Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology


Level 3 Diploma in APT during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Statement from AAPT Chair John Pitchers FAAPT

I completely understand how important the assessment process is to Trainee APTs; many of whom are relying on qualifying within a certain timeframe for various personal and professional reasons, and for whom the uncertainty has caused anxiety.

I also understand that this has led to questions regarding why the assessment standards cannot be lowered and assessment methods changed to accommodate those Trainees.

The decision by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) to delay the scheduled examinations and the practical assessment, was based on the need to give due regard to the professional commitments and safety of the learners, assessors and verifiers, as well as ensuring Trainees are assessed to the same standard as previous and future cohorts.

AAPT fully supported this decision and agreed that the other options laid out by Government and the regulators – ‘calculate results’ or ‘adapt’ – simply weren’t feasible in regard to this qualification.

One of the issues here is communication.

There are three separate parties involved in the qualification:

  • RSPH (Awarding Body for the qualification)
  • North Tees & Hartlepool Solutions (Education Provider delivering the course in accordance with RSPH standards)
  • AAPT (provider of External Assessors who carry-out the candidates’ end-point assessment)

Communication was always going to be a challenge and, during the pandemic, with the volunteers who make-up the AAPT trying to manage their AAPT work alongside their day jobs, it’s been extremely challenging.

What is clear is that the communication from us all regarding the plan to get things back on track – once we’re able to – hasn’t been as clear and cohesive as it could have been and that this has caused uncertainty and anxiety amongst the current L3 cohorts.

With this in mind I will attempt to facilitate a discussion of this issue with each of the three parties, and attempt to issue a clear plan, specific to each of the current cohorts, that lays out how the remainder of the various assessments will be achieved once lockdown is lifted and it is safe and feasible for us to do so.

Hopefully, this will reduce the uncertainty Trainees are feeling and provide a clear, unified pathway for resumption of normal activity.

I’ll be in touch again once I have more information.

John Pitchers
Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology

News archive


Sponsors of