The Royal College of Pathologists is the competent and authoritative body for professional training and standards in the pathology specialties in the UK. Fellowship of the College (FRCPath) is a widely respected indicator of specialist status and evidence of a commitment to high professional standards in the science and practice of pathology.
The College maintains parity in professional standing and esteem between the three routes to FRCPath by seeking appropriate evidence of knowledge, skills and achievement. FRCPath alone grants no right or authority for unsupervised clinical practice in a pathology specialty. For clinical practice in the UK, this right and authority is conferred by specialist registration by the General Medical Council and by equivalent registration processes for dental practitioners and clinical scientists.
The College is granted the status of a registered charity in the UK in recognition that its principal role is to benefit patients and the public through high standards in the science and practice of pathology. Supporting this vital work through subscriptions is evidence of College Fellows' professionalism in practice.
Supported by members’ subscriptions, work done by the College includes:
- providing the infrastructure to support training in the pathology specialties
- providing advice on establishing, approving and maintaining training programmes; approving educational job descriptions and maintaining a network of specialty advisers
- organising academic activities, including the planning and organising of scientific meetings
- providing a conduit for academic and research funding for studentships and fellowships
- providing ready access to the public perspective on pathology through the Lay Advisory Committee
- collecting workforce data and lobbying the UK governments on workforce issues
- responding to consultation by UK governments and independent healthcare providers, and providing the expert pathology perspective
- proactively approaching the UK governments and independent healthcare providers on issues relating to pathology
- representing the pathology specialties on many external bodies and agencies
- advising on job descriptions, representation on Advisory Appointments Committees (other than in Scotland) and guidance on the employment of locums
- operating an audited continuing professional development scheme
- servicing the College’s Regional Councils
- advising NHS organisations, the independent sector and the public on matters relating to pathology.
Individual benefits of Fellowship include:
- advice on professional standards, appraisal and revalidation
- assistance with workforce planning and other issues
- advice on dealing with the media and press enquiries
- guidance on workload management
- opportunities to influence the development of standards of professional training and practice
- copies of the Bulletin and the Annual Report
- entitlement to attend the Annual General Meeting
- access to the restricted Fellows area of the College website
- access to the online membership handbook (log-in required)
- discounts on registration fees for the College’s scientific meetings
- preferential rates at designated hotels when used for overnight stays on College business
- discounts on pathology titles and journals
- eligibility for election or co-option to the main College Council and Regional Councils
- eligibility to become an examiner for the College
- opportunities to serve as a College representative on other bodies and agencies
- entitlement to use the letters ‘FRCPath’ as a personal qualification
- guidance on consent and ethics, specifically applied to the pathology specialties
- maintaining College Fellowship as a public marker of professional esteem and standing.