Qualification details

MSL60109 - Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations (Release 5)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to MSL60116 - Advanced Diploma of Laboratory OperationsSupersedes and is equivalent to MSL60109 Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations 29/Feb/2016
Supersedes PML60104 - Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations 13/Jan/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
5 (this release) 11/Mar/2013
(View details for release 4) 19/Dec/2012
(View details for release 3) 17/Dec/2012
(View details for release 2) 10/Dec/2012
(View details for release 1) 14/Jan/2011

Units of competency

CodeSort Table listing Units of Competency by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Units of Competency by the Title columnEssentialSort Table listing Units of Competency by the Essential column
MSL977005A - Integrate data acquisition and interfacing systemsIntegrate data acquisition and interfacing systemsN/A
MSL975010A - Perform fire assay techniquesPerform fire assay techniquesN/A
MSL975012A - Provide input to production trialsProvide input to production trialsN/A
MSL977001A - Contribute to the development of products and applicationsContribute to the development of products and applicationsN/A
MSL975004A - Perform chemical pathology testsPerform chemical pathology testsN/A
MSL905003A - Create or modify automated calibration proceduresCreate or modify automated calibration proceduresN/A
MSL975007A - Supervise sampling, inspections and testing at construction sitesSupervise sampling, inspections and testing at construction sitesN/A
MSL975016A - Perform complex tests to measure engineering properties of materialsPerform complex tests to measure engineering properties of materialsN/A
MSL915001A - Provide information to customersProvide information to customersN/A
MSL975003A - Perform histological testsPerform histological testsN/A
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ANZSCO Identifier 311000 Agricultural, Medical And Science Technicians 
ASCO (occupation type) Identifier 311 Medical And Science Technical Officers 
ASCED Qualification/Course Field of Education Identifier 0199 Other Natural And Physical Sciences 
Qualification/Course Level of Education Identifier 411 Advanced Diploma 
Taxonomy - Industry Sector N/A Laboratory Operations 
Taxonomy - Occupation N/A Calibration Senior Technician,Water Treatment Laboratory Supervisor,Senior Laboratory Technical Officer,Environmental Testing Laboratory Supervisor,Mineral Assay Senior Technician,Food Testing Senior Technical Officer,Manufacturing Testing Laboratory Supervisor,Pathology Testing Senior Technician 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ANZSCO Identifier 311000 Agricultural, Medical And Science Technicians 02/Aug/2010 
ASCO (occupation type) Identifier 311 Medical And 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 411 Advanced Diploma 14/Jan/2011 
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Modification History

Release 5 - ISC upgrade

  • Publishing errors corrected
  • Prerequisites now marked with an asterisk

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

Release 2 - inclusion of new electives for forensic testing


This qualification covers the skills and knowledge required to supervise laboratory operations within a work area or project team.

Job roles/employment outcomes 

The Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations offers training in the coordination of day-to-day laboratory operations. Employment outcomes targeted by this qualification include laboratory supervisors, senior technical officers and similar personnel.

Senior technicians or laboratory supervisors are generally responsible for the planning, allocation of tasks, coordination, quality assurance, recording and reporting of laboratory outputs within their section. This requires significant judgement about work sequences, choice of appropriate technology and procedures to ensure that products and services meet customer expectations and are provided safely and efficiently in keeping with enterprise business plan. Under broad direction from scientists/medical staff/engineers the senior technician/supervisor accepts responsibility for the day-to-day operation of his/her work/functional area.

They are often responsible for the effective implementation of operational policies and the technical training of personnel in their work area. They also contribute significantly to the development of these policies through the application of specialised technical knowledge.

The work of laboratory supervisors involves frequent peak periods, multiple and competing demands and frequent interruptions. Immediate decisions are often required. They must be adaptable to deal with the demands brought about by any of a number of causes. For example:

  • a range of demanding clients, suppliers or contractors
  • changes in technology
  • regularly changing priorities.

In the course of their normal work, they:

  • plan, allocate and monitor resources for their work area and are responsible for their work group’s outputs
  • apply in-depth technical knowledge and skills to deliver the variety of products and services associated with the work area
  • explain complex instructions and procedures to others
  • define and solve complex problems by investigating, developing and testing alternatives in response to vague or ill-defined information which is not readily accessible and requires selective analysis
  • make significant contributions to the development of technical and operational policy and procedures within a function or work area
  • liaise with outside organisations, customers, suppliers and contractors on technical matters
  • provide technical information to internal and external customers
  • often provide workplace training and assessment
  • implement, maintain and promote OHS, quality and other compliance requirements and conduct audits
  • work under the general direction of laboratory or quality managers, or scientific/medical personnel.

They may also undertake a range of complex technical tasks. For example:

  • conduct a wide range of complex and specialised tests
  • exercise considerable analytical and judgemental skills to determine appropriate methods and procedures from a range of alternatives
  • modify methods to cope with non-routine tests and analyses where unusual samples could be involved and/or where the instrumental controls require optimisation
  • develop or adapt methods and procedures.

An example of the work of a laboratory supervisor is given below.

  • A laboratory supervisor in a large water and sewerage utility company has been a senior technical officer for more than five years. The officer supervises technical personnel in the environmental testing section, monitors the quality of their work, oversees their training and ensures that regulatory and NATA requirements are met. The officer assists with the planning of the section’s work program and advises management and customers about test schedules, results and methodology.


This qualification is typically used to develop existing workers to coordinate day-to-day laboratory operations.

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  

To enter the Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations, entrants must have completed a Diploma of Laboratory Technology or be able to demonstrate equivalent competency. It is also recommended that entrants have had an appropriate period of employment at an occupational level commensurate with the Diploma of Laboratory Technology prior to entry to this Advanced Diploma qualification.

Pathways from the qualification  

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.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

There are no specific licences that relate to this qualification. However, depending on the jurisdiction, licensing or regulatory requirements may apply to the use of some units in this qualification. Local regulations should be checked for details.

Entry Requirements

Not applicable.

Employability Skills Summary


Employability Skill 

Industry /enterprise requirements for this qualification include :


  • Establish and maintain effective communication and consultation with all personnel and clients to ensure smooth and efficient operations
  • Prepare and maintain quality documentation and keep accurate data records


  • Discuss development opportunities with appropriate personnel to assess and confirm requirements
  • Implement and maintain appropriate participative occupational health and safety (OHS) processes with employees and their representatives
  • Empower work groups/teams in dealing with technical and work flow problems and suggest improvements
  • Develop team members through motivating, mentoring, coaching and promoting team cohesion to achieve planned outcomes

Problem solving

  • Troubleshoot testing equipment and testing issues related to production processes, and communication between laboratory processes and computer systems to identify problems and to recommend corrective action
  • Identify and resolve complex problems by using agreed problem solving strategies and act to prevent their recurrence
  • Modify products and applications to meet evaluation recommendations

Initiative and enterprise

  • Identify areas for systems improvement
  • Develop and introduce practices to improve the work environment
  • Recommend improvements for future projects
  • Initiate trial and evaluate corrective action and make appropriate adjustments

Planning and organising

  • Organise and optimise the use of resources within agreed parameters to achieve planned outcomes
  • Develop and coordinate rosters to balance job requirements, laboratory efficiency and skill development opportunities
  • Determine resource requirements, including personnel, time, equipment and materials
  • Collect relevant information from manuals, specification sheets, diagnostic equipment and software


  • Recognise limits of own professional expertise and make decisions within limits of responsibility and authority
  • Ensure work practices are conducted in and ethical and professional manner
  • Apply safety precautions appropriate to the task
  • Follows enterprise procedures to document development process


  • Consult specialists as necessary
  • Provide information to employees and develop and implement training programs
  • Maintain knowledge of current and new requirements impacting on work/functional area
  • Provide coaching and mentoring support to personnel to change work practices such as difficulties with meeting targets for performance


  • Select, use and evaluate information directories and databases, online data search facilities and computer networks
  • Use standard laboratory equipped with appropriate pilot batch manufacturing and testing equipment

Packaging Rules

To be awarded an Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations competency must be achieved in a total of thirteen (13)  units of competency, consisting of:

  • seven (7)  core units of competency
  • six (6)  elective units of competency.

Units listed under core  are considered essential for all laboratory supervisors. 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 seven (7)  units of competency listed below.

Unit code 

Unit title 



Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices


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


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


Implement and monitor OHS and environmental management systems

Elective units of competency 

Select six (6)  elective units of competency from Groups A and B, as specified below:

  • a minimum of three (3)  units must be chosen from Group A
  • the remainder may be chosen from Groups A and B, to bring the total number of electives to six (6) .

Note that three (3)  of the elective may be chosen from this Training Package, other endorsed Training Packages and accredited courses where those units are available for inclusion at Advanced Diploma level.

Group A 

Unit code 

Unit title 



Manage complex projects


Conduct an internal audit of the quality system


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

Group B 

Unit code 

Unit title 



Perform non-standard calibrations



Create or modify calibration procedures



Create or modify automated calibration procedures



Provide information to customers


Schedule laboratory work for a small team


Analyse data and report results



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