Qualifications

Persons applying to be registered with the Council as a medical laboratory scientist or a medical laboratory technician must hold a qualification prescribed by the Council or approved by the Council as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualifications.

In addition to having an approved qualification you may also be required to demonstrate that you have adequate experience in the profession of medical laboratory science.

Registration as a Medical Laboratory Scientist:

New Zealand Qualifications Prescribed by the Council

The Council has prescribed the following New Zealand qualifications for a person to be eligible for registration as a medical laboratory scientist:

  • The Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree (BMLSc) as issued by the University of Otago, Massey University, or the Auckland University of Technology; or
  • Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology issued by the Council; or
  • A National Diploma in Medical Laboratory Science issued by the Auckland Institute of Technology or the Central Institute of Technology.

Please note:   The Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree is the only prescribed qualification that is currently taught in New Zealand.

New Zealand Qualifications Approved as Being Substantially Equivalent to the Prescribed Qualification:

The Council has approved the following New Zealand qualifications as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualification of a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science:

  • A post graduate degree in a relevant science subject issued by a New Zealand university.
  • A Graduate Diploma in Science as offered by the Auckland University of Technology and Massey University.

Please Note:   A New Zealand-issued Biomedical Science degree is not an approved qualification for registration as a medical laboratory scientist.

Overseas Qualifications Approved as Being Substantially Equivalent to the Prescribed Qualifications:

The Council has approved the following non-New Zealand qualifications as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualification of a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science:

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Sciences (United Kingdom)
  • Higher National Certificate and Fellowship of the IMBS, in combination (United Kingdom)
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science from the University of Alberta (Canada)
  • National Higher Diploma in Medical Technology (South Africa)
  • Two National Diplomas in Medical Technology, in combination (South Africa)
  • Biomedical degree (South Africa)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Laboratory Science) or equivalent from the following Australian educational institutions:
    • Queensland University of Technology
    • University of Tasmania
    • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
    • Charles Sturt University
    • University of South Australia
    • University of Canberra
    • Curtin University of Technology

The Council undertakes a regular assessment of these qualifications to confirm that they continue to meet the competence requirements for registration in the scope of practice of a medical laboratory scientist

Approval of an Overseas Qualification as Being Substantially Equivalent to the Prescribed Qualification

The Council will only approve overseas qualifications as being substantially equivalent to the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree providing;

  • They are equivalent to a four-year course of study
  • The content of the qualification covers most of the health service categories within the profession of Medical Laboratory Science

Therefore a degree in medicine is not considered equivalent to a Medical Laboratory Science qualification for the purpose of registration as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. 

Other Qualifications:

All other qualifications outside of those as stipulated above, are assessed on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not the holder of that qualification meets the registration requirements of the Council.

Other qualifications are assessed against a standard set of criteria approved by the Council.

Other qualifications may, from time to time, be approved as being substantially equivalent to the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree and added to the published list of qualifications approved as being substantially equivalent.

An applicant with less than three-years or less training in medical laboratory science/technology will not be eligible for registration as a medical laboratory scientist but may qualify for registration as a medical laboratory technician.

Required Experience:

If you hold a New Zealand post graduate degree in science approved as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualification, you will be required to

  • work in a medical diagnostic laboratory as a trainee scientist for at least two-years fulltime (or equivalent)

If you hold an overseas qualification that has been approved by the Council as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualification of a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science, you must also have

  • a minimum of 12 months fulltime (or equivalent) employment in a medical diagnostic laboratory, unless stated as otherwise

If you hold an overseas post graduate degree that has not been pre-approved by the Council as substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualification of a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science, you must also have

  • a minimum of two-years fulltime (or equivalent) employment in a medical diagnostic laboratory

If you hold a qualification that involves a course of study that is less than three-years duration, you will be required to provide evidence of a minimum of five-years (fulltime or equivalent) and up to maximum of 10 years (fulltime or equivalent) experience working in a medical diagnostic laboratory.

REGISTRATION AS A MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNICIAN:

New Zealand Qualifications Prescribed by the Council

The Council has prescribed the following New Zealand qualifications for a person to be eligible for registration as a medical laboratory technician:

  • Qualified Medical Laboratory Technician Certificate (QMLT) issued by the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science
  • Qualified Phlebotomist Technician Certificate (QPT) issued by the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science
  • Qualified Donor Technician Certificate (QDT) issued by the New Zealand Institute of Medical Laboratory Science

New Zealand Qualifications Approved as Being Substantially Equivalent to the Prescribed Qualifications

The Council has approved the following New Zealand qualifications as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualifications:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree issued by a New Zealand university. This is on the provision that the major is in a field of study relevant to medical laboratory science.  For example, a major in biology, anatomy, or biochemistry would meet the criteria of relevancy whereas a major in botany, mathematics or computer science would not.
  • A New Zealand Diploma in Science (Level 6)
  • A New Zealand registered nurse

Overseas Qualifications Approved as Being Substantially Equivalent to the Prescribed Qualifications

The Council has approved the following non-New Zealand qualification as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology (Philippines)

Other Qualifications

All other qualifications outside of those as stipulated above, are assessed on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not the holder of that qualification meets the registration requirements of the Council.

Other qualifications are assessed against a standard set of criteria approved by the Council and from time to time, they may be approved as being substantially equivalent to prescribed qualifications and added to the published list of qualifications approved as being substantially equivalent.

Required Experience

If you hold a QMLT/QPT/QDT certificate, you will have been employed for a minimum of 2-years fulltime (or equivalent) as a trainee in an ISO 15189 accredited New Zealand diagnostic medical laboratory.

If you have a qualification that has been approved as being substantially equivalent to the prescribed qualifications, you must also have

  • a minimum of 12-months fulltime (or equivalent) employment in a medical diagnostic laboratory, either in New Zealand or overseas

If you hold an "other" qualification from New Zealand you must also have

  • a minimum of 12-months fulltime (or equivalent) employment as a trainee in an ISO 15189 accredited diagnostic medical laboratory in New Zealand

If you hold an "other" qualification from overseas you must also have

  • a minimum of 12-months fulltime (or equivalent) employment in a medical diagnostic laboratory