RSPH Level 3 Diploma Top Up 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 qualification is completed in 10 modules with candidates completing:


5  theory modules:

  • For units 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 you will need to produce a CPD portfolio for submission to North Tees.

  • For unit 3.4 you will need to complete an examination and submit an assignment set by North Tees.

  • For unit 3.5 you will need to submit and assignment set by North Tees.

Assignments are marked by the centre and examinations are marked through the RSPH.

The theory modules are to be completed online with additional support / teaching via email, online support and various distance learning tools via this web site.

5 practical modules:


  • For units 3.6 to 3.10 you will need to  complete of a portfolio of practical competency with assessment of practical standards by an external assessor.

The work based practical  modules are to be completed in the work place by collection of evidence relating to the learning outcomes for each practical unit.  


You will need a work based mentor (e.g. pathologist, line manager, colleague) to countersign and verify all evidence to be submitted in the portfolio. 

The practical modules (including portfolio of evidence) are assessed within the candidate’s Trust mortuary by external assessors.



The 5 theory modules are:

  • 3.1 Human Anatomy & Physiology for APTs (RPL)

  • 3.2 Governance & Administration of mortuary practices (RPL)

  • 3.3 Health & Safety in the mortuary (RPL)

  • 3.4 Microbiology & Infection control for APTs (Theory)

  • 3.5 Principals of effective communication for APTs (Theory)


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


Fees and inclusions

Most of the teaching is via distance learning and all students need to be registered by the end of January at the latest to commence training - this will allow sufficient time for preparation of the Microbiology exam at the centre in July of the same year.

The total cost of this course is £670.00 and includes:


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


  1. Candidate RSPH examination fee

  2. External verification fees

  • Online teaching resources with online support. 


  • Online library access


  • Access online to the course facilitators for support for both the candidate and the mentor – email, blog and  forum.


  • Online lecture programme / notes. 


  • Regular assignment updates / self assessment questions to monitor progress


  • 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.


Please note: 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 modules as this attracts a further per module RSPH fee. We will endeavour to keep any additional costs to a minimum. Additional costs will be discussed as required.


There are no in-year resits. Missed examinations and resits will be completed in the following 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.


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 £200.00 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. All candidates will be expected to sign a confidentiality agreement and a social media disclaimer to ensure that the business of NT&HNHSFT is not affected by adverse publicity and for the confidentiality of patients within our care.

North Tees Centre, Hardwick Rd, Hardwick, Stockton-on-Tees TS19 8PE