Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Statistics

The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) provides a single point of access for prior learning assessment (PLA) to internationally educated medical laboratory technologists (IEMLT) who are seeking Canadian MLT 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.

Rate of Success

Many individuals find the PLA process to be a long and challenging journey. It requires a time commitment between 1-3 years before successfully writing the exam with significant expense.

CSMLS statistics show that only 37% of IEMLTs pass the MLT Certification exam on their first attempt, compared with 86% of those educated in Canada. For some applicants, it requires all three exam attempts, including an assigned learning plan, before passing the exam. Some applicants never pass the exam on any attempt.

Certification in Canada

The CSMLS Certification exams are the entry-to practice standard for medical laboratory technologists in Canada. Those exam candidates who successfully pass the exam, may be eligible to practice in Canada. These certified professionals may also be required to register with a provincial MLT regulator, where there is one.

Provincial Regulator Requirement

The practice of medical laboratory science in Canada may be quite different from how it is practiced in other parts of the world. The provincial MLT regulator may have additional conditions to complete before a certified professional can be registered and work as an MLT in that province or territory. A list of provincial MLT regulatory authorities can be found on the CSMLS website, under Provincial Regulator Bodies.

The following data is representative of MLT PLA applicants only.

PLA Outcomes - 2012 to 2022 (updated annually)


Country of Education - 2012 to 2022 (updated annually)


Place PLA Application Filed - Canada
- Last three years (updated annually)


Place PLA Application Filed - International
- Last three years (updated annually)


Indigenous Land Acknowledgement : We respectfully acknowledge the CSMLS office, located in Hamilton, Ontario, is situated upon the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississauga Nation, Anishinaabe Peoples, and the Neutral Peoples. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon wampum, which is a treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.


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