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 the past twelve (12) months of graduation, never having previously registered for the same Exam.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 or fax (you cannot 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 Your Exam - After an Unsuccessful Attempt
If you were not successful on your last exam attempt and you are eligible to write the certification exam again, you will be automatically provided with an application form, directions and an alternate application deadline. You must follow the provided directions fully to be eligible for the next exam attempt. You will be required to apply and pay for your next exam attempt by mail, email or fax only.
You are expected to come to the next available exam session. If you do not apply by the deadline date provided you will not be able to write the next exam and you will lose this attempt. A loss of an exam attempt is considered a fail.
If you were not successful on your last/previous exam attempt and you have been informed that you need to complete a Learning Plan, you cannot register for the next exam. Visit the Learning Plans page for more information.
Registering for Your Exam - After Completing a Learning Plan
After you complete your Learning Plan and the CSMLS receives all of your transcripts and documents showing completion of this plan, your file will be reviewed for exam eligibility. The review of your file can take four to six weeks. If your Learning Plan has been deemed complete you will be issued an eligibility statement for the next available exam. This next available exam will be a date where registration has not yet opened so that you can apply without paying a late fee and to provide you time to prepare for the exam.
Do not register for the exam unless you have received an Eligibility Statement indicating that you are eligible to write the exam. The Eligibility Statement will include the exam date that you can write the exam on. If you apply to write the exam without an Eligibility Statement, your exam fees will be refunded minus the administration fee.
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.
Ready to register for your exam?