Medical & Scientific Organisations Involved in Pathology

Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists – AACB

The Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB) was founded in 1961 and its objectives are:

  • To advance the study and practice of clinical biochemistry,
  • To disseminate knowledge of the principles and practice of clinical biochemistry, and
  • To protect and promote the interests of clinical biochemists.

The Association provides:

  • Contact with over 1,000 professional colleagues
  • Regular scientific meetings organised through Branches
  • Annual Scientific Conferences
  • National and local education courses
  • Scientific workshops
  • Professional examinations
  • Scholarships, awards and scientific grants
  • Regular publications
  • An informative website
  • A continuing professional development monitoring program (with AIMS)

The membership of the Association consists predominantly of individuals working in Clinical Biochemistry departments of hospitals, private laboratories and university departments. It also includes members working in related medical sciences such as Endocrinology, Immunology, Haematology and Physiology.

The AACB is the major professional society for practicing clinical biochemists in Australia and New Zealand and is directly affiliated with the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) and Asian and Pacific Federation of Clinical Biochemistry (APFCB).

Pathology Australia – PA

Pathology Australia is the national peak body for private pathology in Australia. Our members include both small specialized laboratories as well as large corporations with laboratories nationwide.

Australian Institute of Medical Scientists – AIMS

The Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS) is a professional organisation representing some 2000 medical scientists from all disciplines of pathology and associated industries.

It is involved in establishing and maintaining the high academic and professional standards of medical scientists employed in Australian medical laboratories. The institute also provides medical scientists with the opportunity to continually update their professional knowledge through national and state scientific meetings, a scientific journal and postgraduate programmes such as the Fellowship.

AIMS has a minimum requirements standards document for degree level courses in medical laboratory science offered by Australian universities and undertakes regular reviews to ensure the courses meet these standards.

AIMS is also the body to which the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) has delegated the authority to assess the skills and qualifications of those people who are applying to migrate to Australia under the Commonwealth’s General Skilled Migration Program as medical scientists or medical laboratory technical officers. AIMS carries out these assessments on behalf of AEI-NOOSR.

Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion – ANZSBT

The Australian & New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) comprises members from diverse scientific, technical and medical backgrounds working within the areas of blood transfusion and transfusion medicine within Australia and New Zealand.

The broad aims of the ANZSBT are:

  • The advancement of knowledge in blood transfusion and transfusion medicine
  • The promotion of improved standards in the practice of blood transfusion
  • The collaboration with international and other regional societies interested in blood
  • The promotion of interest in research into blood transfusion and allied subjects
  • The formulation of guidelines in key areas of transfusion practice

Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy – ASCIA

ASCIA is a professional non profit organisation, comprised predominantly of clinical immunologists, allergy specialists and immunology scientists.

The specific objectives of ASCIA are to promote and advance the study and knowledge of immune and allergic diseases, including asthma.

Australian Society of Cytology – ASC

The Objects of the Society are:

  • To provide a forum for exchange of ideas on cytology;
  • To foster an interest in the training of cytologists;
  • To endeavour to achieve uniformity in the interpretation and reporting of cytological findings;
  • To advance the knowledge and standards of cytology by means of seminars, lectures, case conferences and publication of relevant material in existing journals or by the publication of broadsheets;
  • To encourage research in cytology;
  • To establish liaison with similar bodies having similar aims in other countries;
  • To represent the special interests of cytological services before the various levels of government, and other organisations representing the interests of the professions and health services.

Australian Society for Microbiology – ASM

The main objective of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM) is to advance the science of microbiology in Australia.

It does this through the production and promotion of reading material, lectures, seminars, symposia and demonstrations on topics relevant to microbiology, as well as establishing and maintaining suitable standards for the practice of microbiology as a profession. ASM also promotes the awareness of microbiology and its role in everyday life, and actively liaises with governments and other professional bodies at both State and Federal levels in support of its members and the profession

The ASM was formed in 1959 as a learned society devoted to furthering the science of microbiology. Its founders included such eminent Australian scientists as Sir MacFarlane Burnet OM, AK, KBE, FAA, FRS, Emeritus Professor Frank Fenner AC, CMG, MBE, FAA, FRS, and Professor Sydney Rubbo.

The ASM became an incorporated professional society in 1976 and now has a membership of over 3,200.

Endocrine Society of Australia – ESA

The Endocrine Society of Australia is a national non-profit organisation of scientists and clinicians who conduct research and practice in the field of Endocrinology.

The society was founded in 1958 and incorporated in 1986 in the State of Victoria.

Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand – HSANZ

The Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand came into being in 1998 after the amalgamation of the Haematology Society of Australia and the New Zealand Society for Haematology. The aims of the Society are to promote, develop and assist the study of, dissemination of knowledge in and advancement of the discipline of haematology.

Human Genetics Society of Australasia – HGSA

The Human Genetics Society of Australasia provides a forum for those dedicated to the study, investigation and practice of Human Genetics with the following objectives:

  • High ethical standards among those working in Human Genetics.
  • Communication between those working in Human Genetics.
  • Training and professional recognition for those involved in Human Genetics.
  • Professional and lay education about Human Genetics.
  • Promotion of public awareness of Human Genetics.
  • Consideration and comment upon matters relevant to Human Genetics or the interests of the Society.
  • Representation of the interests of Human Genetics and those working in the field, and of the Society and its members, in public, professional, governmental and other forums.
  • Promotion and support of research in Human Genetics.

Health Informatics Society of Australia - HISA

HISA is a scientific society established in 1993. Health informatics is the science and practice around information in health that leads to informed and assisted healthcare. E-health defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘the combined use of electronic communication and information technology in the health sector’ is a sub-discipline of health informatics as Pathology Informatics is.

HISA provides a national focus for health informatics, its practitioners (health informaticians), industry and users. It develops policy, advocates on behalf of its members and provides opportunities for learning and professional development in health informatics. Its membership is drawn from consumers, clinicians and other health information systems users as well as engineers, scientists, technologists, systems developers, managers, psychologists, lawyers, policy officers and researchers.

HISA has special interest groups in pathology, nursing, aged care, allied health, management, IHE and privacy. One of the education activities of the Society is the annual national conference which attracts around 1000 delegates and features a sizeable trade show and the country's only interoperability demonstration.

HISA is the national affiliate of the International Medical Informatics Society (, convener of the Coalition for eHealth ( and is involved in the organisation of the triennial World Congress on Pathology Informatics which is to be held next in Boston in September 2010.

International Academy of Pathology Limited - IAP

The International Academy of Pathology (IAP) is the premier association for Anatomical Pathologists worldwide. There are divisions of the organisation in virtually all countries of the world.

The Australasian Division of the International Academy of Pathology came into existence as an unincorporated body in 1972. The Inaugural Meeting was held on 30 June, 1973 under the presidency of Dr Vincent J McGovern. The Division was incorporated in June 1984 “to conduct the operations of the International Academy of Pathology, Inc and to promote the objectives of that Academy in any part of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the independent states of Papua New Guinea and in such other countries and territories in the south west Pacific region in which there is no existing division of the International Academy of Pathology Inc.”.

The objectives of the Division are to foster education, research and to advance knowledge in pathology (primarily tissue pathology), to institute and arrange lectures, seminars, symposia, demonstrations and to provide a forum for the discussion and dissemination of information relevant to pathology and related matters. It is also to provide facilities for education and research into the various branches of learning in pathology, to assist tertiary institutions to develop appropriate courses calculated to advance education in pathology, to provide financial assistance through scholarships and travelling grants for persons engaged in education or research to advance the knowledge of pathology and to disseminate communication to further the purpose of the Division.

The focus of the Division centres around the three day Annual Scientific Meeting held in June. For more information please visit our website.

Public Pathology Australia – PPA

Public Pathology Australiais the national peak body for public pathology in Australia. Public Pathology Australia originated as the National Coalition of Public Pathology (NCOPP) in 2001. The organisation was formed to give a single voice for articulating and representing the values and issues of relevance to public pathology services throughout Australia.

Public pathology is the foundation of pathology in Australia. Our members are the major government owned and operated pathology services in each State and Territory in Australia. They provide the vast majority of pathology services in Australia’s public hospitals, service a number of private hospitals, and operate community based collection services for patients upon request from GPs and Specialists.

In addition to diagnostic services, our members conduct research and teaching in the areas of new and existing diseases, tests and treatments, and collaborate closely with colleagues in all areas of patient care, with many pathologists also performing clinical roles. Their laboratory testing and medical consultation services play a crucial role in timely clinical diagnosis, in monitoring therapy and in prevention of disease in individuals and the community.

Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia – RCPA

The RCPA is Australasia's leading medical diagnostic organisation and promotes the science and practice of pathology.

Pathology is the medical specialty concerned with the study of the nature and causes of diseases. As a consequence it touches every facet of medicine. In fact it has been said that 'Medicine IS Pathology".

The College fulfils a range of roles for its Fellows and Trainees, from across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, which can be broadly defined in the following areas:

Training and Examinations
To become a pathologist you must first train to be a doctor and then undertake at least fives years training in pathology. The College is the body responsible for training doctors to become pathologists. It accredits laboratories for pathology training, approves supervised training undertaken in an accredited laboratory and conducts examinations leading to certification as a qualified pathologist and Fellow of the College (FRCPA).

Continuing Professional Development
The College has, since its inception, played a major role in assisting Fellows to continually develop their knowledge and skills in relation to the professional practice of pathology through participation in continuing education and in addressing the related issues of medical currency and competency.

Professional Practice Standards
The College has been actively involved in assisting with the setting of standards for laboratory practice and providing Fellows with a means to test the quality of their practice.

Government Relations
The College plays a role in relation to liaising with government, both Federal and State, on issues relating to professional practice, medical, economic and other medico-political issues