medical laboratory technologist


Who is the licensing body responsible for Medical Laboratory Technologists in Alberta?   

In Alberta, you must be registered with the Alberta College of Medical Laboratory Technologists
(ACMLT) to practice as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. Only registered members may
call themselves Medical Laboratory Technologists and have right to the title MLT.

What are the licensure requirements for internationally educated Medical Laboratory Technologists?

To achieve MLT registration with the Alberta College of Medical Laboratory Technologists
(College) the following steps are necessary:

  1. Contact the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS), the national professional
    association and certifying body for Medical Laboratory Technologists (MLTs) in Canada.
  2. Request a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) from the CSMLS to establish Canadian equivalency.
  3. Write the CSMLS certification exam.

What is the role of the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)?

The Canadian Society of Medical Laboratory Science is responsible for promoting
a nationally accepted
standard of medical laboratory technology in Canada.

Prior Learning Assessment

An internationally educated Medical Laboratory Technologist (IEMLT) has the opportunity to establish
eligibility to the CSMLS National Certification Examinations through the prior learning assessment process.
The prior learning assessment (PLA) process evaluates academic credentials, experiential (practical) learning,
professional development and work history to determine equivalency.

The CSMLS assesses the following technologist types:

General Medical Laboratory Technologist 
Diagnostic Cytotechnologist 
Clinical Genetics Technologist 
Medical Laboratory Assistants

There are two main stages of the prior learning assessment process: pre-assessment and post-assessment.

The Pre-assessment Stage is based on document submittal. Applicants are encouraged to be aware of
the assessment criteria including required documents, assessment fee and turnaround time for assessment
results. It is also important to note that the CSMLS requires documents to be translated in English by a
certified translator. In Alberta, the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta provides
translation services.  

The CSMLS also requires proof of English language fluency by one of the following accepted testing scores: TOEFL, IELTS, and CanTEST. To learn more about where to take an English language proficiency test in Alberta, visit English Language Proficiency Tests and Locations.

The CSMLS accepts credential evaluation from International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) and World Education Services (WES).

The Post Assessment Stage of the prior learning assessment process is from the time when the PLA file is
forwarded to the assessment team for review and the PLA report is composed and issued.

There are three main results a PLA client can obtain from their prior learning assessment:

  • “Equivalent”, eligible to challenge the certification examination
  • “Not equivalent”, must successfully complete a learning plan to become eligible to challenge
    the certification exam”. Clients are given a list of courses that are identified in their PLA report.
  • “Not equivalent,” must complete a full-time CMA accredited training program in order to become
    eligible to challenge the certification exam.

Provisional Permit

Upon successful completion of the PLA, and confirmation of registration to challenge the CSMLS exam, candidates can apply to ACMLT for a Provisional Permit. The duration of the permit is for the balance of the current registration year and may be renewed up to the anniversary date of application. Candidates for registration may have to complete some Canadian MLT work experience hours in order to complete all requirements for full MLT registration in Alberta. Once the candidate has passed the CSMLS exam and completed Canadian MLT work experience hour requirements, they can apply to the ACMLT to have their permit upgraded from provisional to full standing MLT status.

What are the educational requirements for Medical Laboratory Technologists in Alberta?

(Note: Licensing bodies compare international education and experience to Canadian standards)

In Alberta, the following institutions offer medical laboratory programs that are at least two years in length:

Additional Occupational Information

For more information on occupational duties and wages, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service at and search for Medical Laboratory Technologist under Occupational Information.

Examination Information

The CSMLS Certification Examination

Most of the exam is based on competency and what a candidate can do. Candidates have three attempts to pass the exam. If they fail the third time, applicants need to establish their eligibility again.  There is no exam syllabus. Candidates can also contact NAIT and SAIT for exams that mimic the national exam. This is an online sample exam. Candidates are encouraged to be aware of the exam criteria, exam fees and turnaround time for exam results. CSMLS certification exams are offered February, June and October.

                                                                                                                       Last updated: November 2009