The AAPT are delighted to report that our Vice-Chair Lydia Judge-Kronis has been admitted to the register of Chartered Scientists
Lydia, congratulations on becoming the very first Chartered Scientist on the AAPT register, and only the second APT to ever achieve CSci. What inspired you to make the application?
I have been a practising APT for a long time and have seen the role evolve significantly. I have never studied for a degree and have completed the majority of my educational and professional qualifications whilst an APT.
I wanted to be able to demonstrate my ability and equivalence in the professional arena and I felt that this was the most appropriate path to achieve that. Many of my colleagues are from biomedical science, nursing or university backgrounds and I regularly work with other disciplines to review, develop and produce policies. I wanted to address my ‘imposter syndrome’ and demonstrate that I belong in the same professional forums even though my educational background and scope of experience are different.
Many APTs might not feel they can apply for CSci given they do not hold a M-Level qualification. Can you give some insight into the equivalency process that you followed in order to meet the standards?
This is not a tick box exercise, it is a deep personal reflection and demonstration of scope of practice, experience and ability.
As such it takes a significant amount of time, but it is extremely satisfactory to have achieved it. Don’t be put off by worrying about whether you can meet the criteria, start thinking about the examples you could use and give a panoramic view of what you have achieved and how your involvement has delivered service, inspired others, provided modern practice etc.
I used many different examples throughout my application as I really wanted to demonstrate the breadth of, and how my involvement had altered process, outcome, and/or care. Communication and language are key and it is important to be able to blend communication style according to the situation and the audience. Demonstrating an ability to do this I felt was important, along with explaining the things that hadn’t ended as expected with rationale of how I overcame this for future similar events, or developed scope of practice as a preventative measure.
Did the AAPT CPD Portfolio prove useful when submitting the required record of your learning & CPD?
I achieved my ninth CPD certificate in 2022 and previously helped develop the AAPT CPD assessment expectations so I am somewhat biased. I found it a very useful aide memoire as it is hard to remember everything that I have done over the last 12 months.
This enabled me to refresh myself and really demonstrate my progress in different areas. I was also able to look back over previous years to build a picture of my personal and professional journey in career progression and wider service developments.
As the Vice-Chair of the AAPT, I know you will want to inspire other mortuary managers to make a Chartered application. How can the AAPT help others make the jump and how does professional registration align with the overall AAPT strategy?
As an advocate for regulation this is a great first step.
There can be some resistance to becoming registered as it is not usually a necessity with very little demand from employers for APTs to do this. It can be easy to become demotivated and ‘not have time’ but actually you are allowed to invest time in you and this is a good way to refresh your memory on how far you’ve come in your career.
I believe it is important to put your head above the parapet and demonstrate the commitment you have given as an APT and reward yourself with the recognition of the work you’ve put in to become a mortuary manager. You can do this, and whilst it may be difficult to get the motivation to start, or you may have started and then deferred, don’t give up! AAPT can help with guidance, and give examples of what you can use to boost your application. Until you start writing down everything you don’t realise how much you do or have done.
This is absolutely in line with the AAPT strategy 2021-2025 as it aligns nicely with many subsections within the themes. The strategy has the profession at heart and although we recognise change takes time, every small achievement adds up to build a solid and robust foundation for APTs in the future.
Did you feel supported during the application process both in-house and by the AAPT?
Absolutely fantastic support from Yasmin at the Science Council, very approachable and encouraging.
The AAPT support was excellent. Christian encouraged me to aim high and made sure there was support, this was definitely available. I wobbled a few times mainly due to equivalence and was unsure I’d meet the criteria (not having a degree), however with encouragement and examples of evidence I was confident that what I was writing was valid. My application was sponsored by the Lead Consultant Pathologist.
They encouraged me to complete the process, helped me sense check some areas and supported my submission. I believe this was important because it helped me validate my application as a senior health care professional.
Last question, when completing a CSci level application, I always inform biomedical scientists in the NHS that, at the very least, you would be working at Band 7 (or equivalent). This would likely be the case for the majority of APTs working as mortuary managers. What experiences do you feel an applicant can draw upon in order to meet the CSci standards?
There is so much we do that isn’t known about in the wider healthcare community.
The engagement with a vast pool of stakeholders and service users, many with complex needs, is a daily experience for many of us. Each mortuary manager will have their own examples so some ideas are: changes in process to improve care after death, implementing and auditing procedures that ensure licensable activities are undertaken properly, mentoring team members, assessing students, supporting families, developing policy, writing business cases, research projects, publications.
There’s so much you can include, just read the question, take time to formulate your evidence and tell your story.