Certificate III in Pathology
(Specialising in Specimen Collection)

Participants who successfully complete this program will be awarded a national qualification in Certificate III in Pathology HLT32612.

This nationally accredited program covers the underpinning theory, practice and legislative elements required by persons working in the area of pathology specimen collection. Practical and industry focused, this program explores the role of the pathology collector and the knowledge and skills required. It also examines the critical areas of workplace safety and care. Successful completion of this program and the relevant formal assessment entitles the participant to a Certificate III in Pathology HLT32612, a nationally recognised qualification.

There is no need for past experience in the medical field to enter this course. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate at interview effective communication skills, appropriate English language skills (written and spoken), as well as be able to communicate to the interviewer their motivation for training. They will be asked to complete a basic literacy numeracy test to assess their suitability.

Some modules are not available under flexible delivery due to the extensive practicals skills requirements of the specialised Pathology units. To complete the certificate students must attend the practical workshops.

If you work in the health industry and have HLTIN301C or HLTWHS300, please note that infection control procedures specific to Pathology Collecting are demonstrated and assessed in this unit.


You may choose to study the course:

Full Time

Face to face full time over three week with the following units studied as distance education:

BSBFLM303C - Contribute to effective workplace relationships

BSBMED301B - Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately

HLTHIR301C - Communicate and work effectively in heatlh

HLTFA311A - Apply first aid (please note practical for this unit is assessed at the workshop)


Distance education with a one week practical workshop.

The workshops are held at our specifically designed training centre with simulated work areas as well as practical on-site training.  The student has the choice of studying the course on line or can study the course via distance learning receiving the modules by mail.

Both options include visual aids demonstrating all practical componants of the course, and work placement experience with Southern.IML Pathology.

The locations of the workshops are available on request. Email: Janelle Morris
Overseas students will need to have a holiday visa and the workshop will be Wollongong NSW.

The face to face full time classes will be run 10 times a year with each course being of 3 week duration, Monday to Friday.  Students studying all units via distance education must complete the following units before they can attend a practical workshop.

HLTIN301C - Comply with infrection control policies and procedures

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

HLTRAH302C - Undertake home visits

HLTPAT402D - Perform ECG

HLTPAT414D - Measure spriometry/flow volum flow loop

A one week workshop is held on a monthly basis and a timetable is issued upon acceptance into the course.

On line and distance learning are available on demand and practical sessions will be available at an agreeable time between the student and the training department.

Our trainers all have vast experience in the Pathology industry and are currently working in their fields. They all have a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. You will be partnered up with senior mentors in collection centres for work experience and feedback will be given to your trainers as to your performance and training needs. All students are treated as individuals and all consideration is given and effort is made to structure a learning pattern for each student.

Assessments are competency-based and undertaken throughout the course and at the practical workshop. You will be kept informed of your progress. Upon completion of the training, there will be both theoretical and practical assessments. Any student who does not pass will have the opportunity to re-sit the assessments / exam at a later date. This will be co-ordinated with the student and trainer and added tuition will be provided if required.

Code of Practice
Southern.IML Pathology provides the highest standard of vocational education and training in the field of pathology collecting. Our code of practice outlines our operational policies and our commitment to our clients.

Southern.IML Pathology:

  • Is committed to the continuous improvement of its training delivery and assessment services.
  • Complies with all State and Territory regulatory and legislative requirements.
  • Advertises and markets its training delivery services openly, honestly and with integrity.
  • Provides accurate, relevant and up to date information on enquiry.
  • States its fees and charges on enquiry.
  • Outlines its fees and refund policy in the Student Handbook.
  • Enrols applicants to its courses on the basis of access and equity.
  • Recognises qualifications issued by registered training organisations within the Australian Qualifications Framework.
  • Provides up to date facilities and equipment in a safe and healthy environment.
  • Prohibits discrimination in any form towards any group or individual.
  • Employs suitably qualified and experienced staff.
  • Conducts fair, flexible, valid and reliable competency-based assessments.
  • Provides academic support to students or referral to external agencies for additional learning support.
  • Encourages feedback and evaluation from its stakeholders.
  • Maintains accurate, confidential and secure training and financial records.
  • Provides timely and accurate information to government agencies and funding bodies

Class Sizes
Practical class sizes are limited students to enable individual attention. The practical aspect of the training will involve the group breaking into smaller groups of 3-4 students to each trainer.

As a student at Southern.IML Pathology it is your responsibility to:

  • Conduct yourself in a safe and healthy manner
  • Behave in a manner that prevents injury and disease to you, your trainer and fellow students.
  •  Wear appropriate personal protective equipment as required
  • Identify and report to your trainer any possible hazards from equipment, facilities and environment.
  • Comply with and assist with the company's emergency procedures.
  • Refrain from smoking anywhere in the building.
  • Refrain from eating / drinking in the workrooms.
  • Attend class regularly and punctually.
  • Comply with the assessment information outlined in the Student Handbook and the Student Assessment Handbook.
  • Discuss any complaints or grievances with your trainer or the collecting manager.
  • Ensure no inappropriate, harassing or bullying behaviour at any time to other students, staff, work placement supervisors or visitors to the institution.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour, harassment or bullying behaviour to your trainer, workplace trainer or the colleting manager.
  • Refrain from any unacceptable behaviour including the use of bad language, alcohol, or drugs.
  • Refrain from the use of devices that may disrupt classes e.g., mobile phones and pagers.

Students who choose not to comply with the code of behaviour will be given a verbal warning in the first instance, a written warning in the second instance and dismissal in the third and final instance.

This course aims to provide participants with the skills and knowledge needed to become a Pathology Collector. A collector must be accountable for their own safety, the safety of the patient as well as that of their co-workers and the general public. Above all it must be remembered that Pathology is a science and it is expected that the product of Pathology is accuracy of results. Collectors must always be accurate and accountable in everything that they do; and never deviate or take shortcuts in work that may result in risks to the patient's health, or even death.


 Training School


HLTIR301C - Communicate and work effectively in health
This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in a health setting with clients, staff visitors, suppliers and others to meet established work requirements.

BSBFLM303C - Contribute to effective workplace relationships
This unit specifies the outcomes required to gather information and to maintain effective working relationships and networks with particular regard to communication and representation.

HLTPAT305D - Operate efficiently within a pathology and specimen collection environment
This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to work effectively within a pathology and specimen collection environment.

HLTWHS300A - Contribute toWHS processes.
This unit specifies the workplace performance required by an employee to contribute to OHS processes where there is a responsibility for own work outputs and possibly limited responsibility for the work outputs of others.

HLTIN301C - Comply with infection control policies and procedures in health work.
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required for workers to comply with infection control polices and procedures. All procedures must be carried out in accordance with current infection control guidelines Australian and New Zealand Standards for maintaining infection control and the policies and procedures of the organisation.

BSBMED01B - Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
This unit covers understanding and responding to instructions, carrying out routine tasks and communicating with a range of internal and external clients in a medical office, using appropriate basic medical terminology. This unit will assist the student to be able to understand the meaning of the tests requested by the practitioner and the clinical history that the practitioner may have recorded. It will also enable the student to communicate with the laboratory vital medical information that will assist in the diagnosis of the patient.

HLTFA311A - Apply first aid

HLTPAT306D - Perform blood collection
This unit is concerned with the knowledge and skills required for routine blood collection from a defined client / patient group, and includes complex blood collection techniques. Work performed requires a broad knowledge base and an ability to apply solutions to a defined range of unpredictable problems. Individuals will take responsibility for their own outputs and limited responsibility for the outputs of others.

HLTPAT308D - Identify and respond to clinical risks associated with pathology collection.
This unit is concerned with the ability to identify and respond to clinical risks and client / patient reactions associated with pathology specimen collection. Work performed requires a broad knowledge base and the ability to apply solutions to defined range of unpredictable problems. Individuals will take responsibility for their own outputs and limited responsibility for the outputs of others.

HLTRAH301C -Undertake home visits
This competency unit describes the skills and knowledge required to make a home visit for the purpose of delivering health services.

HLTPAT414D - Measure spirometry / flow volume flow loop
This unit describes the knowledge and skills required to prepare a client for measure of spirometry / flow volume loop, and to provide a report as an aid to the diagnosis and management of ventilatory impairment.

HLTPAT301D - Receive and prepare pathology specimens
This unit of competency covers the ability to receive and prepare a range of samples for pathology testing. Work performed requires a range of well-developed skills where some discretion and judgment is required. Individuals will take responsibility for their own outputs and limited responsibility for the quality and quantity of output of others.

HLTPAT407D - Perform ECG
This unit is concerned with the knowledge and skills required to use Electrocardiograph, and to provide a client's ECG trace under supervision of an appropriate health professional.
All tasks for all modules are conducted in accordance with organisational policies and procedures including WHS and infection control.

HLTPAT304D - Collect pathology specimens other than blood
This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to follow procedures for collection of pathology specimens other than blood from clients and clients for pathology testing.

All tasks for all modules are conducted in accordance with organisational policies and procedures including OH&S and infection control.

RPL - Recognition of Prior Learning
If you believe you already have the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency you can request a RPL/RCC. It does not matter whether you acquired your skills and knowledge through informal learning, work experience and/or life experience. Types of evidence that may be applicable are:

  • Experience in the pathology industry with particular experience in collecting/specimen reception.
  • Experience in related medical industries with experience in collecting/ECG departments.
  • Experience in WHS with relevant certification.

To request a RPL/RCC you will need to:

  1. Download  and complete the Request for Recognition of Prior Learning
  2. Contact the Training Coordinator for the RPL/RCC kit
  • Read your student handbook and talk to the trainer if there is anything you need explained
  • Check your skills and knowledge for each unit of competency
  • Collect your evidence to show your competency.
  • Upload your evidence to the Trainer for assessment.
  • Application must be submitted within 5 working days of commencement of the course.
  • The assessor will ask you to undergo a challenge test.
  • You must pay a cost for RPL.

Enrolment may be made by :

  • Completing the  online registration form 

Course Fees
Southern IML Pathology course fees cover all tuition costs including training manual, handouts, use of products, tools and equipment.

Course costs on application.

  • All fees are GST exclusive as GST does not apply to accredited training.
  • A deposit of $1,000.00 is required on the day at completion of the pre-course interview and successful acceptance. This will secure your place in the class.
  • Full payment must be received at least 14 days prior to the commencement of the course.
  • Where payments are received within 14 days of the commencement of the course we reserve the right to defer the applicant's enrolment to a later course. 
  • Any student who provides written advice of their intention to withdraw within 10 days of enrolling will receive an automatic refund excluding a $200.00 administration fee.
  • Refunds outside the 10 day period are at the discretion of Southern IML Pathology and made under exceptional circumstances. Southern IML Pathology reserves the right to defer an enrolment or accept a transfer outside this period.
  • No refunds will be paid where an applicant fails to attend a course or withdraws on the day of the commencement of the course.
  • Practical workshops outside of the Illawarra or Shoalhaven will incure an additional $500.00 or $300.00 concession per student to cover costs.

Payments may be made by:

  • Credit card 35 Denison St Wollongong - by completing credit card details on the enrolment form - 9-5pm Monday to Friday or by phone 1300552512
  • Cash to 35 Denison St Wollongong only  9-5pm Monday to Friday (EFTPOS available)
  • Certificate III in Pathology Specimen Collection will not be issued until all cheques are cleared.
  • When the fee has been payed securing your place in the course you will be issued with a Student Handbook along with receipt of payment
  • Should Southern IML Pathology cancel any training session students are entitled to transfer funds to replacement training session.
  • After course commencement students who discontinue will not be entitled to any refund.
  • Every effort will be made to negotiate the transfer of training in the event of a student's prolonged illness or personal hardship. However, no consideration can be given to extended absences for any other reason.

If you are studying online:
When the fee has been payed securing your place in the course you will be issued a password.

Withdrawal or Non Completion of a Qualification

In completing this qualification under the NSW Strategic Skills Program (SSP), it is anticipated that payment of a portion of the fees for the course will be made by the NSW Government.  In the event that part of the payment is not received due to withdrawal or non completion of the qualification, it may be that the student is liable to pay the difference between Southern.IML Pathology's published price for the course ($2,600.00) and any sums received by Southern.IML Pathology.  In these circumstances fees invoiced will be due within 30 days of the issue of invoice.

Students have a 24 month period to complete the course from the date of enrolement.  Any student that fails to complete the course in this time will be issued with a Statement of attainment for the units they have successfully completed.  If a student wishes to extend this training period beyond 24 months they must apply to Southern.IML Pathology Training in writing.  An additional fee of $100.00 per unit will be charged for training beyond the 24 month period.

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