Diploma of Laboratory Technology
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 companyâ€™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.