Exam Attempt Policy
Candidates have three attempts at the certification exam as set by the Professional Standards Council policy, which took effect January 1, 2014.
After two consecutive attempts, an exam candidate must complete a Learning Plan based on the outcome of the two previous examinations, before attempting their third and final attempt at the certification exam.
Candidates exceeding three exam attempts are no longer eligible to challenge the exam and must complete a full-time Medical Laboratory Technology or Assistant program to become eligible again to take the CSMLS certification exam.
First-Time Examination Candidates
Initial Eligibility There are two ways to become initially eligible to write the Exam:
1. EQual™ Accredited* Canadian Medical Laboratory Educational Program Candidate To be eligible to write the Exam, candidates must have successfully completed all EQual™ accredited Canadian medical laboratory educational program (referred to as “Educational Program” herein) requirements:
*This includes educational programs that are listed as “Accredited”, “Accredited with Condition”, or “Registered” on the Accreditation Canada website.
- a minimum of two (2) weeks before the Exam date; or
- within twelve (12) months prior to their registered Exam date, never having previously registered for, or attended, the same Exam designation.
2. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Candidate To be eligible to write the Exam, candidates must have successfully completed the CSMLS Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process. They must have received an “Eligibility Statement to the CSMLS Certification Examination”. This statement must be valid (not expired) for the Exam date to which they are applying.
If you are not currently residing in Canada, please read more information for Non-Residents of Canada.
All candidates will be verified as eligible to the Exam prior to the Exam they have registered for. If you are found ineligible to the Exam and your registration is cancelled, you may lose that attempt (considered a fail) and you may receive a partial refund or no refund, depending on timing. Candidates verified by a program as not being eligible to the exam will receive a full refund if the program provides the information by the due date on the verification form for that exam session.
All Candidates who are deemed eligible to challenge the Medical Laboratory Technology exam are also eligible to challenge the Medical Laboratory Assistant exam.
If you are a recent graduate that has successfully completed an accredited education program, you will be eligible to challenge the certification examination within the next twelve 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 an accredited training program; or
- a verification of successful program completion (transcript and/or diploma) to be sent to the CSMLS directly from your educational institution
Not a Recent Graduate
If you have completed your MLT program more than twelve months ago, then you are not eligible to write the certification exam. You will need to apply for a prior learning assessment (PLA) first.
The PLA will determine if you are eligible to challenge the exam based on your education, clinical training and experience. Learn more about the Prior Learning Assessment process.
Please note that you can apply for the exam before you are eligible (Accredited MLT training program completed or learning plan requirements completed), but we must receive verification that your accredited MLT training program or learning plan has been successfully completed BEFORE the exam date. Please contact the Administrator, Certification & PLA at email@example.com to verify eligibility requirements have been met.
Non-Residents of Canada
If you are a non-resident of Canada and we have declared you eligible for the CSMLS Certification exam, you will need to:
- Send in your application by mail, fax, or email, DO NOT apply online
- Pay the non-resident exam fee
You are considered a non-resident of Canada if you:
- normally, customarily, or routinely live in another country and are not considered a resident of Canada; or
- do not have significant residential ties in Canada; and
- you live outside Canada throughout the tax year; or
- you stay in Canada for less than 183 days in the tax year.
You will not be allowed to write the exam if you include false information on your exam application form. This includes providing a false address to avoid paying non-resident exam fees.
You may be asked to provide proof of residency or a copy of a current tax form or alternative document proving Canadian residency.
Applied for Exam but Not Eligible
If you apply for the exam but are not eligible, you will be refunded your exam fees minus the administrative fee. Students who have not completed their MLT/MLA program will be refunded all of their exam fees.
Registering for an Exam after an Unsuccessful First Attempt
If a candidate is not successful on their first Exam attempt they are allowed to write the Exam a second time within their eligibility time frame (see ‘Exam Attempt Policy’ below). Candidates will be required to apply and pay for their next Exam by registering online or by sending in a paper application with the correct fee. If the candidate does not apply for their second attempt within this time frame, they will have forfeited their second Exam attempt and it will be considered a fail.
After an Unsuccessful Second Attempt
After two (2) unsuccessful attempts (whether attended or not) the candidate is placed into the Second Exam Cycle. They must re-establish Exam eligibility by successfully completing a Learning Plan to write a third and final Exam attempt.
Registering for an Exam after an Unsuccessful Second Attempt and After Successful Completion of a Learning Plan to Re-establish Exam Eligibility
After completing the assigned Learning Plan, the candidate must have official documents submitted to CSMLS by the learning plan provider (whether course work, clinical placement, or other approved learning plan option) on the candidate’s behalf. The official documents must prove successful completion of the full learning plan.
Once these documents have been processed to the candidate’s file, they will be reviewed for exam eligibility. This review can take four to six weeks.
If the Learning Plan is deemed successfully complete, an Eligibility Statement will be issued to the candidate.
These candidates must not register for an exam session unless they have received a CSMLS Eligibility Statement.
The CSMLS Eligibility Statement will include the expected exam date that the candidate is expected to attend. This is usually the next available exam session where registration has not yet opened, to provide enough time to prepare for the exam and so the candidate can apply without paying a late fee. However, candidates can register for an earlier exam session, provided all applicable fees have been paid and registration is open when they receive their CSMLS Eligibility Statement.
Candidates must not register for an exam session, for their third and final attempt, unless they have received a CSMLS Eligibility Statement.
If a candidate registers to write the exam without a CSMLS Eligibility Statement, their exam registration may be cancelled and fees refunded, minus the administration fee. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.