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Medical Laboratory Assistant Certificate

Red Deer College

Red Deer College

The program is designed so that students complete sixteen weeks of classroom and laboratory study at RDC followed by a seven week practicum of clinical laboratory training. The Medical Lab Assistant certificate includes four major areas of study: phlebotomy, urinalysis, histology, and microbiology. Students are trained to collect, process, and prepare patient specimens, enter data, perform clerical and reception services, perform electrocardiograms and urinalysis, and carry out basic laboratory procedures. Graduates of the MLA program are eligible to write the Canadian Society for Medical laboratory Science MLA national certification examination.

During practicum experience, students will address a limited selection of competency in a simulation lab. The remainder of the unpaid practicum occurs in settings whose staffing includes Medical Laboratory Assistants. The available practicum sites are located primarily in central Alberta.

All students are expected to travel to clinical agencies throughout Central Alberta Health Services Region for the clinical practicum. Students require access to reliable transportation that will enable them to complete the requirements for the clinical practicum. During the clinical practicum students may also be required to arrange alternate accommodation for up to 7 weeks during the winter semester. Students are responsible for costs associated with this travel.

Note: There is one annual intake in Fall for the MLA program usually beginning in October.


Registrar's Office
Red Deer College
100 College Boulevard
Box 5005
Red Deer, Alberta, T4N5H5, Canada

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  • Program Type Occupational
  • Credential Type Certificate
  • Length 1 Year or Less

    Year 1 Oct-April (irregular term)

  • Part Time Only
  • Cooperative Education
  • Continuing Education
  • Distance Learning
Admission Requirements
  1. Minimum average of 60% and no mark below 50% in: English 30-1 or 30-2, Chemistry 20, Biology 20, and Mathematics 10C or Mathematics 20-2
  2. Keyboarding skills (two-tests - minimum 30 words per minute with 90% accuracy)
  3. Basic computer literacy exam (word processing)
Other Requirements:

A completed Career Investigation report that documents a visit or job shadow in a clinical laboratory or blood collection site

Note: In addition to the program admission requirements applicants, whose first language is not English, must demonstrate English language proficiency.

Career Investigation:

Applicants are required to complete a Medical Laboratory Assistant Program Specific Career Investigation Report Form. A visit to a clinical laboratory or collection site and completion of a Career Investigation form specific to the Medical Laboratory Assisting program are required.

Non-academic Requirements / Immunization Requirements

Once accepted into the Medical Laboratory Assistant program, students will be given an immunization requirement form to be completed by their physician, public health nurse or health professional. Your immunization must be up to date prior to orientation. Your completed immunization requirement form must be submitted at your program's orientation in September.

Don't wait-start updating your immunization today. You will need immunization against tetanus and diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox) and hepatitis B (including Hepatitis B titre). You will also be required to undergo tuberculosis screening within a specified time prior to practicum placement. Failure to do so will prevent you from participating in program activities and clinical placement. A copy of your records may be obtained from your public health clinic or physician's office.

Police Information Check:

Note: While not an admission requirement for the program, applicants are advised that they will be required to provide a Police Information Check (also known as a Criminal Record Check) including a Vulnerable Sector Check to most agencies where they will be placed for practicum experiences. The existence of police information or a criminal record may prevent practicum placement, program completion, professional licensure and therefore affect future employment prospects. It is the decision of each agency or institution to accept or reject a student for placement or observation experience based on the results of the police information check.

Graduation Requirements: 

You must pass all required courses including clinical practicum and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.


Application Deadline
Applications are accepted starting October 1st.

Transfer(s) Eligibility

Search Transfer Alberta for course and program transfer information including transfer agreements between post-secondary schools in Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Transfer(s) available outside of Transfer Alberta: Not available

Updated January 15, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the date shown.

Educational program information is provided as an introduction and for general reference. For current information about programs and school requirements or policies, check the school calendar, visit their website or contact the school directly.
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