Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant, Certificate

Caregiving members of the medical laboratory team

Program at a glance



Area of Study

Health Sciences

Study options



Blended delivery

Work experience

Clinical and fieldwork placement

Open to International



10 months

At a glance image

Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant promo

Technical expertise, analytical precision, and exceptional service

Start dates in January, May and September

Certified Medical Laboratory Assistants are front-line healthcare workers responsible for collecting human blood, body fluids, and physiologic data used by physicians to diagnose medical conditions. As part of the Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team, Certified Medical Laboratory Assistants are valued for their careful attention to detail and compassionate treatment of patients and clients.

Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant grads

CMLA Online Info Session Slides

Find out more about upcoming networking and information sessions occurring at Camosun.

HHS Student Handbook

Current information for School of Health and Human Services students and CMLA program specific handbook sections

Work in health care

The full-time Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant Program is a comprehensive one-year, entry-level certificate in pre-analytic laboratory sciences. This program prepares graduates for their role as integral members of the healthcare team by providing a broad foundation in laboratory science theory integrated with authentic simulation environments and workplace clinical practicums. Students learn to incorporate exemplary patient and client-centric behaviours while mastering the techniques of blood collection (phlebotomy), analytical sample collection, and sample preparation. Students learn to collect and process data required for diagnostic investigations.

Applied learning

Prepare for your role as an integral member of the healthcare team by learning a strong foundation in laboratory science theory integrated with authentic simulation environments and workplace clinical practicums.  You’ll learn to incorporate exemplary patient and client-centric behaviours while mastering the techniques of blood collection (phlebotomy), analytical sample collection, and sample preparation.

In demand

Ageing populations with complex care needs, constant additions of new testing services, and expanding scopes of practice result in a constant demand for new laboratory professionals

New economic growth in BC is responsible for nearly half of all future job opportunities in this flexible and accessible program.

Your career

As a Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant, you’ll first find employment as a phlebotomist, diagnostic assistant, technical assistant, pathology assistant, or in pre-analytical specimen preparation.  Further professional opportunities for the Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant exist in management, quality control and assurance, education, informatics, and research.

Most graduates begin with casual positions, transitioning into regular employment within a year or two. Shifts vary from 7.5 to 12 hours and you will work day, evening and night shifts.

Invest in yourself

The full-time Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant Program is a comprehensive one-year (ten months), entry-level certificate in pre-analytic laboratory sciences.

Estimated tuition

Effective from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.

$14,530 (domestic)

$19,870 (international)

Additional Student Fees

What to expect

The full-time Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant Program is a comprehensive one-year (ten months), entry-level certificate in pre-analytic laboratory sciences.

Flexible pathways for progression and a variety of approaches to educational delivery prepare you for clinical practicum opportunities in both hospital and community based laboratories throughout Vancouver Island. Course delivery includes traditional face-to-face and blended classroom instruction, practical simulation labs, teaching clinic integrations, technology-enhanced applied learning, and online courses.

You can expect to spend about one to three hours per day on homework, including weekends. Practicum placement locations are available throughout Vancouver Island. During your placement, you work four, 7-hour days, for up to seven weeks. You might be scheduled for days, evenings, or weekend shifts.

Academic Term 1

In your first term, you’ll dive right into learning phlebotomy by actually performing venipuncture and capillary collections on your fellow classmates – and they on you! Using many of the skills you learn about workplace communication and patient management, you’ll practice your new skills during labs in authentic simulation environments. During this term, you’ll also have the opportunity to develop or strengthen your understanding of Indigenous people and learn more about their worldviews.

Academic Term 2

In your second term, you’ll delve deeper into technical laboratory skill development to further build your knowledge and develop your practice capabilities. You’ll develop and enhance your teamwork and communication skills by participating in Interdisciplinary activities, expand your understanding of diagnostic science in laboratory pathophysiology and learn how to perform electrocardiograms—a required practice capability for Certified Medical Laboratory Assistants in British Columbia.

Academic Term 3

During your final term, you’ll participate in a 7-week clinical practicum designed to ensure that you meet the BCSLS provincial and CSMLS national entry-to-practice requirements. You’ll demonstrate your capabilities under the supervision of designated employees working as qualified Medical Laboratory Assistants and Technologists.

Note: Practicum availability depends on site capacity, training staff, and future job opportunities; we cannot guarantee exact locations of site placements on Vancouver Island.

Curriculum & courses

Course list

Course name

Admission requirements

Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.

When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.

Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

One of:

One of:

  • B in Math 10 
  • B in MATH 039 
  • B in MATH 053 

One of:

One of:

One of:

  • B in Medical Terminology MOA 155 
  • Completion of a course consisting of a minimum of 60 hours with a letter grade of B or higher

And all of:

 *Grade 12 (High School) graduation is a condition of employment for the Hospital Employees Union (HEU) and the British Columbia Government Employees Union (BCGEU) approved Medical Laboratory Assistant, Technical Assistant, and Laboratory Assistant job descriptions common to both health authority and private employers in BC.

For more detailed information about this program and specific admission requirements, see the Academic Calendar.

Academic Calendar

Our Teaching Staff

Camosun College is fiercely proud of the excellent quality of its instruction. Our teaching staff are experienced, inspiring and supportive of our students' individual journeys.

Faculty/staff profile

Brent Mekelburg

Dr. Brent Mekelburg

Chair, Allied Health and Technologies (AHT)

Born in Winnipeg, Dr. Mekelburg grew up playing hockey on outdoor rinks. Hockey played a formative role in his character development as well as his ca ... Read more

Faculty/staff profile

Alexandra Purdy

Alex Purdy

Program Leader, Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant (CMLA)

Alex has been an instructor for Camosun with the MLA program since 2016. She spent 14 years as a Medical Laboratory Assistant and 4 more years as a Tr ... Read more

Faculty/staff profile

Jana Suraci

Jana Suraci

Instructor Instructor, Allied Health and Technologies (AHT)

Faculty/staff profile


Tania Pozney


Tania joined the Camosun CMLA team in January 2021. She spent 13 years working as a Medical Laboratory Technologist; starting at RJH and then at Lifel ... Read more

Faculty/staff profile

Lynelle Yutani

Lynelle Yutani

Instructor, Allied Health and Technologies (AHT)

Lynelle Yutani has resided in Victoria, BC as visitor to the communities of southern Vancouver Island that are the Traditional Territories of the Esqu ... Read more
Alex & Jo Campbell  Centre for Health & Wellness

Learn more

Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements. 

Contact information

Allied Health & Technologies

Campus location

Camosun College Interurban
Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health & Wellness (CHW)
4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria, BC V9E 2C1

Location link

Interurban Campus




International students contact Camosun International