The Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Histopathology Reporting - Gastrointestinal Tract Pathology/Gynaecological Pathology/Dermatopathology is overseen by a conjoint board with members from the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) and the IBMS. 

As a portfolio based training programme, it covers the broad-based elements of histopathology training and has four stages which each last for 12 months minimum and cover the broad-based elements of histopathology training.

Criteria and how to apply

To apply for the cervical cytology course, you must be an HCPC registered IBMS member at Member or Fellow grade with at least five years experience post-registration experience. 

IBMS Members are strongly recommended to have completed the IBMS Diploma of Expert Practice in Histological Dissection in the appropriate pathology. 

You are required to be working in a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited laboratory and have the support of your department with a view to becoming a member of the Histopathology Reporting Team. 

Also, you are expected to demonstrate a commitment from your Trust to provide both an Educational Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor who will support you through the training period. 


Applications can be received at any time during the year.

To apply, you must complete the application form and submit along with your supporting documentation to

Supporting documents
  • Evidence of commitment from your Educational Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor/Director through the provision of their details on the expression of interest form and a work/ job plan that must indicate the protected time the applicant will be given in order to undertake the pathway that they are applying for.
  • A letter of support from the Clinical Director and Medical Head of Department which should be counter-signed by a member of the Trust Executive Team.
  • A 300-word personal supporting statement which details your current role and experience and suitability for the programme

Although the Board reserve the right to undertake interviews, it is planned that admittance on to the training programme will depend solely on the information provided by the applicant.

Course and assessment

Training has four stages which each last for a minimum of 12 months whole time equivalent, covering the broad-based elements of histopathology training.

On successful completion of the first three stages (A-C), you will be awarded the RCPath/IBMS Advanced Specialist Diploma (ASD) in Histopathology Reporting – Dermatopathology/Gastrointestinal Tract Pathology/Gynaecological Pathology.

A fourth post-qualification preceptorship stage D exists, which aims to support the individual to achieve a level of competence and confidence consistent with that of a qualified medical consultant histopathologist to independently report defined specimen types.

On successful completion of Stage D you will be awarded a separate RCPath certificate.


RCPath are responsible for delivering the Stage A and Stage C examinations. The IBMS oversee and administer the assessment of the portfolios for Stages A, B and C.

The Conjoint Board is responsible for making a recommendation to RCPath Council of the successful completion of Stage D. For each stage, the full requirements of the portfolio must be met before it can be submitted.

For more information, please refer to the histopathology reporting assessment arrangements document.

Course dates and submitting
Key Dates

Friday 4 March 2022
Stage A portfolio deadline

Wednesday 23 March 2022
Stage A examination

Friday 1 July 2022 - Friday 2 September 2022
Stage C portfolio submission window

October 2022 - TBC
Stage C Examination

Further information can be found in the histopathology reporting assessment arrangements document.


Submitting your portfolio

You must submit your portfolio electronically, hard copies will not be accepted. Please scan your portfolio and training logbook and send via email to to download the files. 

Due to the large file size of the portfolio we recommend that you send your documents using a file sharing system such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Docs or WeTransfer, then send the link to