overhauling the education system to bring us up to date.

The effort and passion of those involved has spurred me to want to be part of it as more than just a member. I became a CPO scrutiniser to help other APTs achieve the high standards set by the AAPT and hopefully encourage them to follow the example that I have set with my work. I feel that joining the Council will allow me to bring new ideas to the organisation and help promote the profession and focus on maintaining standards.

I am passionate about the advancement of the education of APTs, and became an Assessor to become a part of this.

Joining the AAPT has allowed me to bring so much to my work place, and I would like to give something back. Being elected to the AAPT Council will allow me to do this.

David KING

I started work in the NHS in 1998 as an administrative assistant in the Estates Department at Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation trust. When asked by the mortuary staff to organise a repair of the electrics, I was intrigued by the staff and their role. I found the APTs friendly and professional, and very inspiring with their approach to caring for the deceased. I waited a year for a trainee role to come up, then applied and the rest is history.

I recall a visit from Alan Moss, who was trying to get other APTs on board to form a professional body. I thought the idea was excellent - although my mentor was passionate and very knowledgeable about Anatomical Pathology and care of the deceased, I was excited by the thought of APTs coming together to share knowledge, skills and ideas in a professional forum. In 2003, that is exactly what happened with the formation of the professional body for Anatomical Pathology Technologists: the AAPT.

I joined the AAPT straight away, and with membership came access to so many other experienced APTs – not just in London, but around the whole country! As I was training at the time, the forum became a useful tool where I could ask questions to other trainees about their experiences, anxieties about sitting exams, and share ideas.

Once qualified and gaining experience quickly across both hospital and public mortuary roles, I felt that I wanted to share what I had learned and give back to the AAPT. In 2006 I registered under the VRC scheme (now replaced with AHCS), and a few years later was nominated to join the council.

With this role, I became involved in working groups and I particularly enjoyed steering the London and South-East regional team, organising educational events and visits relevant to our discipline. As well as being educational, they were fantastic networking tools, providing a friendly environment for APTs to meet each other.

CPD is a fundamental aspect of any healthcare science role and the AAPT have been crucial in providing learning material, signposting relevant documents and guidelines, and an annual conference – all of which have facilitated me in gaining the credits I require to maintain my qualification. Historically APTs have not been assisted in recording CPD activity, or even understanding what it fully entailed. The CPD portfolio and CPD award were a great introduction to this, and helped celebrate the success of individuals. I have gained two CPD awards from the AAPT and I found the CPD assessors helpful with their feedback.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is teaching and mentoring the trainees at Queens Medical Centre Mortuary in Nottingham, where I now work. This is a very exciting time in the world of education for APTs. With the new Level 3 diploma introduced, I have had to work hard myself, to ensure I am teaching my student APTs to the level required. There is a great support network, not only from the course facilitator and APTs on the Council, but from other mortuaries around the country. The student APTs that I mentor have already joined the AAPT and are progressing with their CPD requirements.

Next on my agenda is the Practical Assessor training and, after a three year break, it feels like the right time to work towards a place on council again.


I have been a Council Member since the AAPT’s conception and I work hard to promote the profession to various organisations.

In my role as Emergency and Preparedness Lead I am a point of contact for organisations seeking advice or information in this area and also if requested can deliver presentations at relevant events.

This is something I wish to continue although I would like to be involved in other areas within Council.

The APT profession has seen enormous changes in particular in their education and I am keen to promote these positive changes to the wider APT audience. I would like the opportunity to continue to give my support to the work of our AAPT Chair, Vice Chair and fellow Council Members.

My main area of interest is promoting the professionalism of APTs to interested organisations.
I also have an interest in the mortuary management of mass fatalities.
During my time as a Council member I established the Forensic Response Team, the APT UK DVI CBRN Team and more recently worked with colleagues to put in place the stand alone APT UK DVI Team.
I have facilitated DVI awareness training for APTs and I am currently involved in an exercise to gauge APT and Mortuary capability to respond to a CBRN incident. 
I have contributed to several consultation documents on behalf of the AAPT.
I have led the Conference Committee for several of the early AAPT annual conferences.

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