Histopathology Reporting

Demonstrate the highest levels of knowledge and skill and advance your career with an Advanced Specialist Diploma 

The RCPath/IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Histopathology Reporting - Gastrointestinal Tract Pathology/Gynaecological Pathology/Dermatopathology is a portfolio based training programme covering the broad-based elements of histopathology training. 

The training has three stages each of which will last for a minimum of 12 months covering the broad-based elements of histopathology training and will lead to the RCPath/IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Histopathology Reporting - Gastrointestinal Tract Pathology/ Gynaecological Pathology/Dermatopathology.  

Joint Statement on Histopathology Reporting

May 2017 - The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) have come together to produce 'The Role of Biomedical Scientists in Histopathology Reporting: A Joint Statement from the RCPath and the IBMS'. The statement can be found here.

Articles on Histopathology Reporting

In the July 2018 edition of the Biomedical Scientist Dr Jo Horne, Dr Gerry van Schalkwyk and Mr Andrew Usher discuss the progress of the histopathology reporting programme and looked to the future. The article can be accessed here.

In the February 2020 edition of the Biomedical Scientist Dr Jo Horne and Dr Bryan Green took a further look at the Histopathology Reporting Qualifications and developing an expert, collaborative histopathology team. This article can be accessed here.

Bowel Cancer Screening Programme SOP Revision

October 2019 - The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme now recognises scientists who are qualified with the IBMS/RCPath Advanced Specialist Diploma in Histopathology Reporting and who are employed as advanced practitioners or consultants to report bowel screening histopathology samples. For more details click here.

Further information

Who can apply for Histopathology Reporting

Applicants must be a Member or Fellow of the IBMS, a HCPC registered biomedical or clinical scientist, with at least five years experience post-registration experience. 

If you are a Member of the IBMS it is strongly recommended that you have completed the IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Histological Dissection in the appropriate pathology before apply to undertaking the RCPath/IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Histopathology Reporting.

You must also:  

  • be working in a UK laboratory which has UKAS/CPA accreditation
  • have the support of your department with a view to the candidate eventually becoming a member of the Histopathology Reporting Team
  • demonstrate a commitment from your Trust to provide both an Educational Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor who will support you through the training period

Histopathology Reporting Application Process

2020 Application Process (Updated 29 July)

The application window for the next (2020) intake of the Histopathology Reporting qualification is now open. Applications must be received by Friday 18 September 2020. All the necessary information including the application form can be found here.

Histopathology Reporting - Stage D

On the successful completion of the ASD a Stage D of training will need to be undertaken. This is a post-qualification 'preceptorship' stage that aims to support the individual to achieve a post-qualification competence and confidence consistent with that of a qualified medical consultant histopathologist to independently report defined specimen types.

Stage D of Histopathology Reporting Training

On completion of the Stage D qualification the Histopathology Reporting Conjoint Board makes a recommendation to the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) Council for candidates to be awarded their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

Histopathology Reporting curriculum guidance and model job descriptors

The guidance documents below provide information to both candidates and trainers on the requirements of Stages A to C of the Diploma in Histopathology Reporting. The guidance includes information on the curriculum and what needs to be included in the portfolio for each stage and the assessment indicators against which that will be assessed. It also includes information on the examination arrangements for Stage A and C. Please note that these documents are subject to change as processes may be amended as the qualification continues.

Guidance to Candidates and Trainers - Gastrointestinal Pathology

Guidance to Candidates and Trainers - Gynaecological Pathology

Guidance to Candidates and Trainers - Dermatopathology

Please note that the dermatopathology guidance is subject to change as the specimen types listed in the appendix may be amended.

In addition please note that the guidance states a requirement for seven years post-registration experience however following a decision made by the Conjoint Board this has been reduced to at least five years experience post-registration experience. 

Please contact the IBMS Examinations Team for further information.

Model Job Descriptors

The College is keen to support pathology services appointing consultant healthcare scientists. Currently, the College has a series of model job descriptions available, for consultant healthcare scientists who are employed to help cellular pathology services report on: 

  • gastrointestinal pathology
  • gynaecological pathology
  • dermatopathology.

These job descriptions have been created by the College in conjunction with the Institute of Biomedical Science and can be used to:

  • ensure your job description contains a proper balance of clinical activities and academic, research and managerial activities (where relevant)
  • check there are sufficient support and facilities to enable these activities to be performed
  • make the job description appealing to potential candidates.

They can be found on the RCPath website here:

Histopathology Reporting examination process 2020

2020 Assessment Arrangements - The arrangements for the assessment of each Stage of the Histopathology Reporting qualification for 2020 are available here.

Applications to undertake the Stage A or Stage C exam must be made directly to the College. All the necessary information can be found on their website here:

The application form for the submission of the portfolio can be found here.

18 September Update: Update for Stage A BMS Reporting Examination

The Stage A exam for the Histopathology Reporting qualification is currently scheduled for early November 2020. The College is currently making arrangements for this to happen. Once a date has been agreed with the examiners, this will be published on the College website and all examinations details will be communicated directly to candidates by e-mail after the closing deadline.

18 September Update: Update for Stage C BMS Reporting Examination

Candidates will need to apply directly to the College to sit the Stage C exams. The application window is likely to be in early October 2020 with the exams taking place in early 2021. As soon as these arrangements are confirmed this page will be updated.

Histopathology Reporting Assessment Derogation - July 2020 Update

At the recent Histopathology Reporting Conjoint Board there was a discussion around the difficulties that candidates are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in gaining the sufficient number of reported cases required for the portfolio.

It was agreed that a temporary assessment derogation should be introduced. Candidates should therefore note that up to 20% of the required cases can be ‘blind’ or ‘teaching’ cases. These cases should be clearly identified in the Case Log and there should be appropriate reflection on such cases. Case Reviews should take place on cases reported by the candidate and not on these cases.

This derogation currently applies only for candidates aiming to submit their portfolio later this year or in 2021. This arrangement will be reviewed in light of the progression and further impact that the virus outbreak may have.

IBMS Reporting Examination Preparation Days - The North of England Pathology and Screening Education Centre (NEPSEC) run examination preparation days aimed at those on the reporting qualification. There is no obligation to attend these particular events however they are aimed at those undertaking the reporting qualification.

Stage A: The next Stage A preparation day is scheduled for Monday 1 February 2021. Information about  the event can be found here

Stage C: The Stage C preparation day which was scheduled for Tuesday 3 November 2020 has unfortunately, due to the COVID situation, been cancelled. If you have any queries about the Stage C exam please contact the IBMS Head of Examinations ( who will be able to put you in touch with one of the deliverers of this preparation day who will be able to give you advice and guidance on this exam.