Pathology involves the assessment and diagnosis of patients with diseases. Includes anatomical pathology (including histopathology), chemical pathology, general pathology (a mix of anatomical and clinical pathology), genetics, haematology, immunology, and microbiology (including virology).

Vocational training in New Zealand

Vocational training in pathology can be undertaken:

  • solely in laboratory pathology, leading to Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (FRCPA), or
  • in both laboratory pathology and its associated clinical discipline, leading to two Fellowships – the FRCPA and the Fellowship of the of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP).

Am I able to apply to work as a recognised specialist in New Zealand?

To apply for vocational registration in pathology, you need:

  • the FRCPA qualification (to work only in laboratory pathology);
  • the FRCPA and FRACP (to work in laboratory pathology and its associated clinical discipline); or
  • an international postgraduate medical qualification in pathology, where your combination of qualifications, training and experience is assessed against the standard of the FRCPA (and the FRACP if applicable).

What standard will my training, qualifications and experience be compared against?

Recognised specialists in New Zealand must complete 6 years of training and meet the requirements below:

  • at least 1 year of general medical experience
  • 5 years of advanced training
  • training in at least two laboratories
  • specialise in general pathology, or one of the sub-branches
  • pass the Basic Pathological Sciences Examination in their first year of training
  • pass the FRCPA Part I examination in a chosen subspecialty in the third year of advanced training
  • pass the FRCPA Part II examination in a chosen subspecialty in the fifth year of advanced training
  • participate in the RCPA continuing professional development programme.

Once a trainee has successfully completed all the examination and training requirements they will be awarded the FRCPA.

I want to make a vocational registration application

To make a vocational registration application, please refer to the Vocational Registration Homepage and select the option appropriate for you.

Am I able to apply for other types of registration?

You may be able to apply for more than one type of registration. To find out which is the best fit for you, please use our self assessment tool.