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Career Map: Medical Laboratory Technologist

 

This document was updated in August 2014 in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Requirements may have changed by the time you apply. Please contact the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario before completing your application.

Copyright of this career map is held by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario, © 2014. This career map may be used or reproduced by any third party for non-commercial, not-for-profit purposes, provided that no fee, payment or royalty of any kind shall be charged by the third party for any further use of the career map by any person. Any proposed commercial or for-profit use or reproduction of this career map requires a written license from the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario.

Medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) are one of the largest groups of health care professionals in Ontario. MLT professionals perform sophisticated laboratory investigations on the human body or on specimens taken from the human body. They also evaluate the technical sufficiency of the investigations and their results. The results of these tests provide important information that doctors or other health care professionals need to make decisions about their patients’ health.

MLT professionals most often work in licensed laboratories, such as hospital labs, private labs, and government labs but may also work in areas such as medical research, forensics, education, community health, and industry.

There are many specialty areas in which MLTs work:

  • Biochemistry (Clinical Chemistry): The measurement of chemical constituents in blood and body fluids to detect chemicals, hormones, and/or drugs.
  • Microbiology: The study of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.
  • Hematology: The study of normal and/or abnormal functions of blood cells, blood forming tissues and blood coagulation (Homeostasis).
  • Transfusion Science: The detection of blood types and cross matching for transfusion (also called Immunohematology or Blood Banking).
  • Histology: The preparation and study of tissue specimens.
  • Cytotechnology (Cytology): The study of cells, their origin, structure, function, and pathology.
  • Genetics (Clinical): The study of human chromosomes, DNA, and RNA from cells of body fluids and tissues to diagnose genetic diseases. This includes Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics.
  • Phlebotomy: The taking of blood from a vein.

MLTs may also work in areas such as laboratory information management (using laboratory data to improve health care outcomes), laboratory management, or point of care testing (performance of laboratory tests outside of the laboratory).

The College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO)

To practise as an MLT in Ontario you must register with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO). The CMLTO is responsible for regulating the medical technology profession in Ontario by ensuring that all MLTs are qualified to practise and are practising in a safe, effective, ethical, and competent manner.

The CMLTO was established in 1993 by a law called the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA). The RHPA states that anyone who wishes to practise medical laboratory technology in Ontario must be registered with the CMLTO and must then work according to the Medical Laboratory Technology Act, 1991 and the CMLTO regulations and standards. The title Medical Laboratory Technologist and the initials MLT can only be used by a member of the CMLTO.

The CMLTO issues certificates of registration in General Medical Laboratory Technology (which includes Biochemistry, Microbiology, Hematology, Transfusion Science, Histology and Phlebotomy), Cytotechnology (Cytology), and Clinical Genetics Technology (which includes Molecular Genetics and Cytogenetics).

The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)

The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) is the national certifying body and professional association for medical laboratory technologists in Canada. The CSMLS promotes and maintains the national standards of medical laboratory technology. It assesses the education, experience, and clinical practice of applicants for registration with CMLTO who have been educated outside of Canada. The assessment also includes continuing education and professional development taken by the applicant.

Registration Requirements in Ontario

To register in the Practising class of registration, an applicant must:

  • Graduate from a Canadian Medical Association (CMA) accredited MLT education program. For a list of CMA-accredited programs, visit the CMA website: www.cma.ca/En/Pages/medical-laboratory-technology.aspx

    OR

     
  • Show proof of graduation from a program assessed as equivalent to a Canadian MLT program. This assessment must be made via the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process.

    OR

     
  • Graduate from a baccalaureate degree program, approved by CMLTO’s Registration Committee, from a Canadian university, whose major course content, both lecture and practical, is relevant to medical laboratory technology.

    AND

     
  • Show proof of a certificate or statement of passing grade (successful completion) of the certification examination offered by the CSMLS, in the specialty/specialties in which registration is being sought.

    AND

     
  • Show proof of active engagement (use of knowledge, skills and judgment as a medical laboratory technologist) in medical laboratory technology in the three years preceding the application.

    OR

     
  • Show proof of successful completion of a CMLTO-approved refresher course in the three years preceding the application. For more detailed information about refresher courses, visit the CMLTO website at www.cmlto.com/.

    AND

     
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada or have authorization under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) to practise medical laboratory technology.

Before You Immigrate to Canada

If you are planning to immigrate to Canada and work as an MLT in Ontario, learn about the profession by visiting the websites listed in the Contact Information section at the end of this document.

The CSMLS has information about the certification process for Internationally Educated Technologist.

Registration Application Process – Six Step Summary

Step 1 – Apply to the CSMLS for a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
Step 2 – PLA: English/French Fluency Test
Step 3 – PLA: Evaluation of Academic/Education Qualifications
Step 4 – PLA: CSMLS Evaluation of Past Training and Experience
Step 5 – CSMLS National Certification Examination
Step 6 – CMLTO Practising Certificate of Registration

The PLA determines whether your theoretical and practical education and your work experience are equivalent to that obtained in Canada. The PLA also confirms your fluency in English or French.

When the CSMLS has completed the evaluation, they will send you a PLA report. CMLTO only accepts PLA reports issued by CSMLS. When you pass the CSMLS examination, you are eligible to apply to the CMLTO for a Practising certificate of registration.

CSMLS examinations are offered in February, June, and October each year. You must apply for the examination three months ahead of time. The CSMLS examination is not offered outside of Canada.

To apply for registration, complete the CMLTO online Registration Application Form at www.cmlto-onlineservices.com.

Step 1 – Apply to the CSMLS

Online self-assessment (OSA) – for general MLTs only

Before you apply for PLA, complete the OSA at http://csmls.protraining.com to identify your strengths compared to Canadian standards. You must confirm with the CSMLS once you have completed the OSA. The current fee is $59.95 plus applicable taxes, visit www.csmls.org for the most current information.

Personal Competency Rating Booklet (PCRB)

The PCRB will demonstrate your knowledge and experience to the assessment team. You must submit the PCRB and send the original to CSMLS with your PLA application. Download the booklet from the CSMLS website at www.csmls.org/Certification/Exam-Information-and-Resources.aspx#Personal under Examination Information and Resources. To start the process, you will need to complete a CSMLS assessment application. When you apply to the PLA process, CSMLS reviews your education and experience to determine if you are equivalent to the competency profile. The competency profile outlines what is expected of an entry-level technologist.

The application form is in the information Handbook for Prior Learning Assessment which can be downloaded for free from the CSMLS website http://csmls.org/csmls/media/documents/certification/MLTPLAInformationHandbook_2014_ENG.pdf.

The current application fee is $1,800.00 per assessment and is non-refundable. Visit the CSMLS website, www.csmls.org, for the most current information.

Step 2 – PLA: English/French Fluency Test

If your education in medical laboratory technology was in English or French, you will need your educational institution to send a separate letter confirming your language of instruction with your official transcripts and course outlines, to your credential evaluation service.

If your language of instruction was not in English or French, you must take a language test to meet the CSMLS language proficiency requirement. The CSMLS has implemented a new two-stage language proficiency standard. You will need to meet the language proficiency requirement at or above Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 6 before you can have your PLA file reviewed (technical report). You will need to meet the language proficiency requirement at or above CLB 8 before you can become eligible to write the exam.

Requirements are outlined in the chart below.

Stage One: technical report

You must meet these requirements to have your technical report completed by the assessment team.

Scores:
Test Section TOEFL iBT IELTS-AC IELTS-GT CanText
Listening - 5.5 5.5 3.0
Reading - 5.5 5.5 3.0
Writing - 5.5 5.5 3.0
Speaking - 5.5 5.5 3.0
Overall/Total 61-79 5.5 5.5 3.0

 

Stage Two: equivalent and eligible to exam

You must meet these requirements to be eligible to write the exam.

Scores:
Test Section TOEFL iBT IELTS-AC IELTS-GT CanText MELA
Listening 20 7.0 7.0 4.0 8
Reading 22 7.0 7.0 4.0 7
Writing 22 7.0 7.0 4.0 7
Speaking 24 7.0 7.0 4.0 8
Overall/Total 88 7.0 7.0 4.0 -

Your score report must be sent to CSMLS directly from the testing organization. Be sure to inform the organization that you want a report sent to the CSMLS. For further details, go to the CSMLS website.

For information on where and when you can write an English/French Fluency test, contact the relevant organization listed in the Contact Information section at the end of this document.

Step 3 – PLA: Evaluation of Academic/Education Qualifications

As an MLT educated outside Ontario, you must have your education assessed for equivalency through a comprehensive report. CSMLS requires a credential evaluation for all of your medical laboratory technology education. CSMLS will only accept credential evaluations that are sent directly from either International Credential Evaluation Services (ICES) or World Education Services (WES).

Both ICES and WES require official educational transcripts and course outlines/syllabus of studies sent directly to them from the university or college you attended. List all the courses you took at a college or university, and provide the final grade you received for each course. Course outlines for the courses listed in your official transcripts must include a detailed description of the content of each course relating to medical laboratory technology.

Contact the educational institutions to send letters directly to ICES or WES describing your structured clinical education, MLT courses taken, copies of your certificates for MLT seminars and workshops.

If you have received professional certification of qualification/licensure in medical laboratory technology from another country, contact your professional certification body and request proof of your professional certification be sent to ICES or WES. Acceptable proof is either a notarized copy of the certificate or a letter directly from the certifying body detailing your certification and status.

If your documents are not in English or French, notarized translations will be needed, completed by a Canadian-certified translator, along with the original documents. For information on certified translation services, please contact one of the organizations listed in the Contact Information section at the end of this document.

Note: Since the CSMLS requires the same documents and translations, ask the respective organizations to send transcripts to CSMLS at the same time. See Step 4.

If ICES or WES needs more information to complete your evaluation, one of their representatives will write or telephone you.

The ICES application form requires you to choose a type of evaluation. The CSMLS requires a Comprehensive Evaluation Report; select this option on the application form.

The application form also asks if you need an additional copy of the report. Select this option and fill in the address for CSMLS found in the Contact Information section at the end of this document.

The WES application form requires you to choose a type of evaluation. The CSMLS requires a “Course by Course” evaluation report and the report must also state the language of instruction for all studies.

Note: For the most current requirements for ICES or WES go to the CSMLS website.

Step 4 – PLA: CSMLS Evaluation of Past Training and Experience

The CSMLS requires the same original documentation and notarized translations you sent to ICES or WES in the previous step. As mentioned earlier, ask the respective organizations to send transcripts to both ICES or WES and CSMLS. Materials sent directly from an institution will be retained by the CSMLS. If applicable, the CSMLS also needs the results of your English/French Fluency test as described in Step 2.

To evaluate your work experience, the CSMLS requires proof of experience. An official representative from the laboratories where you worked within the last five years must send a letter to document your experience with a detailed outline of duties and responsibilities as well as information on the scope and volume of testing performed by you. This too must be submitted directly to the CSMLS. You should ask for this information to be sent to you as well, as you will need to submit work experience letters to the CMLTO.

When the CSMLS has received all of your required documentation, the PLA file will be forwarded to the assessment team for review. The team will review your documentation to assess your experience. Once the review is completed, a technical report will be sent to you in the mail. It may take up to 8 weeks to complete your assessment.

Note: The PLA technical report is valid for two years.

Step 5 – CSMLS National Certification Examination

After the CSMLS issues a PLA report that confirms you have the appropriate education, experience and fluency, you can apply to write the CSMLS examination

You must complete the CSMLS examination application form and send it, along with the CSMLS examination fee to the CSMLS.

CSMLS examinations are offered in February, June, and October each year. You must apply for the examination three months ahead of time.

You cannot write the CSMLS examination outside of Canada.

Exam Description

The National Certification Examination for General Medical Laboratory Technology is one paper, split into Paper A and Paper B. Both papers have multiple-choice questions. It takes a total of 5½ hours to complete, and is written in a one-day period. The test schedule includes a one-hour break for lunch.

Exam Preparation

To obtain an Examination Information Booklet from the CSMLS, please visit their website. The booklet describes the exam and contains sample question and answer sheets.

Step 6 – CMLTO Practising Certificate of Registration

Once you successfully pass the CSMLS certification examination, you may apply for registration with the CMLTO. The CMLTO offers an online application process. Please be sure to submit the required supporting documents and the registration application fee. A complete application is processed within three weeks. Once your application has been approved, you will be required to pay an annual registration fee in order to practise in Ontario.

For detailed information, visit www.cmlto.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1219&Itemid=293.

Medical Laboratory Technologists Labour Market Information

Labour market information for prospective medical laboratory technologists is provided by the CMLTO, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and the Government of Canada.

The CMLTO, as part of its mandate and as required by legislation, captures demographic information related to its membership during initial registration and the annual renewal process. The CMLTO’s 2011 health human resource exploration reports on such areas as MLT practice, employment facility and status, and the provision of MLT education.

  • Currently there are over 7,700 MLTs registered with the CMLTO
  • 41% of practising MLTs are over the age of 50
  • The average age of practising MLTs is 47.8
  • 94% of practising MLTs are employed in permanent positions
  • 82% of practising MLTs working in diagnostic laboratory services, with another 8% working in management or administration

Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, in collaboration with Service Canada – Ontario Region, maintains a website that provides labour market information on the current trends and future outlook for 190 occupations common to Ontario, including medical laboratory technologists. For further information, please visit Ontario Job Futures.

Government of Canada

The Government of Canada maintains a website that provides labour market information including job opportunities, educational requirements, main duties, wage rates and salaries, current employment trends and outlooks. Labour market information related to medical laboratory technologists can be found by searching by title or by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code 3211. For further information, please visit the Government of Canada’s Job Bank.

Fees and Costs

(in Canadian dollars)

Payments to CMLTO must be made in the form of money orders and credit cards. Money orders are payable to CMLTO. Please note the CMLTO application fee is non-refundable. The Annual Registration fee will be prorated from the month that the application is approved to the end of year. The following table lists predictable costs and fees. Contact the organization for current fees.

See the fee chart below.

Fees & Costs:
Description Fee
ICES Assessment Fee (Comprehensive Evaluation Report) $230.00
Extra copy of ICES Report for CSMLS $10.00
WES Assessment Fee (Course by Course Evaluation Report, which must state language(s) of instruction for all studies) $245.00
Extra copy WES Report for CSMLS $30.00
Translation Fees Varies
CSMLS Prior Learning Assessment Fee (evaluation of past training and experience) $1,000.00
Language Assessment / Test Cost Varies
CMLTO Application Assessment Fee (non-refundable) $150.00 + 13% HST = $169.50
CMLTO Annual Registration Fee $340.00 + 13% HST = $384.20
CSMLS Examination Fee (member of CSMLS) General Exam: $700.00
Genetics or Cytology: $800.00
CSMLS Examination Fee (non-member of CSMLS) General Exam: $725.00
Genetics or Cytology: $1,100.00
CSMLS Examination Fee (non-resident of Canada – writing examination in Canada) General Exam: $1,750.00
Genetics or Cytology: $2,100.00

Note: Fees are subject to change at any time.
 

Contact Information

For more information on registration requirements in Ontario:

College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario (CMLTO)
(Regulatory Body - Not a School)
25 Adelaide Street East, Suite 2100
Toronto, ON M5C 3A1
CANADA
Telephone: 416-861-9605 or 1-800-323-9672 ext. 221 or 226
Fax: 416-861-0934
Email: mail@cmlto.com
Website: www.cmlto.com

For more information on academic evaluation:

International Credential Evaluation Services (ICES)
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
CANADA
Telephone: 604-432-8800
Fax: 604-435-7033
Email: icesinfo@bcit.ca
Website: http://www.bcit.ca/ices/

World Education Services (WES)
45 Charles Street East, Suite 700
Toronto, ON M4Y 1S2
CANADA
Telephone: 416-972-0070 or 1-866-343-0070
Fax: 416-972-9004
Email: inquiry@wes.org
Website: www.wes.org/ca

For more information on the Canadian professional association as well as the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA):

Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)
PO Box 2830 LCD1
33 Wellington Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 1M7
CANADA
Telephone: 905-528-8642 or 1-800-263-8277
Fax: 905-528-4968 Email (to check whether documents were received by CSMLS): pla@csmls.org
Website: www.csmls.org

For more information on the Ontario professional association:

Ontario Society of Medical Technologists (OSMT)
234 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 402
Toronto, ON M4P 1K5
CANADA
Telephone: 416-485-6768 or 1-800-461-6768
Fax: 416-485-7660
Email: osmt@osmt.org
Website: www.osmt.org

For TOEFL English language proficiency testing:

English Testing Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541
USA
Telephone: 609-771-7100
Fax: 610-290-8972
Email: toefl@ets.org
Website: www.ets.org

For CanTEST English/French language proficiency testing:

Language Testing Services
70 Laurier Avenue East, Room 130
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5
Telephone: 613-562-5743
Fax: 613-562-5126
Email: cantest@uottawa.ca
Website: www.cantest.uottawa.ca

For information on MLT Programs:

St. Lawrence College
MLT Program
PO Box 6000, Station Main
Kingston, ON K7L 5A6
CANADA
Telephone: 613-544-5532
Fax: 613-545-3923
Email: Liaison@SL.ON.CA
Website: www.sl.on.ca

St. Clair College
MLT Program
2000 Talbot Road West
Windsor, ON N9A 6S4
CANADA
Telephone: 519-972-2727 or 1-800-387-0524
Email: info@stclaircollege.ca
Website: www.stclaircollege.ca

Cambrian College
MLT Program
1400 Barrydowne Road
Sudbury, ON P3A 3V8
CANADA
Telephone: 705-566-8101 or 1-800-461-7145
Email: info@cambrianc.on.ca
Website: www.cambrianc.on.ca

The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences
MLT Program
(Michener also has a Diagnostic Cytology Program and a Genetics Technology Program)
222 St. Patrick Street
Toronto, ON M5T 1V4
CANADA
Telephone: 416-596-3101 or 1-800-387-9066
Fax: 416-596-3168
Email: info@michener.ca
Website: www.michener.ca

University of Ontario Institute of Technology
MLT Program
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4
CANADA
Telefphone: 905-721-8668
Toll free: 1-866-844-8648
Website: www.uoit.ca

For information on where and how to get help with settlement in Ontario:

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
110 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 200
Toronto, ON M4R 1A3
CANADA
Telephone: 416 322-4950
TTY: 416-322-1498
Fax: 416-322-8084
Email: generalmail@ocasi.org
Website: www.settlement.org

For a government contact about accessing professions and trades in Ontario:

Government of Ontario
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
400 University Avenue, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2R9
CANADA
Telephone: 416-326-9714
Fax: 416-326-6265
Email: info.mci@ontario.ca
Website : www.Citizenship.gov.on.ca/

Government of Ontario
Global Experience Ontario
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Telephone: 416-327-9694 or 1-866-670-4094
TTY: 416-327-9710 or 1-866-388-2262
Fax: 416-327-9711
Email: GEO@ontario.ca
Website: www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/geo/index.htm

For a government contact about accessing health professions in Ontario:

HealthForceOntario (HFO)
168 Queen Street East, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M5A 1S1
CANADA
Telephone: 416-862-2200
Toll Free: 1-800-596-4046 (North America) or 1-800-596-4046 ext. 4 (International)
Fax: 416-862-4818
TTY: 416-598-5964
Email: accesscentre@healthforceontario.ca
Website: www.healthforceontario.ca

For Canadian labour market trends:

Employment and Social Development Canada
Ottawa, ON KlA 0J2
CANADA
Tel: 1-800-567-6866
Website: www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml

For information on certified translation services:

Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council (CTTIC)
1 Nicholas, Street, Suite 1202
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
CANADA
Telephone: 613-562-0379
Fax: 613-241-4098
Email: info@cttic.org
Website: www.cttic.org/mission.asp

Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO)
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1202
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
CANADA
Telephone: 613-241-2846 or 1-800-234-5030
Fax: 613-241-4098
Email: info@atio.on.ca
Website: www.atio.on.ca

For information on MLT Bridging Programs:

The Michener Institute Toronto
Internationally Educated Health Professionals Bridging Program
Telephone: 416-596-3101 ext. 3147
Fax: 416-596-1207
Email: bridgingprogram@michener.ca
Website: www.michener.ca/access

Mohawk College, Hamilton
Medical Laboratory Technology for Internationally Educated Technologists
Telephone: 905-540-4247
Website: www.mohawkcollege.ca

Copyright in this Career Map is held by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario, © 2014.

For information on English language and French language classes in your community in Ontario, visit Learn English or French - Language Training.

For information on cities and towns in Ontario, visit the Living in Ontario - Cities in Ontario.

Find information about bridge-to-work training programs. Bridge training programs can help internationally educated professionals in the accounting sector gain the knowledge and information required to practice in Ontario.

 
 
 
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