Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology


A personal perspective of the AAPT CPD portfolio

As an Honorary Affiliate of the AAPT, I am fortunate to be able to access and use the on-line AAPT CPD Portfolio.

In January each year, like many of you, I undertake my annual appraisal and performance review.

This also allows for objective setting for the next 12 months.

Introduced in 2016, the on-line AAPT CPD portfolio replaced the old hard copy CPD scheme and enables AAPT members to:

  • Keep a continuous CPD diary of activities undertaken
  • Create CPD activity codes based on the type of CPD undertaken
  • Reflect on each and every CPD activity undertaken
  • Upload documents for each CPD activity - as both evidence and for reference
  • Submit for the AAPT CPD Diploma if attainment of 100 credits (including a minimum of 30 Reflective credits) in a two-year period

The AAPT CPD portfolio was a really useful tool that enabled me to keep a basic CPD diary and, when it came to appraisal, a reference for reminding of activities undertaken in the last year.

I have to admit I had forgotten I had chaired a session at the Annual Educational Event (AEE) and by recording the activity back in September, I could reference this at appraisal as an example of a new learning experience.

And, of course, I also took the opportunity to reflect on the activity and how I might improve if undertaking a similar task in the future.

For APTs who are registered with the Science Council you are likely to be CPD audited/reviewed each year.

The Science Council CPD standards are as follows:

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date, accurate and reflective record of their CPD activities and be able to provide supporting evidence if requested
  • demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice
  • seek to ensure that their CPD has benefited the quality of their practice and reflect upon this.
  • seek to ensure that their CPD has benefited the users of their work (employee, customer, student etc.) and reflect upon this.
  • Present a written profile containing evidence of their CPD on request.

What CPD might an AAPT member have undertaken in the last year and how does that fit into the Science Council categories?

As a starter for ten, the following might be appropriate:

Work based learning

For APTs of all job grades, during the pandemic, how did your mortuary implement the Guidance for care of the deceased with suspected or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) from the UK Health Security Agency?

Other examples during the pandemic might be the introduction of additional storage for example. What steps did the team, and you, take to maintain the service?

Professional Activity

Examples could include mentoring trainee APTs or being an assessor for the AAPT.

If you have been involved in the work of the AAPT, on any of the sub-committees or at a regional level, these are also ideal CPD activities for this category. You might be involved in local managerial networks or have undertaken DVI exercises.


Obvious examples will be attainment of the Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma in Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology). Undertaking the Read Test & Reflect (RTR) exercises is another great example of CPD that is free for AAPT members.

You might have participated in the AAPT webinars throughout the year, undertaken consent training or attended the Annual Educational Event.

Self-directed learning

Self-directed learning examples can include the reading of relevant guidance documents and articles. The AAPT introduced a specific COVID-19 section of the AAPT website and there is also a dedicated publications and resources domain.


Voluntary activities might include helping in vaccination centres or involvement with promoting the profession to those wishing to pursue a career as an APT.

In summary, the AAPT CPD portfolio is an essential resource for APTs, and my key messages would be:

  • Think of the portfolio as a diary and record regularly
  • You do not have to reflect immediately, but do choose certain activities whereby you can describe benefits to self, service and users of your service
  • Do not panic about credits – they are the glue to keep the portfolio together and a useful target to reach, but the relevance of the CPD undertaken is the most important aspect!
  • Maintain an up-to-date CV as this is required for CPD audit if called by the Science Council

Christian Burt

Secretary to the AAPT Council


IBMS "How To" Guide on Reflection

Science Council CPD standards


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