Medical Laboratory Assistant

Program: MLBA
Credential: Ontario College Certificate
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: 1 Internship
Length: 2 Semesters
Duration: 1 Year
Effective: Fall 2023
Location: Barrie


The Medical Laboratory Assistant program offers students the skills and abilities to perform pre-analysis components of medical lab work under direct supervision of medical laboratory technologists in hospitals, physician’s offices and private medical laboratory settings. Through experiential learning opportunities, students become proficient in the collection of blood samples, performing ECGs, the use of laboratory equipment and being fluent in medical terminology. Communication and interpersonal skills are also developed in the program for patient interaction.  

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Medical Laboratory Assistant program may gain work as Medical Laboratory Assistants/Technicians, serving in a variety of urban and rural settings in the public and private sectors, such as

  • hospitals
  • physicians' offices
  • diagnostic labs
  • clinics
  • pharmaceutical research testing clinics
  • fertility clinics
  • specimen collection sites and blood centres such as Canadian Blood Services
  • research facilities

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. perform duties within the scope of practice outlined in the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), in compliance with established protocols, regulations, safety guidelines, and existing legislation;
  2. verify and document relevant data to ensure that appropriate specimens including venipuncture, capillary stick, ECG’s and Holter Monitors are collected and handled according to established protocols;
  3. perform pre-analytical procedures on specimens from a variety of sources to aid in the diagnosis of patients’ clinical conditions;
  4. use laboratory equipment and instruments to prepare reagents according to established protocols;
  5. practice and promote the principles of quality management to allow for optimal diagnostics;
  6. develop strategies to maintain currency and meet standards of care within the scope of practice;
  7. communicate to optimize interaction with patients/clients and other health care professionals.

External Recognition

Graduates upon completion of this program are eligible to write the Ontario Society for Medical Technology (OSMT) and the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) board exams and then are qualified to work in a variety of settings. 

Program Progression 

The following reflects the planned progression for full-time offerings of the program.

Fall Intake

  • Sem 1: Fall 2023
  • Sem 2: Winter 2024

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status 
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Chemistry (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 Biology (C or U)
    • OR Grade 11 or 12 (U), or Grade 12 (C) Physics

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:

Selection Process

Applicants will be assessed and ranked based on academic grades.

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Additional Information

Clinical Preparedness Permit  

Clinical placements will require students to have updated flu shots and Covid 19 vaccinations, TB testing and Hepatitis B vaccination, Mask Fit Test (click for requirements), as well as a Police Record Check (including Vulnerable Sector Screening and a check of the Pardoned Sex Offender Data Base). It is the student's responsibility to ensure he or she is eligible to participate in clinical placements. The College assumes no responsibility for these matters and students should be aware that tuition will not be refunded in the event that access to a placement is denied. In addition to these requirements, applicants must also provide proof of a current First Aid and C.P.R. 'HCP' certification, prior to the commencement of the clinical placement course.

Placement Requirements

Students are responsible for the costs related to transportation and accommodation if needed. Please direct inquiries to the program coordinator.

Physical Considerations

Applicants are advised that for the program's clinical requirements and future employment situations, they must have good vision (with or without corrective lenses), be able to sit and stand for prolonged periods, and mix various materials using repetitive wrist motions. Applicants with back/neck/wrist or visual problems should discuss individual concerns with the program coordinator.

Graduation Requirements

11 Program Courses
1 Communications Course
1 General Education Course
1 Clinical Internship

Graduation Eligibility

To graduate from this program, the passing weighted average for promotion through each semester, and to graduate is 60%. Additionally, a student must attain a minimum of 50% or a letter grade of P (Pass) or S (Satisfactory) in each course in each semester unless otherwise stated on the course outline.

Program Tracking

The following reflects the planned course sequence for full-time offerings of the Fall intake of the program. Where more  than one intake is offered  contact the program co-ordinator for the program tracking.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Hours
Program Courses
BIOL 1044 Anatomy and Terminology 42
MATH 1045 Medical Laboratory Mathematics 42
MLAB 1000 Quality Assurance and Control 42
MLAB 1001 Lab Equipment and Safety 42
Communications Course
Select 1 course from the communications list during registration. 42
General Education Course
Select 1 course from the general education list during registration. 42
Semester 2
Program Courses
BIOL 1045 Molecular Techniques 42
BIOL 1046 Histo - Cyto Specimens Lab 42
BIOL 1047 Histo - Cyto Specimen Collection 42
BIOL 1048 Lab Techniques - Hematology 42
BIOL 1049 Lab Techniques - Microbiology 56
CHEM 1015 Lab Techniques - Chemistry 42
MLAB 1002 Introduction to Transfusion 42
Clinical Internship
MLAB 1003 MLA Clinical Internship 210
 Total Hours770

Graduation Window

Students unable to adhere to the program duration of one year (as stated above) may take a maximum of two years to complete their credential. After this time, students must be re-admitted into the program, and follow the curriculum in place at the time of re-admission.

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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