Certificate IV in Pathology

This qualification covers workers who undertake the collection of blood and other pathology specimens for routine and specialised testing. Workers at this level are expected to have an in depth knowledge and may work with clients with complex needs. This qualification also coversworkers that assist with the receipt and processing of pathology samples through the pre-analytical phase. Supervision may be direct, indirect or remote and must occur within organisation requirements

This qualification is suited to Australian Apprenticeship pathways.

Occupational titles for these workers may include:

Specimen collector

Specialist pathology collector

Pathology collector

Team leader / supervisor

Lab assistant

Pathology specimen receptionist

Pathology Lab Assistant Trainer



10 units of competency are required for award of this qualification, including:

3 core units

7 elective units, including:

A wide range of elective units is available, including:

Group A electives which must be selected for specialisation in pathology collection

Group B electives which must be selected for specialisation in pathology assistance

Group C electives which are recommended for culturally aware and respectful practice

Other relevant electives listed below

Units of competency to address workplace requirements and packaged at the level of this qualification or higher in Health and/or Community Services Training Packages

Where appropriate, to address workplace requirements, up to 2 units of competency packaged at the level of this qualification or higher in other relevant Training Packages or accredited courses where the details of those courses are available on TGA or other public listing

Core units

add topic HLTHIR402D Contribute to organisational effectiveness in the health industry

add topic HLTHIR405B Show leadership in health technical work

add topic HLTHIR506C Implement and monitor compliance with legal and ethical requirements

Group A electives - must be selected for specialisation in pathology collection

The following two (2) electives must be selected for work involving a specialisation in pathology collection:

add topic HLTPAT410D Collect pathology specimens other than blood for specialised testing (Note pre-requ: add topic HLTPAT304D )

add topic HLTPAT411D Perform blood collection for specialised testing (Note pre-requ: add topic HLTPAT306D )

Group B electives - must be selected for specialisation in pathology assistance

The following three (3) electives must be selected for work involving a specialisation in pathology assistance:

add topic HLTPAT419C Perform pathology tests

add topic MSL924002A Use laboratory application software

add topic MSL974006A Perform biological procedures (Note pre-requ add topic MSL973004A Perform aseptic techniques and add topic MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination)

The importance of culturally aware and respectful practice

All workers undertaking work in health need foundation knowledge to inform their work with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and co-workers and with clients and co-workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This foundation must be provided and assessed as part of a holistic approach to delivery and assessment of this qualification. Specific guidelines for assessment of this aspect of competency are provided in the Assessment Guidelines for the Health Training Package.

Group C electives - recommended for culturally aware and respectful practice

Where work involves a specific focus on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or culturally diverse clients or communities, one or both of the following electives is recommended:

add topic HLTHIR403C Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers

add topic HLTHIR404D Work effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

Other relevant electives

Additional electives are to be selected in line with specified Packaging Rules. The following grouping of electives is intended to facilitate selection. Electives may be selected from one or more groups and employers may specify that certain electives are required to address specific workplace needs.

add topic HLTIN403C Implement and monitor infection control policy and procedures

add topic HLTWHS456A Identify, assess and control WHS risk in own work

Specialist collection

add topic HLTAP301B Recognise healthy body systems in a health care context

add topic HLTCA402D Perform holter monitoring (Note pre-requ: add topic HLTCA401D )

add topic HLTPAT407D Perform electrocardiography (ECG)

add topic HLTPAT409D Perform intravenous cannulation for sample collection

add topic HLTPAT412D Collect arterial blood samples

add topic HLTPAT414D Measure spirometry/flow volume loop

add topic HLTPAT420B Perform specialist and technically difficult collections(Note pre-requ: add topic HLTPAT411D Perform blood collection for specialised testing

add topic HLTRAH302C Undertake home visits

add topic HLTMAMP402C Assist with clinical procedures in a medical practice (Note pre-requ:add topic HLTFA311A Apply first aid)

Pathology assistance

add topic HLTPAT413D Assist with pathology procedures

add topic MSL935001A Monitor the quality of test results and data

add topic MSL975001A Perform microbiological tests

add topic MSL975002A Perform haematological tests

add topic MSL975003A Perform histological tests

add topic MSL975004A Perform chemical pathology tests

add topic MSL975006A Perform immunohaematological tests

add topic MSL975013A Perform tissue and cell culture techniques

add topic MSL975014A Perform molecular biology tests and procedures

Team leadership and supervision

add topic BSBCUS401B Coordinate implementation of customer service strategies

add topic BSBINN301A Promote innovation in a team environment

add topic BSBMGT403A Implement continuous improvement

add topic BSBWOR401A Establish effective workplace relationships

add topic BSBWOR402A Promote team effectiveness

add topic FNSRTS308A Balance cash holdings

add topic HLTWHS401A Maintain WHS workplace processes

add topic MSL934002A Apply quality system and continuous improvement processes

add topic SITXHRM003A Roster staff

Workplace training and assessment

add topic CHCCS427B Facilitate adult learning and development

add topic TAEASS401B Plan assessment activities and processes

add topic TAEASS402B Assess competence

add topic TAEASS403B Participate in assessment validation

add topic TAEASS502B Design and develop assessment tools

add topic TAEDEL301A Provide work skill instruction

add topic TAEDEL402A Plan, organise and facilitate learning in the workplace


    Not Applicable

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements

To gain entry into the HLT41812 Certificate IV in Pathology candidates must demonstrate competence through a recognised training program or recognition process, in the following (4) units of competency from HLT32607 Certificate III inPathology:

BSBMED301B Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately

HLTHIR301C Communicate and work effectively in health

HLTIN301C Comply with infection control policies and procedures

HLTWHS300A Contribute to WHS processes

Plus one of the following group of units, depending on whether the work role is pathology collection or pathology assistance:

Pathology Collection

HLTFA311A Apply first aid

HLTPAT304D Collect specimens other than blood

HLTPAT305D Operate efficiently within a pathology and specimen collection environment

HLTPAT306D Perform blood collection

HLTPAT308D Identify and respond to clinical risks associated with pathology specimen collection


Pathology Assistance

BSBCUS301B Deliver and monitor a service to customers

HLTPAT317C Operate effectively within a pathology testing environment

MSL953001A Receive and prepare samples for testing

MSL973002A Prepare working solutions

MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination

MSL973004A Perform aseptic techniques

Licensing Information

Not Applicable

Employability Skills

Refer to the Topic: Introduction to the Employability Skills Qualification Summaries