Standards of Practice



The Standards of Practice outline the level of quality and safety expected for professional services provided to the public by College members. Health regulatory Colleges may use these Standards of Practice to explain the responsibilities of medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) to their stakeholders and the public in a meaningful and understandable manner. Legislation, regulations, bylaws, code of ethics, standards of practice and practice guidelines collectively establish a framework for the practice of medical laboratory science technology.  

Standards of Practice reflect the expectations of competent practice by the members of a recognized professional organization which have been adopted by provincial health regulatory Colleges, and define the levels of performance against which actual professional practice can be compared. 


Standards of Practice: 

Standards of Practice will evolve from time to time in response to regulatory, legal, and ethical expectations and are adopted only after stakeholder consultation.  


Essential Competencies and Indicators

Medical laboratory technologists must be able to demonstrate knowledge, skill and appropriate judgments in the competencies described in this document, and maintain the standards for both (a) the services delivered, either alone or in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team, and (b) any services rendered under the member’s direction and supervision. 

Each Standard of Practice is followed by a list of ‘indicators’ which illustrate how each Standard of Practice is applied. Indicators are guidelines to assist in determining if a specific Standard of Practice has been achieved. Indicators may not be applicable in all settings and are not exhaustive, nor are the Standards of Practice listed in order of importance. 


Professional Conduct and Accountability

Medical laboratory technologists are expected to meet the ethical, legal and professional expectations of practice and are accountable to the patient/client, themselves, the employer and the health regulatory College. Medical laboratory technologists strengthen excellence in professional practice by supporting the development and use of new knowledge. 


Medical Laboratory Technologists shall: 


Knowledge and Skill

Medical laboratory technologists possess in-depth scientific knowledge of the current theory, techniques, and clinical application of medical laboratory procedures, and integrate this with knowledge from other laboratory specialties.  To ensure ongoing enhancement of knowledge and continued competence over the span of their professional career, medical laboratory technologists maintain an up-to-date knowledge of trends, new and emerging diseases, and evolving practices in medical care that impact laboratory services.  


Medical Laboratory Technologists shall: 


Application of Knowledge and Skill

Medical laboratory technologists combine the competent performance of tests, based on the current principles of medical laboratory sciences, with the accurate and timely reporting of results to provide reliable information for the diagnosis/monitoring of each patient/client. Medical laboratory technologists collaborate and communicate effectively with clients / patients, medical laboratory technologists and other health care providers to ensure the safe and effective delivery of service.  


Medical Laboratory Technologists shall: 


Quality Management

Medical laboratory technologists demonstrate an understanding of quality management principles and apply these in the delivery of medical laboratory services supporting optimal patient care.  


Medical laboratory technologists shall: 




While the essential competencies are presented in sections as discrete activities, the MLT must recognize that in practice these competencies are implemented as part of daily processes and do not stand alone. MLTs must utilize a combination of their knowledge, skill, judgment and attitude to adjust to changing circumstances and evolving environments. 

Approved by the NLCMLS Board of Directors March 12, 2016



College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Alberta (CMLTA). (2012). Standards of Practice. Edmonton, Alberta. Author. 

College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Manitoba. (2014). Medical Laboratory Technologists Standards of Practice. Winnipeg, Manitoba. Author. College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario. (2007). Standards of Practice for Medical Laboratory Technologists. Toronto, Ontario. Author. 

National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities. (2009). Model Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacists. Ottawa, Ontario. Author. 

New Brunswick Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists. (2012). Standards of Practice for MLT. Memramcook, New Brunswick. Author. 

Newfoundland and Labrador College for Medical Laboratory Science. (2013). Standards of Practice. St. John’s, Newfoundland. Author. 

Nova Scotia College of Medical Laboratory Technologists. (2013). NSCMLT Standards of Practice. Halifax, Nova Scotia. Author. 

Ordre Professionnel des Technologistes Médicaux du Québec. (2005). Normes de pratique du technologiste médical. Montréal, Québec. Author. 

Saskatchewan Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists. (2001). Standards of Practice: Medical Laboratory Technology. Regina, Saskatchewan. Author.