PLA Learning Plans are custom plans that will help you to fill any educational gaps that have been identified in your:
- prior learning assessment technical report
- previous two exam attempts
Your custom PLA Learning Plan must be successfully completed within the designated timeframe, commonly within one to two years, in order to be deemed eligible to write the certification exam.
PLA Learning Plans can take up to two years to complete.
PLA Learning Plans for Clinical Genetics, Diagnostic Cytology and Medical Laboratory Assistants are issued on an individual basis. Options will be provided along with additional information.
The information below pertains to PLA Learning Plans in General Medical Laboratory Technology.
A PLA learning plan might consist of any of the following:
- Refresher: Refresher coursework will be required when you have not practised a discipline (i.e. clinical chemistry, clinical microbiology, hematology, histotechnology or transfusion science) within the last five years. You will need to take a course to bring you up to date with current Canadian practice. See course list.
- Subject Specific: Subject specific coursework will be required when you have not practised part of a discipline within the last five years. For example, you may be asked to complete a subject specific course in Toxicology (part of Clinical Chemistry).
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coursework will be required when there is an area in which you have little or no education, clinical internship and/or work experience.
You can choose from the following approved options to complete your PLA Learning Plan unless otherwise noted:
Note: The CSMLS is not responsible if you cannot gain admission into a bridging program or course or if the program or course is cancelled due to any circumstances. You are responsible to complete your PLA Learning Plan before it expires. Failure to do so may result in a loss of eligibility to the exam or additional fees.
- Course Work: You can complete a course option from the approved course list to complete your PLA Learning Plan requirements. Courses are offered in a variety of formats, with varying start and end dates, costs and method of evaluation. You must contact the course providers directly for this information.
- Clinical Placement: You can complete a supervised clinical placement to complete your PLA Learning Plan requirements. The Clinical Placement Blueprint describes the specific activities you will need to complete under supervision for each of the five disciplines. It is your responsibility to find and secure a clinical placement or placements. Depending on location, and your PLA Learning Plan, not all activities may be available to complete in a single location. CSMLS is not responsible for securing a placement for you.
- Medical Laboratory Technology Bridging Programs: These programs allow internationally trained or unsuccessful domestic medical laboratory technologists to complete discipline-specific educational gaps. Participation in a bridging program has helped many, including internationally trained professionals, by providing participants with an enhanced sense of community while developing increased professional networking opportunities.
Other Ways to Complete Your PLA Learning Plan
If you have located a course that is not on the pre-approved lists, the CSMLS can review it for approval. The course must be at the technologist level. Please contact the Prior Learning Assessment Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the approval process.
If you have an opportunity to participate in a clinical rotation, the CSMLS must approve the clinical rotation for your PLA Learning Plan. Please contact the Prior Learning Assessment Administrator at email@example.com for more information on the approval process.
Accredited Training Program
Your PLA Learning Plan may require you to successfully complete an EQualTM accredited medical laboratory technology educational program. Visit the Accreditation Canada webpage for a list of programs in Canada. Programs are offered in a variety of formats, with varying start and end dates, costs and method of evaluation. You must contact the institutions directly to register.
After You Complete Your PLA Learning Plan
When you have successfully completed your PLA Learning Plan you must:
- Notify us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask your educational institution(s) to send your official transcripts directly to us (if applicable).
- Ask your clinical placement(s) to send your signed and completed clinical placement blueprint directly to us (if applicable). Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the college or institution where you completed your course(s).
After the CSMLS receives proof of your successful completion of the PLA Learning Plan requirements, we will send you a Statement of Eligibility to the CSMLS Certification Exam.