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Medical Laboratory Assistant National Certificate

This program is accredited by Accreditation Canada. Graduates are eligible to write the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) national exam for Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs).

If you are a student in certain provinces outside of BC, specifically in three Atlantic provinces (NS, NL, PEI), choose this program, rather than the MLA Certificate program. If you are unsure of which program to take, contact

Before applying to this program, contact to discuss the availability of practicum placements in your geographical area.

The MLA National Certificate program consists of five theory courses and a clinical practicum in a hospital or laboratory. Combined, the courses and practicum provide the theory and skills required for you to function as an MLA.

The program is equivalent to 20–24 weeks of full-time study. You have a maximum of 30 weeks to complete each course and an overall maximum of two years to complete the entire program. However, you are encouraged to complete in under one year. Note that extensions are not granted.


The program can lead to rewarding employment in a health care setting.

Program requirements

Admission requirements

Certain admission requirements may be waived upon permission from the Academic Director or a designate.

Additional requirements

Residency requirements

A minimum of six TRU credits (distance or on-campus)

Certificate requirements

19 credits total, as follows:

  • HLTH 1981, Medical Terminology (3)
  • MDLB 1221, Professional Practices and Safety in Health Care (3)
  • MDLB 1321, Phlebotomy Procedures and Specimen Preparation (3)
  • MDLB 1521, Microbiology Specimen Preparation (3)
  • MDLB 1611, Pre-Analytical Procedures for Histopathology (3)
  • MDLB 1991, Laboratory Practicum - Evaluation of National Competencies (4)
Optional course

HLTH 1141, Introduction to Electrocardiography (3)

Student Responsibility

it is your responsibility to locate and arrange for your clinical practicum placement. However, contact before you begin to arrange for this placement.

Consult with your program advisor to ensure that the courses you select are available and appropriate for your program of study and educational goals.  Otherwise, you may find that a course does not meet the requirements and cannot be applied toward the program’s credential.

You must provide your own funding, as the MLA National Certificate program is not eligible for full- or part-time loan or grant funding through the Canada Student Loan programs. However, funding may be available through other government or private sources.

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