Qualification details

MSL50109 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Release 5)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
5 (this release)Current 11/Mar/2013
(View details for release 4) Replaced19/Dec/2012
(View details for release 3) Replaced17/Dec/2012
(View details for release 2) Replaced10/Dec/2012
(View details for release 1) Replaced14/Jan/2011

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL50116 - Diploma of Laboratory TechnologyRelease 1. Supersedes and is equivalent to MSL50109 Diploma of Laboratory Technology 29/Feb/2016
Supersedes PML50104 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology 13/Jan/2011

Training packages that include this qualification

Units of competency

CodeSort Table listing Units of Competency by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Units of Competency by the Title columnEssential
HLTPAT317C - Operate effectively within a pathology testing environmentOperate effectively within a pathology testing environment N/A
HLTPAT419C - Perform Pathology TestsPerform Pathology Tests N/A
MSAENV472B - Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practicesImplement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices Core
MSAENV672B - Develop workplace policy and procedures for environmental sustainabilityDevelop workplace policy and procedures for environmental sustainability N/A
MSL904001A - Perform standard calibrationsPerform standard calibrations N/A
MSL905001A - Perform non-standard calibrationsPerform non-standard calibrations N/A
MSL905002A - Create or modify calibration proceduresCreate or modify calibration procedures N/A
MSL905003A - Create or modify automated calibration proceduresCreate or modify automated calibration procedures N/A
MSL913001A - Communicate with other peopleCommunicate with other people Core
MSL913002A - Plan and conduct laboratory/field workPlan and conduct laboratory/field work Core
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ANZSCO Identifier 311000 Agricultural, Medical And Science Technicians 
ASCO (occupation type) Identifier 3112 Science Technical Officers 
ASCED Qualification/Course Field of Education Identifier 0199 Other Natural And Physical Sciences 
Qualification/Course Level of Education Identifier 421 Diploma 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ANZSCO Identifier 311000 Agricultural, Medical And Science Technicians 02/Aug/2010 
ASCO (occupation type) Identifier 3112 Science Technical Officers 02/Aug/2010 
ASCED Qualification/Course Field of Education Identifier 0199 Other Natural And Physical Sciences 02/Aug/2010 
Qualification/Course Level of Education Identifier 421 Diploma 14/Jan/2011 
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Modification History

Release 5 - ISC upgrade

  • Publishing errors corrected
  • Prerequisite units now marked with an asterisk
  • Elective unit updated to latest version

Release 4 - ISC upgrade

  • Correction of data error in core units – MSAENV472B reinstated as per original release.

Release 3 - ISC upgrade

  • Correction of wrong MSAENV unit listed in core and elective units in release 2
  • Prerequisite listed for HLTPAT419A removed – unit has no prerequisite
  • HLTPAT units updated to current versions - equivalent
  • Incorrect elective units listed in Group 2 in Release 2

Release 2 - inclusion of new electives for forensic testing


This qualification covers the skills and knowledge required to apply a range of laboratory technologies to conduct scientific-technical tests and sampling in most industry sectors.

Job roles/employment outcomes 

The Diploma of Laboratory Technology offers broad or specialised technical training in a range of laboratory technologies. Employment outcomes targeted by this qualification include technical officers, laboratory technicians, analysts and similar personnel.

Technical officers conduct a wide range of sampling and testing that requires the application of broad scientific-technical knowledge and skills, with substantial depth in some areas. Although technical officers generally work in a laboratory, they often work closely with personnel in other teams within a section of the workplace.

They may liaise with suppliers to troubleshoot product non-conformance at the direction of laboratory supervisors or managers. They gather information on non-conformance and events that may lead to the modification of workplace procedures. They may also demonstrate methods to others and train them to collect samples and conduct basic tests reliably.

The work of technical officers involves frequent peak periods and interruptions. They:

  • work according to established procedures in a structured environment
  • collect and prepare samples and communicate sample requirements to other personnel
  • conduct a wide range of routine and specialised tests where atypical samples may be involved and the instrumentation used has a wide range of operating variables
  • contribute to the modification of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and enterprise methods when necessary
  • define and solve problems where alternatives are not obvious and where investigations and trials may be required and the implications of various solutions considered
  • work under the direction and supervision of senior technical staff, laboratory or quality managers, or scientific/medical professionals
  • generally work as part of a team and may have a role in the planning of schedules and monitoring of resources in their work area.

Examples of the work of technical officers are given below.

  • Technical officers who work in a pathology laboratory perform a range of tests on body tissues and fluids to measure quantities such as:
  • the amount of biological substances, (for example, cholesterol or creatine)
  • biological function (for example, clotting)
  • the presence of drugs (for example, heparin or alcohol).

They also prepare cultures, stained tissue sections and thin films to count and classify cells, bacteria and parasites.

They also perform routine calibration and maintenance of instruments.

  • A technical officer who works in a major food processing plant conducts a range of tests on the company products to measure:
  • the concentration of nutrients and food additives, such as dyes and flavourings
  • the concentration of contaminants, such as heavy metals and microbial toxins
  • pH, salt, moisture and fat content.

The officer also conducts a range of tests on the packaging material used for the company’s products.


This qualification is typically used to prepare new employees or develop the skills of existing workers performing specialised scientific-technical tests and sampling in most industry sectors.

Training programs for this qualification are suitable to be undertaken as part of a formal training contract with an employer under an Australian Traineeship or Apprenticeship arrangement.

Pathways Information

Pathways into the qualification 

This qualification may be accessed by direct entry. Credit may be granted towards this qualification by those who have completed the MSL40109 Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques. Credit for this qualification may include units contained within relevant skill sets.

Pathways from the qualification  

Further training pathways from this qualification include MSL60109 Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations.

Career paths for senior technicians, technical specialists and laboratory supervisors are becoming increasingly constrained unless technicians undertake university study. With this in mind, particular attention has been given to stating the critical aspects of competency and essential knowledge required for each unit of competency in sufficient detail to maximise articulation and credit transfer arrangements between the vocational education and training (VET) and higher education sectors.

Additional qualification advice 

Because specialisation is an industry requirement for the Diploma, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) may choose to issue a generic:

  • Diploma of Laboratory Technology

or, where elective units of competency are packaged to suit a particular industry sector or specialisation, RTOs might issue a:

  • Diploma of Laboratory Technology

 (specialising in xxxxxxx)

Industry sector/specialisations could include, but are not limited to:

  • biological testing
  • biological and environmental testing
  • biotechnology
  • calibration
  • chemical testing
  • construction materials testing
  • environmental monitoring
  • forensic testing
  • food testing
  • manufacturing testing
  • mineral assay
  • pathology testing
  • scientific glassblowing.

It should be noted that a qualification with a specialisation does not change the title of the qualification, although RTOs may choose to record the specialisation. The AQTF requirements must be complied with and the qualification or Statement of Attainment should clearly specify the units of competency achieved and where appropriate, the specialisation.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

There are no specific licences that relate to this qualification. However, some units in this qualification may have licensing or regulatory requirements. Local regulations should be checked for details.

Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

Employability Skills Summary


Employability Skill 

Industry /enterprise requirements for this qualification include :


  • Communicate appropriately with internal and external customers in order to respond effectively to requests of a specialised technical nature
  • Write procedures using an unambiguous, logical sequence of instructions that meet statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Record and store data, perform calculations of scientific quantities and present information in tables and graphs
  • Report using verbal responses, data entry into laboratory information management system (LIMS) and brief written reports


  • Work effectively with team members who may have diverse work styles, cultures and perspectives when reporting problems, hazards and incidents and results or contributing to productivity improvements
  • Promote cooperation and good relations in the team
  • Liaise with peers and technical staff from other laboratories

Problem solving

  • Modify and revise existing procedures or substitute alternative instruments and measurement standards
  • Detect potential or actual non-conformances, assess their significance and recommend preventative or corrective actions
  • Apply specialised technical knowledge to critically analyse and resolve complex problems and non-conformances where solutions are not obvious or readily available

Initiative and enterprise

  • Recommend appropriate preventative/corrective actions to improve sampling, testing and/or calibration activities
  • Identify hazards associated with samples, preparation methods, reagents and equipment and implement enterprise control measures
  • Research current, alternative methods and equipment
  • Suggest improvements in productivity and quality

Planning and organising

  • Modify work plans to suit changing conditions and priorities
  • Assemble, organise, check and optimise specified laboratory/ filed equipment and materials
  • Plan/adjust maintenance schedules in accordance with operational requirements
  • Plan work sequences to optimise throughput of multiple samples


  • Communicates in an efficient and polite manner, taking into account cultural diversity and disabilities
  • Follow enterprise procedures which reflect equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and non-harassment legislative requirements
  • Conduct work based on ethical values and principles and ensure quality and integrity of own work
  • Review own strengths, weaknesses and work practices for opportunities to continuously improve performance
  • Maintain security and confidentiality of all client/enterprise data and information
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety when sampling, processing, transferring or disposing of samples


  • Review feedback from other laboratories to assess acceptance of newly created calibration procedures
  • Update knowledge and skills and take advantage of skill development opportunities
  • Coach others in participating in occupational health and safety (OHS) and environmental management issues


  • Create, edit, test and document computer controlled calibration procedures for test and measurement instruments
  • Select and use computers and software to collect and report information
  • Select, use and optimise laboratory/filed equipment, such as calibration equipment, autoanalysers, containment facilities and spectrometers

Packaging Rules

To be awarded a Diploma of Laboratory Technology competency must be achieved in a total of twenty one (21)  units of competency, consisting of:

  • nine (9)  core units of competency
  • twelve (12)  elective units of competency.

Units listed under core  are considered essential for all technical officers. The units listed as electives  may only apply to some personnel according to the size and scope of the particular enterprise and laboratory.

Note : Units marked with an asterisk have one or more prerequisite requirements and must be considered in the total number of units. Please refer to individual units for details.

Core units of competency 

  • Select all nine (9)  units of competency listed below.

Unit code 

Unit title 



Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices


Communicate with other people


Plan and conduct laboratory/field work


Provide information to customers


Process and interpret data


Use laboratory application software


Analyse data and report results



Apply quality system and continuous improvement processes


Maintain laboratory/field workplace safety

Elective units of competency 

Select twelve (12)  elective units from Groups A, B, C and D as specified below:

  • a minimum of five (5)  units must be selected from Group A.
  • the remainder may be chosen from Groups A, B, C and D, with a maximum of three (3)  units from Group B, a maximum of five (5)  units from Group C and a maximum of two (2)  units from Group D, to bring the total electives to twelve (12) .

Note that four (4)  of the elective units may be chosen from this Training Package, other endorsed Training Packages and accredited courses, where those units are available at Diploma.

Group A 

Unit code 

Unit title 



Perform non-standard calibrations



Create or modify calibration procedures



Create or modify automated calibration procedures



Schedule laboratory work for a small team


Analyse measurements and estimate uncertainties



Monitor the quality of test results and data



Assist in the maintenance of reference materials


Authorise the issue of test results



Maintain instruments and equipment


Supervise a robotic sample preparation system



Design and manufacture glass apparatus and glass systems



Perform glass coating, grinding and finishing operations



Construct, modify and maintain high vacuum systems



Perform microbiological tests



Perform haematological tests



Perform histological tests



Perform chemical pathology tests



Conduct sensory analysis


Perform immunohaematological tests



Supervise sampling, inspections and testing at construction sites



Apply electrophoretic techniques



Apply routine chromatographic techniques



Perform fire assay techniques



Design and supervise complex environmental field surveys



Provide input to production trials



Perform tissue and cell culture techniques



Perform molecular biology tests and procedures



Prepare animal and plant material for display



Perform complex tests to measure engineering properties of materials



Perform laboratory-based ecological techniques



Perform complex tests to measure chemical properties of materials



Apply complex instrumental techniques



Apply routine spectrometric techniques



Apply routine electrometric techniques



Perform food analyses



Supervise geotechnical site investigations



Locate record and collect forensic samples


Perform complex laboratory testing of forensic samples


Perform physical examination of forensic samples

Group B 

Unit code 

Unit title 



Maintain the laboratory/field workplace fit for purpose


Apply critical control point requirements


Perform calibration checks on equipment and assist with its maintenance


Work safely with instruments that emit ionising radiation


Participate in laboratory/field workplace safety


Receive and prepare samples for testing


Operate a robotic sample preparation system


Operate basic handblowing equipment


Repair glass apparatus using simple glassblowing equipment



Perform basic tests


Prepare working solutions


Prepare culture media


Perform aseptic techniques


Assist with fieldwork


Prepare trial batches for evaluation


Perform microscopic examination


Perform histological procedures


Conduct field-based acceptance tests for construction materials


Conduct laboratory-based acceptance tests for construction materials


Perform fire pouring techniques


Assist with geotechnical site investigations


Operate effectively within a pathology testing environment


Provide work skill instruction

Group C 

Unit code 

Unit title 



Perform standard calibrations


Prepare practical science classes and demonstrations


Contribute to the ongoing development of HACCP plans


Maintain and control stocks


Obtain representative samples in accordance with sampling plan


Prepare mineral samples for analysis


Prepare, standardise and use solutions


Conduct geotechnical site investigations



Perform chemical tests and procedures


Perform food tests


Perform physical tests


Perform biological procedures



Undertake environmental field-based monitoring


Capture and manage scientific images


Undertake field-based, remote-sensing monitoring


Perform mechanical tests


Prepare tissue and cell cultures



Perform tests to determine the properties of construction materials



Monitor performance of structures



Perform pathology tests

Group D 

Unit code 

Unit title 



Develop and maintain laboratory documentation


Manage and develop teams


Supervise laboratory operations in work/functional area


Maintain registration and statutory or legal compliance in work/functional area


Manage complex projects


Maintain quality system and continuous improvement processes within work/functional area


Conduct an internal audit of the quality system


Implement and monitor OHS and environmental management systems


Classify building sites



Prepare plans and quality assurance procedures for environmental field activities



Evaluate and select appropriate test methods and/or procedures


Contribute to the development of products and applications



Troubleshoot equipment and/or production processes



Contribute to the validation of test methods



Develop or adapt analyses and procedures



Integrate data acquisition and interfacing systems



Develop workplace policy and procedures for sustainability

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