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Certificate IV in Pathology HLT41812

To gain entry into the HLT41812 Certificate IV in Pathology candidates must demonstrate competence through a recognised training program or recognition process, in specific units of competency from Certificate III in Pathology, as required by the training package.

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 covers workers 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;




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Occupational titles for these workers may include:

  • Specimen collector 
  • Pathology collector
  • Specialist pathology collector
  • Team leader / supervisor 
  • Pathology specimen receptionist 
  • Pathology Lab Assistant Trainer

Compulsory Units

  • 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 environmen
  • MSL953001A Receive and prepare samples for testing
  • MSL973002A Prepare working solutions
  • MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination
  • MSL973004A Perform aseptic techniques


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

  • HLTHIR402D Contribute to organisational effectiveness in the health industry
  • HLTHIR405B Show leadership in health technical work
  • 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:

  • TPAT410D Collect pathology specimens other than blood for specialised testing (pre-requisite : HLTPAT304D)
  • HLTPAT411D Perform blood collection for specialised testing 

Group B electives

must be selected for specialisation in pathology assistanc

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

  • HLTPAT419C Perform pathology tests
  • MSL924002A Use laboratory application software

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

  • HLTHIR403C Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers
  • 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.

  • HLTIN403C  Implement and monitor infection control policy and procedures
  • HLTWHS456A Identify, assess and control WHS risk in own work

Specialist collection

  • HLTAP301B                 Recognise healthy body systems in a health care context
  • HLTCA402D                 Perform holter monitoring (Note pre-requisite: HLTCA401D)
  • HLTPAT407D               Perform electrocardiography (ECG)
  • HLTPAT409D               Perform intravenous cannulation for sample collection
  • HLTPAT412D               Collect arterial blood samples
  • HLTPAT414D               Measure spirometry/flow volume loop
  • HLTPAT420B               Perform specialist and technically difficult collections
  • (Note pre-requisite: HLTPAT411D Perform blood collection for specialised testing
  • HLTRAH302C               Undertake home visits
  • HLTMAMP402C          Assist with clinical procedures in a medical practice
  •  (Note pre-requisite:HLTFA311A Apply first aid)

Pathology assistance

  • HLTPAT413D               Assist with pathology procedures
  • MSL935001A               Monitor the quality of test results and data
  • MSL975001A               Perform microbiological tests
  • MSL975002A               Perform haematological tests
  • MSL975003A               Perform histological tests
  • MSL975004A               Perform chemical pathology tests
  • MSL975006A               Perform immunohaematological tests
  • MSL975013A               Perform tissue and cell culture techniques
  • MSL975014A               Perform molecular biology tests and procedures

Team leadership and supervision

  • BSBCUS401B               Coordinate implementation of customer service strategies
  • BSBINN301A                Promote innovation in a team environment
  • BSBMGT403A              Implement continuous improvement
  • BSBWOR401A             Establish effective workplace relationships
  • BSBWOR402A             Promote team effectiveness
  • FNSRTS308A                Balance cash holdings
  • HLTWHS401A              Maintain WHS workplace processes
  • MSL934002A               Apply quality system and continuous improvement processes
  • SITXHRM003A             Roster staff

Workplace training and assessment

  • CHCCS427B                 Facilitate adult learning and development
  • TAEASS401B                Plan assessment activities and processes
  • TAEASS402B                Assess competence
  • TAEASS403B                Participate in assessment validation
  • TAEASS502B                Design and develop assessment tools

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.