National Certification Scheme
The medical laboratory science profession in Australia now has its own national professional certification scheme. In the absence of a regulatory requirement for registration, as operates in most OECD countries, a self-managed certification scheme was designed in recognition of the vital role scientific and technical staff play in the safe operation of Australian medical laboratories.
A Certification Scheme by Scientists, for Scientists
Representatives from professional bodies, public and private pathology providers have all worked together to design a model of medical laboratory science certification for professionals, no matter their chosen discipline. A new company with members from 10 different professional bodies has been formed to operate the scheme.
Demonstration of Professionalism
Encouraging your workforce to join the scheme can have benefits to your organisation. It demonstrates your commitment to a workforce where qualifications, competency and ongoing commitment to professional development are independently assessed and visible to the public via the register. The register shows the name of the employer, and so the organisation’s commitment to professionalism is for all to see.
An appropriate qualification is only the first step to a competent workforce. Workplace training and continued testing of skills and actions guarantees safe practice.
The CMLS have developed some guidelines for competency assessment and hope to produce a set of simple checklists which can be used to demonstrate and record the competency of individuals in a standardised manner across all pathology disciplines, targeting key skills and high risk scenarios.
Competency assessments will need to be completed every two years as a minimum. These tools will help employers to meet their obligations under AS ISO 15189 and NPAAC and will be built on a risk management framework.
Continuing Professional Development
A key requirement for certification and recertification is participation and recording of continued professional development.
CPD is the responsibility of the individual and includes activities such as reading journals, viewing webinars, attending journal clubs, local and national/international conferences and authoring scientific publications.
The requirements for CPD can be met by any committed scientist and do not place an unreasonable burden on employers.
Supporting your staff to undertake CPD and become certified demonstrates your organisation's support for professional standards and lifelong learning.
Endorsed by leading employers
The NSW Health Pathology Strategic Leadership Team have endorsed the certification scheme and encouraged all scientific and technical officers to become certified.
Sullivan and Nicolaides Pathology are also encouraging their staff to become certified.
Encourage your staff to join the register of Certified Medical Laboratory Professionals.