Curriculum/Training Handbooks

The College offers five training programs dependent upon entry qualification and experience.

  • Fellowship of the RCPA for medical graduates
  • Fellowship of the Faculty of Clinical Forensic Medicine 
  • Fellowship of the Faculty of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
  • Fellowship of the Faculty of Science, for science graduates
  • Post-Fellowship Diplomas, for existing RCPA Fellows who wish to pursue a sub-speciality

Discipline-specific handbooks for each program can be downloaded from this page. They contain detailed information on learning outcomes, activities and assessment. They must be read in conjunction with the RCPA Trainee Handbook - Administrative Requirements, which contains essential information relevant to all programs.

Changes to discipline specific handbooks

Changes to the medical (except Clinical Forensic Medicine) and dental trainee handbooks were introduced in 2021. These were approved by the Board of Education and Assessment, following consultation with RCPA Fellows and Trainees.

The changes are aligned with the AMC and MCNZ accreditation standards for our curricula. They are intended to provide clear definition of expectations of trainees as they progress through training, particularly with respect to the ‘non-technical’ domains including professionalism, communication, leadership and scholarship. They are expressed as milestones at the levels of:

  • Foundation: first year of training
  • Core: mid program/part 1 level
  • Transition to Fellowship: end of program standard

Assessment requirements are detailed in each handbook.


Fellowship of RCPA for Medical Graduates  

From January 2019 the Fellowship in Anatomical Pathology no longer requires training or assessment in autopsy. Trainees who wish to have evidence of competency in autopsy are required to undertake a separate Autopsy Certificate.


Clinical Genetics and Genetic Pathology Reciprocal Training Arrangement Guide

This guide has been developed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPA) to provide trainees and supervisors with advice on how to complete Advanced Physician Training in Clinical Genetics concurrently with training in Genetic Pathology.

For RACP related queries, please go to Clinical Genetics and Genetic Pathology Reciprocal Training Queries

Further details can be found here

The Faculty of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology offers training for two fellowships. The Fellowship in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology is open to registered dental practitioners in addition to medical graduates.

The Fellowship in Forensic Odontology involves the application of extensive dental-specific knowledge to legal and criminal issues and is open to registered dental practitioners. Forensic Odontology is a new discipline for the College having called for founding fellows in 2013. The College currently has accredited training sites in Sydney and Melbourne. Please direct any queries to

Re: RCPA Post-Fellowship Diploma Training Programs – Name change

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), along with all 15 Specialist Medical Colleges in Australia, has been notified by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA), which registers and regulates higher education providers delivering accredited courses of study, that the College can no longer use the title of ‘Diploma’ for its Post-Fellowship training programs. This mandate comes into force on 1 January 2024.

The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC), on behalf of all 15 Specialist Medical Colleges, tried to convince the Department of Education to stop the restriction from coming into effect, but was not able to overturn the Department’s decision to enforce the legislation.

The RCPA has therefore taken the steps to rebadge all future Post-Fellowship Diplomas as Post-Fellowship Certificates.  In accordance with TESQA’s mandate, candidates will be awarded a Post-Fellowship Certificate from 1 January 2024.

The RCPA Post-Fellowship Diploma Programs affected are:

  • Biochemical Genetic Pathology
  • Cytopathology
  • Dermatopathology
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Neuropathology
  • Paediatric Pathology

These will all be rebadged as Post-Fellowship Certificates. This only affects our training programs going forward. Fellows awarded a Post-Fellowship Diploma before 31 December 2023 may continue to use the term Diploma.

If you would like further information, please email the RCPA’s Training and Education team via

Post-Fellowship certificate in Biochemical Genetic Pathology

Post-Fellowship certificate in Cytopathology

NB Enquiries regarding this program are to be made to the College directly via


Post-Fellowship certificate in Dermatopathology

Post-Fellowship certificate in Forensic Pathology

Post-Fellowship certificate in Neuropathology
Post-Fellowship certificate in Paediatric Pathology

The Training and Assessment Pathway will be offered for those who do not meet RPL requirements, but who require upskilling in molecular/genomic methods within their discipline. Requirements for this pathway will be fulfilled through attainment of competency, rather than by a defined training time, with appropriate supervision and both formative and summative assessments. If you wish to undertake in the Training and Assessment Pathway or require further information regarding this pathway, please contact the College at

Anatomical Pathology

Chemical Pathology




From January 2019 the Fellowship in Anatomical Pathology no longer requires training or assessment in autopsy. Trainees who wish to have evidence of competency in autopsy are required to undertake a separate Autopsy Certificate.

The Autopsy Certificate handbook describes pathways to certification in three categories of certificate: perinatal, paediatric and adult.

The Certificate may be done either during Fellowship training in Anatomical or General Pathology or as a post-Fellowship certificate and will be available for:

  • New entrants from beginning 2019 and
  • Current trainees who have not already done the formal autopsy assessment
Please email any queries to 

The College has instituted the Certificate in Forensic Medicine (Cert For Med) as a qualification for candidates not eligible for the Fellowship or Post-Fellowship Diploma in Forensic Pathology. The Certificate in Forensic Medicine is set at a standard below that of Fellowship and of the Diploma in Forensic Pathology, to provide some assurance of competence and analytical ability in the major areas of forensic pathology. An updated version of the Trainee handbook will be available in the future.

For those pursuing Semen Analysis module certification, please refer to the Schedule of Fees page here for the associated Application costs.

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