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Medical Laboratory Assistant Certification Process

CSMLS is proud to offer national certification for Medical Laboratory Assistants (MLAs). Although not mandatory in Canada, MLA certification is quickly gaining recognition as the standard requirement in the profession.

This voluntary national certification provides you with:

  • A professional credential recognized by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science and the Professional Standards Council on National Certification
  • Recognition of your competence to practice within a set of national standards
  • The foundation for a national professional culture that promotes pride, excellence and recognition

The national certification examination is open to graduates of formal MLA programs. Programs can be from both educational institutions and hospital-based programs. Current practitioners who have no formal training can also challenge the exam after being declared eligible through the CSMLS Prior Learning Assessment.

The MLA exam is a competency based examination. The required competencies for MLAs are available in the Competency Profiles.

Prior to applying to challenge the exam, the CSMLS encourages all potential candidates to complete the Personal Competency Rating Booklet.

All MLA examination candidates are required to read and complete the MLA Examination Handbook and Application.


Recent Graduates:

If you are a recent graduate that has successfully completed a CMA accredited education program (including programs that have applied for accreditation), you will be eligible to challenge the certification examination if your program completion (graduation) took place within the last 12 months.

We will contact your educational institution on your behalf to verify that you have completed the program requirements. If we are unable to verify program completion, you will be required to provide to us one of the following at your own cost:

  • a notarized copy of certificate and/or transcript confirming successful completion of a CMA accredited educational institution (training program), or
  • a verification of successful program completion (transcript and/or diploma) to be sent to the CSMLS directly from your educational institution