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Certificate III in Pathology HLT32612

This qualification, also known as a Pathology or Specimen Collector Course covers workers who undertake the collection of blood and other pathology specimens under supervision. It should be noted that this qualification does not cover collection of a range of specimens for specialised testing, collection of arterial blood gases or team leadership and training. This qualification is suited to Australian Apprenticeship pathways. 

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.

Important Note: 

  • All Certificate III in Pathology courses must be completed via workshops in a face to face , classroom environment.  
  • It is not possible to obtain a cert 3 in Pathology without completing the practical workshops. 




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Occupational titles for these workers may include:

  • Specimen collection officer
  • Pathology assistant
  • Laboratory aide
  • Specimen reception assistant
  • Pathology collector
  • Operational officer


14 units of competency are required for this qualification, including:

6 core units + 8 elective units, including:

  • Group A electives which are required for work in pathology collection   
  • 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 the TGA or other public listing


    Core units for Cert 3

    • BSBFLM303C  Contribute to effective workplace relationships
    • BSBMED301B Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
    • HLTFA311A Apply first aid
    • HLTHIR301C         Communicate and work effectively in health
    • HLTIN301C Comply with infection control policies and procedures
    • HLTWHS300A Contribute to WHS processes

    Group A electives - required for work in pathology collection

    • The following three (3) electives must be selected for pathology work involving collection:
    • 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


    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 the specified Packaging Rules. The following list of relevant electives may facilitate selection. Employers may specify that certain electives are required to address identified workplace needs.
    • AURS241608A Carry out cash and/or credit/funds transfer transactions
    • BSBCMM201A Communicate in the workplace
    • BSBCUS201B Deliver a service to customers
    • BSBCUS301B Deliver and monitor a service to customers
    • BSBINM301A  Organise workplace information
    • BSBINN201A   Contribute to workplace innovation
    • BSBWOR203B Work effectively with others
    • BSBWOR204A Use business technology
    • BSBWOR301B Organise personal work priorities and development
    • HLTPAT301D  Receive and prepare pathology specimens
    • HLTPAT304D  Collect pathology specimens other than blood            
    • HLTRAH302C Undertake home visits

    1. Immunisation

    While not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that students participating in the Pathology stream qualifications be immunised for Hepatitis A and B, prior to enrolment. The National Centre for Immunisation (NCIRSO) advises that adults should be vaccinated when there is an increased risk due to occupational exposure.