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What We Do


One of the major functions of CSMLS is to set qualification standards in medical laboratory science. To achieve this, we conduct exams across Canada and issue certificates to candidates who meet the prescribed standard. Certification is offered for general medical laboratory technology, diagnostic cytology, clinical genetics, and for medical laboratory assistants.

CSMLS certification is accepted anywhere in Canada. In fact, CSMLS certification is the entry-level requirement for medical laboratory technologists in all of the regulated provinces (AB, SK, NL, MB, ON, NB and NS) with the exception of Quebec. Most employers in the unregulated provinces and territories (PEI, NU, NT, YT) require CSMLS certification for medical laboratory technologists.

While it is not mandatory in any province or territory at this time, CSMLS medical laboratory assistant certification is gaining recognition across Canada.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

CSMLS provides a single point of access for prior learning assessment to internationally educated medical laboratory technologists who are seeking Canadian Certification.

The PLA process evaluates academic credentials, language proficiency, clinical training and work experience. Trained assessors from the CSMLS are responsible for evaluating work experience and clinical training. Evaluation of language proficiency and academic credentials are conducted by other agencies.

CSMLS does not receive funding from governments or regulatory bodies for providing prior learning assessment services. Clients are currently charged a fee. However, fees cover only a portion of the total cost of administering and maintaining the PLA process. The process is subsidized by CSMLS members through annual dues.

Learning Services

Medical laboratory professionals work in a dynamic and ever-changing field. CSMLS is committed to providing professional development and continuing education programs to help members update their skills and knowledge, and achieve their professional goals.

Learning Services focuses mainly on distance education programs in technical and scientific subjects. We constantly expand our services to find new ways to meet the continuing education needs of our members. For those members looking for recognition for their professional development, CSMLS offers voluntary competence assurance programs through Learning Services.

National Medical Laboratory Week

Since 1985, CSMLS has sponsored a special week (usually the third week in April) to promote awareness and understanding of the role of medical laboratory professionals in the health care system. CSMLS provides posters, brochures and other promotional material, in both official languages, free-of-charge to all members. Learn more.


CSMLS remains committed to continuing to build a clearly focused and proactive advocacy strategy. Medical laboratory professionals deserve a voice that recognizes our profession’s strong contribution to the core of Canadian health care. Our advocacy efforts are focused on two main audiences, the government and the general public.

CSMLS recognizes the need for continuous government relations to help take up the banner of our profession and inform political players about the important role we play in making health care work.

CSMLS represents the interest of the profession through ongoing discussion with federal and provincial politicians. For the past several years members of CSMLS board of directors and staff make their way to Parliament Hill to meet with elected government officials and inform them about the ongoing concerns in the medical laboratory industry. The 'Day on the Hill' has proved to be a successful event and will continue to be a main priority in the advocacy program.


The CSMLS conducts health services research to inform policy and decision-making on the education and certification of Canadian medical laboratory technologists. The goals of this research are to serve as a conduit for information about the profession and to support knowledge creation and knowledge translation about the medical laboratory profession.

Past research projects have addressed issues such as health human resources, clinical education, simulation-based education, prior learning assessment, language proficiency testing, and certification of internationally educated medical laboratory technologists (IEMLTs). The CSMLS is leading the health professions in research on the integration of internationally educated professionals and continues to address issues, such as patient safety, that contribute to a competent health professional workforce and the delivery of high quality patient care.

Research reports are available through the Publications page.


LABCON is the premier professional development conference for laboratory professionals and is the largest event of its kind in Canada. The conference gives members a chance to hear speakers of national and international renown. Members attend workshops and seminars, see the latest equipment and methods in commercial exhibits, and have a chance to meet colleagues from across Canada.

Professional Recognition Awards

CSMLS sponsors several awards that recognize members’ outstanding contributions to the profession and the Society. They include:

  • Distinguished Fellowship Award
  • Honorary Fellowship Award
  • Honorary Membership Award
  • Honorary Affiliate Membership Award
  • The A.R. Shearer Pride of the Profession Award
  • The David Ball Community Service Award

Grants, Scholarships and Awards

Every year we offer over $20,000 in Grants, Scholarships and Awards to our CSMLS members. This program is to recognize members’ outstanding contributions to the profession and to the Society. It is also here to help fund continuing education, and to aid students financially. They include:

  • CSMLS Student Scholarships - This scholarship has been established by CSMLS to help aid two students in their final year of a Canadian training program
  • Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Student Scholarship - This scholarship has been donated by Siemens Canada limited to aid two students in their last year of a Canadian training program
  • Founders’ Fund and International Founders’ Fund Awards - Assist members with continuing their professional development
  • V. Booth Scholarship Fund - Provides financial support to members who are pursuing a university degree
  • Leaders of Tomorrow LABCON Grant - This grants allows students, new graduates and MLAs a chance to attend LABCON
  • Distinguished Fellowship Award - It is the highest level of recognition bestowed to a member, granted to members who have made significant contributions to the profession
  • Honorary Fellowship Award - For outstanding contribution to the CSMLS
  • Honorary Awards - For a member / non-member in recognition of outstanding service to the CSMLS
  • The A.R. Shearer Pride of the Profession Award - Recognizes laboratory professionals who demonstrate professional pride through their leadership and commitment to excellence in the practice of medical laboratory science
  • The David Ball Community Service Award - Recognize members who have made notable contributions to their community