Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: ONPS5656C

Course Title: Perform microscopic examination

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3305 - Certificate III in Science

Course Contact: Namrita Kaul

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4309

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Christine Andrews

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

there are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this course


Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to set up a light microscope for optimum resolution, to prepare routine samples and to observe, identify and report sample characteristics.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL973007A Perform microscopic examination


1. Interpret test requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Review test request to identify samples to be tested, test method and equipment involved
1.2. Identify hazards associated with the sample, preparation methods and equipment and implement enterprise control measures


2. Set up work area for preparation and examination of samples

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Collect equipment and arrange the workspace so that equipment can be used safely and efficiently
2.2. Perform pre-use and safety checks to ensure equipment is fit for purpose and report faulty or unsafe equipment to appropriate personnel


3. Prepare samples for examination

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Log and label samples according to enterprise procedures to ensure traceability
3.2. Check suitability of the original and prepared sample for the examination and report unsuitable samples to appropriate personnel
3.3. Prepare and store the sample for examination following enterprise methods


4. Set up and use a light microscope

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Set up the light path to optimize resolution
4.2. Select the appropriate objectives and filter for the sample being examined
4.3. Ensure that the lenses are clean
4.4. Adjust settings and alignment of the light path to optimize performance
4.5. Place sample correctly on the stage


5. Observe, identify and report sample characteristics

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Recognize and identify significant sample characteristics
5.2. Perform required calculations accurately
5.3. Prepare and view control samples and check that results are consistent with expected values
5.4. Identify and report out of specification or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.5. Record and report data in accordance with enterprise procedures


6. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Ensure safety and minimize cross-contamination through the use of personal protective clothing and safety equipment
6.2. Handle all samples and equipment in accordance with enterprise safety protocols
6.3. Clean up spills using appropriate techniques to protect personnel, work area and environment
6.4. Minimize generation of waste and environmental impacts
6.5. Collect and dispose of all wastes safely
6.6. Report hazards and incidents to designated personnel using enterprise procedures

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities


Lectures, practical activities, worksheets.

Teaching Schedule


Week No Date(week starts) Topic
1 7/09/15 Introduction to Microscope. Examine a prepared blood smear. Image orientation, estimating size. 
2 14/09/15 Wet preparations of pond and sea water, examine yeast
 3 21/09/15
 Forensics: Sample buccal cells, stain, observe, record. Examine hair samples
4 28/09/15 Microbiology- observing Gram stains, oil immersion
5 5/10/15
 Food Microscopy, compare food samples, iodine stain, fixed smears, mould structure
6 12/10/15 Osmosis, osmotic effect on plant cells/ Using Stereomicroscopes
7 19/10/15 Practical Assessment (10%)
8 26/10/15

Potato starch granules, Haematology, Mycology / Theory Exam(40%)

Logbook submitted (50%)



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course typically consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Tests

Assessment Tasks


1. Competency based assessment (use of microscope)-10%
2. Maintaining a Log book (at least 4 practical sessions will be marked plus all post prac questions)- 50%
3. Exam- 40%

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

This course is graded in accordance with competency-based assessment, but which also utilises graded assessment
CHD Competent with High Distinction (80 – 100%)
CDI Competent with Distinction (70 – 79%)
CC Competent with Credit (60 – 69%)
CAG Competency Achieved – Graded (50 – 59%)
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment
•All assessment types must be passed (theory and prac). You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (e.g. pass the tests but fail the prac component).
•APPLICATION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME FOR SUBMISSION OF ASSESSABLE WORK- A student may apply for an extension of up to 7 days from the original due date. They must lodge the application form (available online at least 24 hours before the due date. The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51, or emailed to the Coordinator (
•Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected.
•Students requiring extensions longer than 7 days must apply for Special Consideration (see the ‘Help me’ link in blackboard, via myRMIT studies or For missed assessments such as exams - you (& your doctor if you are sick) must fill out a special consideration form. This form must be lodged online with supporting evidence (e.g. medical certificate), prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination.
•If you miss an assessment task due to unavoidable circumstances, you need to follow the procedure of special consideration and apply within the allowed time frame.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview