MSL40109 - Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques
Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques
This qualification covers the skills and knowledge required to perform a range of laboratory techniques to conduct tests and sampling in a variety of industry sectors.
Job roles/employment outcomes
The Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques offers technical training in laboratory techniques across a range of industries. Employment outcomes targeted by this qualification include technical assistants, technicians, instrument operators and similar personnel.
Technical assistants undertake a wide range of sampling and testing that requires the application of a broad range of technical skills and some scientific knowledge. Although technical assistants generally work in a laboratory, they often work closely with other personnel throughout the workplace and with suppliers. They may assist other personnel to solve technical problems and to adjust formulations and production mixes. They may also train them to collect samples and conduct basic tests reliably.
The work of technical assistants involves similar tasks within one scientific discipline with occasional peak periods and some interruptions. They:
work according to established procedures in a structured environment
collect and prepare samples
conduct a wide range of basic tests and a limited range of specialised tests and measurements using manual, semi-automated and fully automated techniques
define and solve problems of limited complexity where the information available is less obvious, but not contradictory, and can be determined by direct reasoning
work under the direction and regular supervision of senior technical staff, laboratory or quality managers, or scientific/medical personnel. The work of technical assistants is normally subject to frequent progress and quality checks
generally work in a team and may have responsibility for their own work outputs.
An example of the work of technical assistants is given below.
A technical assistant who works in a mineral preparation plant receives and logs incoming ore samples and operates handling equipment to move samples to treatment points. In the laboratory, the assistant conducts routine chemical and physical tests and redirects other sub-samples for specialised analyses.
This qualification is typically used to prepare new employees or develop the skills of existing workers performing a technical assistant role in a variety of industry sectors.
This qualification recognises that some industry sectors employ technicians who have broad technical-scientific knowledge and skills, but without substantial depth in one specialisation as provided by the Diploma of Laboratory Technology. This qualification also addresses the concerns of industry representatives who stated that a gap between the Certificate III and Diploma in the Qualifications Framework could represent a barrier to career progression in some 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.
To be awarded a Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques competency must be achieved in a total of seventeen (17) units of competency, consisting of:
six (6) mandatory units of competency from Group 1
eleven (11) elective units of competency from Groups 2 and 3, chosen as described below.
Units listed under mandatory are considered essential for all technical assistants. The units listed as electives may only apply to some personnel according to the size and scope of the particular enterprise and laboratory.
Note: Prerequisite units are listed and must be considered in the total number of units.
Group 1 Mandatory units
Select all six (6) units of competency listed below.
This qualification may be accessed by direct entry. Credit may be granted towards this qualification by those who have completed the MSL30109 Certificate III in Laboratory Skills. Credit for this qualification may include units contained within relevant skill sets.
Pathways from the qualification
Further training pathways from this qualification include MSL50109 Diploma of Laboratory Technology.
Additional qualification advice
Because specialisation is a requirement in some industry sectors for the Certificate IV, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) may choose to issue a generic:
Certificate IV in Laboratory Technology
or, where elective units of competency are packaged to suit a particular industry sector or specialisation, RTOs might issue a:
Certificate IV in Laboratory Technology
(specialising in xxxxxxx)
Industry sector/specialisations could include, but are not limited to:
construction materials testing
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 of competency in this qualification. Local regulations should be checked for details.
Industry/enterprise requirements for this qualification include:
Receive and pass on written and oral messages, provide relevant information in response to requests and demonstrate effective interpersonal skills including conflict resolution techniques
Record and store data, perform basic calculations of scientific quantities and present information in tables and graphs
Report using verbal responses, data entry into laboratory information management system (LIMS) and brief written reports
Communicate with team members, supervisors and customers
Interpret standard operating procedures (SOPs) and material safety data sheets (MSDS)
Work effectively with team members who may have diverse work styles, cultures and perspectives when reporting problems, hazards and incidents and results or contributing to productivity improvements
Promote cooperation and good relations in the team
Deal with inquiries in accordance with enterprise customer service requirements
Rectify errors in data using enterprise procedures
Recognise and report non-conformances or problems to appropriate personnel
Initiative and enterprise
Access and provide relevant information that meets own authorisation and confidentiality requirements
Recognise potential incidents and take appropriate corrective action
Identify and report opportunities for improvements in procedures, processes, quality and equipment
Identify hazards associated with samples, preparation methods, reagents and equipment and implement enterprise control measures
Planning and organising
Plan and organise daily work activities to ensure the timely completion of tasks
Modify work plans to suit changing conditions and priorities
Assemble and organise specified laboratory equipment and materials
Follow enterprise procedures which reflect equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and non-harassment legislative requirements
Maintain enterprise standards of personal hygiene
Conduct work based on ethical values and principles and ensure quality and integrity of own work
Review own strengths, weaknesses and work practices for opportunities to continuously improve performance
Maintain security and confidentiality of all client/enterprise data and information
Use appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety when sampling, processing, transferring or disposing of samples
Clarify instructions with supervisors to ensure a complete understanding of the task
Update knowledge and skills and take advantage of skill development opportunities
Coach others in participating in occupational health and safety (OHS) and environmental management issues
Use communication, emergency, data recording and equipment, including items such as instruments that emit ionising radiation, calibration standards, laboratory information management systems and earth moving equipment.
Select and use computers and software to collect and report information