RSPH Level 3 Diploma Course

 in Anatomical Pathology Technology

Introduction to the course

In August 2013 the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) announced the new national qualification for trainee Anatomical Pathology Technologists - the Level 3 Diploma in APT. This qualification has been developed by the RSPH along with the Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) team and the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technologists (AAPT).

Unlike its predecessor the new diploma is fully accredited by Ofqual (601/0468/5) and will be the first step on the educational ladder in anatomical pathology technology, allowing upon successful completion, APTs to progress to a Level 4 Diploma, the level 5 foundation degree and then onto a level 6 BSc in Healthcare Science (APT).

North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has full approval from the RSPH to deliver the course and our registered centre number is: 4521.

The qualification is completed in modules over a 18 month with candidates completing 5 theory modules and 5 practical modules and completion of a portfolio of practical competency with assessment of practical standards by an external assessor.

The theory modules are delivered via the Centre / Venue with teaching days spread throughout the academic year. Candidate support (learning quires, email, online support,  and revision tools) is available in-between teaching sessions / visits.

The 5 theory modules are:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology for APTs

  • Governance & Administration of mortuary practices

  • Health & Safety in the mortuary

  • Microbiology & Infection control for APTs

  • Principals of effective communication for APTs



The theory modules are assessed by way of the candidate completing Centre / venue set assignments and RSPH examinations (examinations are required to be sat at the Centre / Venue).


The following practical modules are to be assessed within the candidate’s home mortuary by external assessors.

The 5 practical modules are:

  • Prepare for PM examination

  • Assist with PM examination

  • Viewing of the deceased

  • Preparation and operation of a mortuary

  • Effective team working


The practical aspects would be assessed by one of a national team of Academy for Health Care Science registered APT assessors and chosen by the  North Tees Centre to complete assessments within your own mortuary department.

Fees and inclusions

Last registration date for students is December each year before commencement of the Centre programme in January.

The total cost of this course is £2170.00 and includes:


  • All fees payable to the RSPH for examination and assignment submission –


  1. Candidate RSPH examination fee

  2. Assessor T&S costs (see below)

  3. External verification fees


  • 5 - 8  full online teaching days (dependant on venue)    


  • Online teaching material access


  • Regular planned access to the course facilitators for support for both the candidate and the mentor – email / telephone / online zoom meetings (arranged dates & times)


  • Lecture programme / notes from teaching modules

  • A recommended reading list and provision of some of the literature (Government guidelines for APT staff will be provided – all other books will not be provided)


  • Regular portfolio assessment / discussion / advice


  • Reasonable travel costs (not including accommodation) paid to external assessors to visit and assess the candidate within their own department – please note for assessments requiring travel outside of mainland UK it will be necessary for the additional costs to be met by your own department.

Discounts of approx. 20% off are available for any second applications submitted at the same time from the same Trust:


  • Cost for first Level 3 Diploma application: £2170.00

  • Cost for second Level 3 Diploma application: £1740.00


Additional course specific notes: Candidate travel and accommodation costs to attend the centre are not included.


Additional costs may be incurred if a candidate is required to retake any failed exams (£95 per resit)  as this attracts a further  RSPH fee. Additional costs will be discussed as required.


If a candidate; due to reasons beyond their immediate control is unable to attend the centre for a module; following discussion and approval with the centre, will be given reasonable support to allow the module to be completed via distance learning. If the candidate was required to hand in a written assessment during the time at the centre, this could be sent electronically or via recorded delivery to the centre to allow submission to the RSPH.


There are no in-year resits. Missed examinations and resits will be completed in the following academic year so can set back a candidates final result being announced by up to a 12 month period – it is recommended that candidates are aware of the exam dates in advance and ensure they can attend all dates.


Regular non – attendance may result in North Tees Centre being unable to support the candidate appropriately during the training period. This could result in the candidate being asked to leave the course with no refund of fees.


All fees must be paid in full prior to starting the course – please ensure either a cheque payment has been made or a purchase order number has been provided with the application - non payment of fees will result in the centre being unable to register a candidate with the RSPH and progress further with the course.


Refunds of fees are at the discretion of the centre and will be on a case by case basis following discussion with both candidate and mentor. As a minimum should a candidate leave the course prior to completion there will be an administration charge of £300.00 plus incurred teaching fees and RSPH examination fees which are non-refundable. Please ensure the candidate understands the commitment required to undertake the course prior to attending and payment of fees.


Candidates must ensure their behaviour is appropriate at all times whilst attending the centre and be reminded they are representing their respective organisation – concerns regarding a candidates behaviour will be discussed directly with their employers. 

See "Important notes to all candidates" for additional key points for candidates on our training courses.

Key information 


Next course: Level 3 Diploma APT (cohort 10)

Programme starting: 27/01/23

Cost: £2170.00 per candidate 

Final application (s) close date: 30/12/22


The course will require candidate attendance on the following :

  • x 5 Mandatory distant learning training days  - approx. 10am to 4:30 pm.

  • x 5 Optional revision seminar sessions  - approx. 10 am to 11:30.

  • x 4 Mandatory exams taken in the candidate's workplace - all level 3 exams are stat between 11am to 12pm.


See timetable below for specific key dates relating to this programme:

Page last updated: 01/03/22