General Information

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia accredits sites for pathology and other specialist training, approves supervised training undertaken at an accredited site and conducts examinations leading to certification as a qualified pathologist/specialist and Fellow of the College (FRCPA) or one of its faculties.


The College accepts applications from registered medical practitioners with a minimum of two years of postgraduate experience, who wish to become specialist pathologists in General or Clinical Pathology or in one of the single disciplines: Anatomical Pathology, Chemical Pathology, Genetic Pathology, Forensic Pathology, Haematology, Immunopathology or Microbiology. Training in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology is open to both medical and dental practitioners. 
Applicants for pathology training 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.
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 fellowship of both colleges. A reciprocal program involving both colleges is also available for clinical and laboratory genetics.
All candidates must pass or be exempt from the Basic Pathological Sciences examination which may be taken before commencement of training. It is open to any intern, medical or dental student in their final year as well as registered trainees, usually in the first year of training.


The RCPA faculties offer Fellowship training programs for senior clinical scientists, clinical forensic medicine specialists and forensic odontologists (Faculty of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology).


Discipline-specific curricula, including examination and workplace-based assessment requirements, are detailed in the Curriculum/Training Handbooks
List of RCPA accredited training sites
The policy on Admission to College Training Programs is applicable to all RCPA programs. There is also a Guideline for Selection of Pathology Trainees.
Please refer to the important dates for training for submission dates of forms and reports, and for timing of examinations.

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