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Internationally Educated Technologist Certification Process

As an internationally educated medical laboratory technologist (IEMLT), you have the opportunity to establish your eligibility to the CSMLS National Certification Examinations through the prior learning assessment process. Your education and experience in another country do not automatically make you eligible to write the certification exam.

The prior learning assessment (PLA) process evaluates your education and experience and compares it to the national standard. The competency profile outlines the expectations of an entry-level technologist in Canada.

CSMLS Medical Laboratory Technology certification is available in the following disciplines:

  • General Medical Laboratory Technologists: must be competent in five disciplines: clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, histotechnology (histopathology), and transfusion science (transfusion medicine, blood banking).
  • Clinical Genetics Technologists: includes both cytogenetics & molecular genetics
  • Diagnostic Cytology Technologists: includes both gynaecological & non-gynaecological analysis


Is the Prior Learning Assessment process right for you?

To help you decide if the PLA process is right for you, CSMLS encourages you to complete the Personal Competency Rating Booklet (PCRB). The Competency Rating Booklet is an excellent tool to help rate and compare your past education and experience to the required Competency Profile.

Once you have completed the Rating Booklet, we encourage you to complete the PLA Online Self-Assessment.


This test will help you identify knowledge gaps and give you valuable information to help you decide whether to pursue Canadian certification. If you choose to apply for PLA you are required to complete the OSA.

The CSMLS has prepared a resource document for candidates of the PLA process. We recommend reading Resources for Internationally Educated Medical Laboratory Technologists for valuable information on preparing to work in Canada.

To find out more about working in Canada visit:


The PLA Process involves two stages:

  1. Pre-Assessment: This includes your application and fee handling as well as gathering the required documents needed for the assessment.
  2. Post-Assessment: Your assessment results will determine if you are eligible to write the exam or not. Non-eligible results require further education and you may be required to complete a Learning Plan or a full-time Training Program.

If you feel the PLA process is the right choice for you, you must read and complete the Prior Learning Assessment Handbook and Application.


Credential Evaluation

Before continuing with the Prior Learning Assessment we require a credential evaluation for all medical laboratory technology education. We only accept credential evaluations from the following:

 Language Proficiency Requirement

A Language Proficiency test may be required if your credential evaluation states your language of instruction was not in English or French. For more information regarding accepted language proficiency evaluations visit the following sites:

If you decide that PLA is not right for you, we recommend you investigate other professional opportunities:

  • Complete a CMA accredited MLT training program
  • Consider CSMLS Certification as a MLA
  • Research opportunities in the Biotechnology field (visit for more information)

Information Sessions