The Australian Animal Pathology Standards Program (AAPSP) is an initiative of the Australian Society for Veterinary Pathology (ASVP) in partnership with Animal Health Australia (AHA) and the Sub-Committee on Animal Health Laboratory Standards (SCAHLS) with funding support through a Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC) agreement. It aims to promote and maintain standards in veterinary pathology in Australia. All veterinary pathologists in Australia are invited to become members.

AAPSP’s mission is to ensure that the standard of veterinary diagnostic pathology in Australian government, private and university animal health laboratories is both nationally effective and internationally credible in servicing the livestock industries, the veterinary profession and the community.

The key strategy of the Program is to provide specialist training support, manage a proficiency testing program, conduct continuing education in veterinary diagnostic pathology and maintain a national archive of diseases in Australian animals.

The Key Objectives of the Program are to:

Maintain, through proficiency testing quarterly, world’s best standards in morphological pathology at the gross and histopathological levels.

To maintain, through four-monthly proficiency testing, world’s best standards in the technical preparation of histopathological sections of animal tissues.

Maintain, through an ongoing annual program of continuing education, current awareness of diagnostic requirements for emergency diseases of animals including newly recognised, emerging and exotic diseases.

Maintain a national archive of diseases in Australian animals and to make this, and other, information available on-line. Provide encouragement, educational opportunities and tuition support for trainees in veterinary pathology.


Invested in and launched the web-accessible database of veterinary histopathology slides, representing cases of endemic and exotic diseases in the common farm, sport and companion animal species.

The Digital Slide Archive which includes images from AAHL, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Aquatic Pathology Archive and the National Registry of Domestic Animal Pathology has been steadily growing and represents cases of endemic and exotic diseases in production, companion, wildlife and aquatic species for training and educational purposes of AAPSP members. The archive currently holds over 5000 slides.

Many professional development modules have been commissioned and are loaded to the AAPSP website.

Collaboration with the CL Davis Foundation of the USA who provide international speakers to present the two-day workshops in Australia and professional development material to the AAPSP members website.

Proficiency Testing
The quarterly histopathology proficiency testing program, launched in 2006, involves participation from all state, government and private veterinary laboratories in Australia. The testing covers written descriptions, morphological diagnosis/interpretation, and comments on the pathological changes detected in digitally scanned, stained tissue sections. The assessment is part of accredited laboratories records for auditing by NATA. In 2013, AAPSP has successfully maintained the standards for the proficiency testing with Jim Taylor from DPIPWE in Tasmania coordinating and assessing submissions. The Management Committee has prepared a set of guidelines for people who participate in the proficiency testing program at both the assessment and candidate levels.

Veterinary Pathology Reports and annual ASVP conference proceedings from 1981 to 2008 are available on the AAPSP web site. AAPSP has also recently subscribed to Noah’s Archives – an online collection of over 27000 images of veterinary gross pathology, searchable by species, organ etc. The AAPSP program manager at Animal Health Australia can now can give access for those studying for qualifications in veterinary pathology.

AAPSP welcomes suggestions for additional services and activities to support veterinary pathology in Australia.

Availability of Services
These services are placed on the Animal Health Australia AAPSP website as they become available. Access to this site is provided to staff of participating organisations. Any questions about membership can be forwarded to the AAPSP admin email or sourced at


Dr. Jim Taylor - Proficiency Testing Coordinator and Chair [James Cook University]

Dr Mark Krockenberger - representing government veterinary laboratories [University of Sydney] 

Dr. Mark Williamson - representing private diagnostic laboratories (Gribbles Veterinary Laboratory)

Dr Mel Gabor - representing government veterinary laboratories [Independent member]

Dr Shane Besier - representing ASVP - [WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development & ASVP President]

Dr James Watson - representing CSIRO [Australian Animal Heath Laboratory]

Dr Hannah Bender - Scientific Coordinator [Australian Registry of Wildlife Health]

Administrative Contact

Emily Sears [Administrative Officer]

© Australian Society for Veterinary Pathology