Types of PLA

The CSMLS Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program is available for general medical laboratory technology, clinical genetics, diagnostic cytology and medical laboratory assistant. 

Types of PLA Required Disciplines Open to Domestically Trained Open to Internationally Trained
*General Medical Laboratory Technologists 1. Clinical Chemistry
2. Hematology
3. Clinical Microbiology
4. Transfusion Science
5. Histology
  Yes   Yes
Diagnostic Cytology Technologists 1. Gynecological Analysis
2. Non-Gynecological Analysis
3. Histology
  Yes   Yes
Clinical Genetics Technologists 1. Cytogenetics
2. Molecular Genetics
  Yes   Yes
Medical Laboratory Assistants N/A   Yes   No

For more information about this process, or to apply, please contact

  If you have little or no experience or education in more than one of the required disciplines listed above, then you will not be eligible to write the CSMLS exam through PLA.

Next Step: Preparing for PLA  

Competency Assessment for Expanded PLI Coverage

The CSMLS offers a PLA service for practicing MLTs who wish to have their education and experience assessed in competencies that are outside of their original certification to expand Professional Liability Insurance (PLI).

The CSMLS’ new Diagnostic Cytology competency profile (June 2017 exam) and a new General MLT competency profile (June 2019 exam) both include NEW competencies.  In light of these new competencies, employers and practicing MLTs are seeking guidance from the CSMLS as to training requirements for those who want to achieve the competencies set out in these new profiles. 

If MLTs are performing duties that may be considered outside the competency profile on which they were certified (Cytotechnologists performing histotechnology duties); they should verify that they have PLI coverage.  If PLI coverage does not exist, practicing MLTs may initiate the PLA for PLI process.

For more information about this process, or to apply, please contact

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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