HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection

Course Specifics


Participants who successfully complete this program will be awarded a national qualification in HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection.

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 HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection, 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.

Because of the nature of the industry this course is offered only to students of 18 years of age and older.

Units in the course are available in online or by distance education for the theory component.However due to the extensive practicals skills requirements of the specialised Pathology units to successfully complete the course it is essential that the student attend practical workshops and 35 hours of structured work place experience.

To be able to attend the workshops the student must achieve 80% score or more in the online multiple choice assessments for each unit. HLTAID011 Apply first aid because of its risk factor requires the student to achieve a 100% theory pass mark. All theory must be successfully completed to enable the student to attend the workshops.

To qualify to attend work placement the student must successfully complete all practical competencies whilst attending the practical workshops.

To complete the program students must attend 35 hours’ work placement in Southern.IML Pathology’s collection centres situated throughout the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla. This is organised by us.

If you work in the health industry and have HLTINF006 Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and control, please note that infection control procedures specific to Pathology Collecting are demonstrated and assessed in this program.


The qualification consists of 14 units and the student will study the theory online and once they have completed a series of the units they attend a number of practical workshops.13 of the 14 units require  practical competency to be achieved before successful completion of the unit.

There are 5 practical workshop days to successfully complete 12 units. The 13th unit requires the student to successfully collect 20 venous collections and 35 hours work placement.The additional workshop days required to achieve the successful venous collections will vary from student to student.

The location of the workshop is 35 Denison St Wollongong NSW 2500

Workshops are offered every week.

Our trainers all have vast experience in the Pathology industry and are currently working in their fields. They all have a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
You will be partnered with  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 to suit each student.

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


Assessments is competency-based and undertaken throughout the course and during practical workshops. 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 at a later date. This will be co-ordinated with the student and trainer and added tuition will be provided if required.

Work Placement experience

As a student with Southern IML Pathology you will be expected to attend 35 hour work placement experience organised by Southern IML Pathology in our collection centers. You will be supervised by a person currently working in a phlebotomist role for at least 18 hours per fortnight.

Student Support

Students are encouraged throughout the course to contact the trainers at any time Monday to Friday if they are experiencing difficulties. Southern IML Pathology has an open door policy and students may request coaching / mentoring in person, phone or by email.

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.
  • Enrolls 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 Practical Skills Booklet.
  • Discuss any complaints or grievances with your Trainer or the Training Team leader.
  • 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 collecting 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


Total number of units = 14

  • 9 core units
  • 5 elective units, consisting of:
  • at least 2 units from the electives listed below
  • up to 3 units from the electives listed below

Core units

  • CHCCOM005 – Communicate and work in health or community services
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, management and other industry providers.
    This unit applies to a range of health and community service contexts where workers may communicate face-to-face, in writing or using digital media and work with limited responsibility under direct or indirect supervision
  • CHCDIV001 – Work with diverse people
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work respectfully with people from diverse social and cultural groups and situations, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
    This unit applies to all workers.
  • HLTINF006 – Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and control
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to follow organisational infection prevention and control procedures, including implementing standard and transmission-based precautions and responding to infection risks. This unit applies to individuals working in health and direct client care contexts.
  • HLTPAT001 – Identify and respond to clinical risks in pathology collection.
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to recognise client risk factors, identify emergency situations and provide emergency or first aid response to client reactions associated with pathology specimen collection.
    This unit applies to any individual for whom pathology collection is part of the job role. They may be working in collection centres, in hospitals or in other health care environments.
  • HLTPAT002 – Perform venous blood collection
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to confirm collection requirements, prepare client and equipment, and perform routine blood collections using venous blood collection.
    This unit applies to any individual for whom blood collection is part of the job role. They may be working in collection centres, in hospitals or in other health care environments.
    This unit relates to collections from adults of varied ages and genders, adolescents and children over 5 years of age. It does not include collections from babies, neonates, arterial collections or collections made via artificial access devices such as central lines, peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines, or intra venous (IV) catheter.
  • HLTPAT004 – Collect pathology specimens other than blood
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to confirm collection requirements, prepare client and equipment and make routine pathology specimen collections
    This unit applies to any individual for whom specimen collection is part of the job role. They may be working in collection centres, in hospitals or in other health care environments
  • HLTWHS001 – Participate in workplace health and safety
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required for workers to participate in safe work practices to ensure their own health and safety, and that of others.
    The unit applies to all workers who require knowledge of workplace health and safety (WHS) to carry out their own work, either under direct supervision or with some individual responsibility.
  • BSBCUS201 – Deliver a service to customers
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to deliver all aspects of customer service at an introductory level. It includes creating a relationship with customers, identifying their needs, delivering services or products and processing customer feedback.
    It applies to individuals who perform a range of routine tasks in the workplace using a limited range of practical skills and fundamental knowledge of customer service in a defined context under direct supervision or with limited individual responsibility.
    No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.
  • BSBMED301 – Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to understand and respond to instructions; to carry out routine tasks and communicate with a range of internal/external clients in a medical environment; as well as use appropriate medical terminology.
    It applies to individuals who apply a broad range of competencies in various medical administration contexts. They may exercise discretion and judgment using appropriate knowledge to provide technical advice and support to a team. No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elective units – select 5

The following units are chosen for the student as electives to give them the best employment opportunities.

  • HLTAAP001 – Recognise healthy body systems
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work with basic information about the human body and to recognise and promote ways to maintain healthy functioning of the body.
    This unit applies to any worker who needs to use and interpret information that includes references to client anatomy and physiology.
  • HLTAID011 –Provide first aid
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to provide a first aid response to a casualty. The unit applies to all workers who may be required to provide a first aid response in a range of situations, including community and workplace settings.
    Specific licensing /regulatory requirements relating to this competency, including requirements for refresher training should be obtained from the relevant national/state/territory Work Health and Safety Regulatory Authorities.
  • HLTCAR001 – Perform electrocardiography (ECG)
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and conduct electrocardiography (ECG) procedures, producing traces that are suitable for diagnostic purposes. It does not include interpretation of the ECG.
    This unit applies to any health worker conducting ECG procedures. ECGs are performed in medical centres, hospitals and cardiologist rooms…
  • HLTHPS004 – Measure spirometry
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to prepare a client for spirometry, complete the spirometry test and to provide a report as an aid to the diagnosis and management of ventilatory impairment.
    This unit applies to any health worker who takes spirometry measurements. Spirometry measurement is commonly conducted in hospitals, respiratory physicians rooms, general practitioner (GP) rooms, pharmacies and pathology collection centres.
  • HLTPAT006 – Receive, prepare and dispatch pathology specimens
    This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to receive specimens, complete the administrative process to prepare samples for pathology testing, and dispatch specimens. This unit does not cover the dispatch of dangerous goods or the transport of specimens to external facilities.
    This unit applies to individuals working in specimen reception roles in laboratories and pathology collectors and assistants in collection centres.

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 WH&S with relevant certification.

To request a RPL / RCC you will need to:

  • Download and complete the Request for Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Read your student handbook and talk to the trainer if there is anything you need explained
  • Application must be submitted within 5 working days of commencement of the course.
  • Check your skills and knowledge for each unit of competency
  • Collect your evidence to show your competency.
  • Submitted your evidence to the Trainer for assessment.
  • The assessor will ask you to undergo a challenge test.
  • You must pay a cost for RPL which is $250 per unit

Enrolment may be made by downloading, printing and completing the online registration form.

Course Fees

$4000 Concession

Payment Plans are available to all students, a deposit of $1000 is required. All fees must be paid in full prior to work placement component of the course.

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

  • All fees are GST exclusive as GST does not apply to accredited training.
  • Cooling off period: Any student who provides written advice of their intention to withdraw within 10 days of enrolling and commencement of the course ( issue of user name, password and logging into the course) will receive an automatic full refund excluding a $200 administration fee.
  • Refunds outside the 10 day cooling off 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.
  • Commencement of the course is considered to be the date the student officially logs into and commences the course.
  • No refunds shall be paid where an applicant fails to attend a workshop or withdraws on the day of the commencement of the workshop. A Statement of attainment will be issued where the student has successfully completed all requirements for a unit.

Payments may be made by:

  • Credit card
  • Cheque
  • Direct bank deposit (account details provided once interview performed)

When the fee has been payed securing your place in the course you will be issued with a user name and password.

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.

Withdrawal / Non Completion of a Qualification

Students have a 12 month period to complete the course from the date of enrolment. Any student that fails to complete in this time will be issued with a Statement of attainment for the units that they have successfully completed. If a student wishes to extend this training period beyond 12 months they must apply to Southern IML Pathology Training in writing an additional fee of $100 per unit will be charged fro training beyond the 12 month period.

Tuition Assurance for Students Policy

This is a statement of the Southern. IML Pathology ABN 73010161494 policy in regards to course tuition fee protection for domestic students. This guarantees that in the unlikely event that this RTO closes the students fees are guaranteed a transfer to a replacement RTO to complete there course at no additional cost to the student.

Southern.IML Pathology is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), registered through the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) with our qualifications recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

The VET Tuition Assurance requirements are to protect vocational education and training (VET) students in the event of Southern. IML Pathology ceasing to provide the course and/or semester of study in which a student is enrolled.