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 two 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 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:
Basic Pathological Sciences Examination
This is a multiple-choice question exam that provides a foundational base in pathology. The RCPA recommends taking the BPS examination as early as possible. It is open to RCPA Trainees, prevocational doctors, and students of medicine, dentistry and science. See here for more information.
Discipline specialty Part I
This is usually taken in the third year of training.
Discipline specialty Part II
This is usually taken in the fifth or final year of training.