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General Information

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia accredits laboratories for pathology training, approves supervised training undertaken in an accredited laboratory and conducts examinations leading to certification as a qualified pathologist and Fellow of the College (FRCPA).

The College accepts applications from registered medical practitioners with a minimum of one year's post graduate experience, who wish to become a specialist pathologist. Applicants must be employed in an accredited laboratory before seeking registration with the College. Laboratories are accredited for training in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. The College plays no part in placing applicants in employment. Pathology training takes a minimum of five years.

Selection of Trainees Guidelines

Training can be undertaken in General or Clinical Pathology or in one of the single disciplines:  Anatomical Pathology, Chemical Pathology, Genetic Pathology, Forensic Pathology, Haematology, Immunopathology or Microbiology.

The College also offers a Fellowship of the Faculty of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. This is open to both medical and dental practitioners. The RCPA training program is linked to training programs of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Chemical Pathology, Haematology, Immunopathology and Microbiology. If you choose these disciplines you may choose to undertake conjoint training and attain dual Fellowships of both Colleges.

Training involves 5 years in accredited laboratories and sitting the following 3 exams:

The examination may be taken before commencement of training. The examination is open to all medical or dental final year students or graduates as well as to registered trainees. For trainees, the examination is usually taken in the first year of training.

This is usually taken in the third year of training.

  1. Basic Pathological Sciences Examination

    The examination may be taken before commencement of training. The examination is open to any intern, medical or dental student in their final year as well as registered trainees. It is usually taken in the first year of training.

  2. Discipline specialty Part I

    This is usually taken in the third year of training.

  3. Discipline specialty Part II

    This is usually taken in the fifth or final year of training.

Curriculum/Training Handbooks