Schools of Anatomy Authorisations

Schools of Anatomy

Under Part 6 (sections 33 and 34) of the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1983, the Minister may authorise the establishment of Schools of Anatomy for the teaching and study of anatomy and for the carrying on of the practice of anatomy.

Schools of Anatomy provide important teaching opportunities through anatomical examination of cadavers and cadaveric materials.  Anatomical examination includes the use of a human body for medical or scientific purposes, and includes educational purposes connected with medicine or science.  Anatomical examination does not include a post mortem examination, which is covered under Part 4 of the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1983.

Obtaining an Authorisation

Any person in charge of the conduct of anatomical examinations at an educational or scientific institution must apply, in writing, for authorisation to lawfully possess human bodies and tissue for examination purposes at the specified location(s).

Applicants should address their request for authorisation to The initial request must contain, as a minimum, the following details:

  • The institution name for which the authorisation is being sought
  • Name and role of the person in charge (the “responsible office) of the institution
  • The purpose for which authorisation is sought – eg undergraduate/postgraduate teaching in anatomy, advanced surgical training, clinical skills training, operation of a body donation program (or other related activities, as applicable)
  • The timeframe for which authorisation is sought – eg specific workshops or on an ongoing basis
  • Proposed sourcing arrangements for anatomical materials – eg local, interstate, overseas

Authorisations are granted by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, which may be granted on an indefinite basis, subject to maintenance of the required standards, or for a fixed term duration (eg for the conduct of a workshop at a non-permanent site). Until this authorisation is provided, no action in regards to sourcing of cadaveric materials may be undertaken.

Prior to authorisations being recommended, an Inspector of Anatomy may undertake a site visit, as well as require the submission relevant documents to support the application. The approximate timeframes to allow for the authorisation process is a minimum of 2 months.


On 23 November 2017, the Standard for the Operation, Management and Oversight of Schools of Anatomy in South Australia (version 2017.01) (PDF 325KB) was published on the SA Health website, and the publication was formally noted in the South Australian Government Gazette on 12 December 2017.

The Standard (PDF 325KB) sets out requirements for the oversight, monitoring and quality assurance of all Schools of Anatomy in South Australia.  An accompanying Audit Checklist and Evaluation Tool (PDF 212KB) has been created against the Standard to be used both by Inspectors of Anatomy and by the schools themselves for internal monitoring and review.

The Standard consists of three parts:

Part One – the requirements that apply to all existing Schools of Anatomy and the standards that must be met for prospective schools to be authorised.

Part Two – applies only to Schools of Anatomy that operate a Body Donation Program

Part Three – a listing of related professional requirements and legislation

On 6 February 2018, the Transplantation and Anatomy Regulations (2018) were enacted that require all Schools of Anatomy in South Australia to comply with the “Standard for the Operation, Management and Oversight of Schools of Anatomy in South Australia – version 2017.01 (PDF 325KB)

Inspections and Audits

Inspections are an important part of the initial process to recommend that an organisation be authorised by the Minister to act as a School of Anatomy. However, inspections can and will also occur at other times to ensure that all organisations are compliant with the SA standards (PDF 325KB). In addition to onsite visits, compliance monitoring activities may also include paper audits, telephone contact and written correspondence. The type of visit or audit may be routine or may focus on a particular area.  Organisations are provided with a report after each visit or audit, which may detail improvements to be made. These are tracked over time by the Blood, Organ and Tissue Programs Unit in Quality Systems.

More Information

For more information please contact Blood, Organ and Tissue Programs via email at or via telephone on (08) 8463 6197.