Course Title: Perform chemical tests and procedures

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: ONPS5658C

Course Title: Perform chemical tests and procedures

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5282 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact: Amber Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Kirsten Balding - Teacher

9925 4283

Nominal Hours: 100

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 interpret chemical test requirements, prepare samples, conduct pre-use and calibration checks on equipment and perform routine chemical tests/procedures. These tests will involve several measurement steps. The unit includes data processing and interpretation of results and tracking of obvious test malfunctions where the procedure is standardised. However, personnel are not required to analyse data, optimise tests/procedures for specific samples or troubleshoot equipment problems where the solution is not apparent

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL974003A Perform chemical tests and procedures


1. Interpret and schedule test requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Review test request to identify samples to be tested, test method and equipment/instruments involved
1.2. Identify hazards and enterprise control measures associated with the sample, preparation/test methods, reagents and/or equipment
1.3. Plan work sequences to optimise throughput of multiple samples, if appropriate


2. Receive and prepare samples

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Log samples using standard operating procedures (SOPs)
2.2. Record sample description, compare with specification and note and report discrepancies
2.3. Prepare samples and standards in accordance with chemical testing requirements
2.4. Ensure traceability of samples from receipt to reporting of results


3. Check equipment before use

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Set up equipment/instruments in accordance with test method requirements
3.2. Perform pre-use and safety checks in accordance with relevant enterprise and operating procedures
3.3. Identify faulty or unsafe components and equipment and report to appropriate personnel
3.4. Check equipment calibration using specified standards and procedures, if applicable
3.5. Quarantine out of calibration equipment/instruments
3.6. Ensure reagents required for the test are available and meet quality requirements


4. Test samples to determine chemical species or properties

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Operate equipment/instruments in accordance with test method requirements
4.2. Perform tests/procedures on all samples and standards, if appropriate, in accordance with specified methods
4.3. Shut down equipment/instruments in accordance with operating procedures


5. Process and interpret data

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Record test data noting atypical observations
5.2. Construct calibration graphs, if appropriate, and compute results for all samples from these graphs
5.3. Ensure calculated values are consistent with expectations
5.4. Record and report results in accordance with enterprise procedures
5.5. Estimate and document uncertainty of measurement in accordance with enterprise procedures, if required
5.6. Interpret trends in data and/or results and report out of specification or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.7. Determine if obvious procedure or equipment problems have led to atypical data or results


6. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety and that of other laboratory personnel
6.2. Minimise the generation of wastes and environmental impacts
6.3. Ensure the safe collection of laboratory and hazardous waste for subsequent disposal
6.4. Care for and store equipment and reagents as required


7. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

7.1. Enter approved data into laboratory information management system
7.2. Maintain confidentiality and security of enterprise information and laboratory data
7.3. Maintain equipment and calibration logs in accordance with enterprise procedures

Learning Outcomes

This is a competency based program

Details of Learning Activities

Lab classes
Practical exams
Online quizzes

Teaching Schedule

Wk Date (week of) Theory (2hr)
Tues am (BIO)
Tues pm (PT)
 Prac (3hr)
Mon (PT)
Wed (Bio)
 Assessment Task Value (%)
1 11/2 Outline of course
Atomic theory,
 Lab safety intro  
218/2 Classification of matter, atomic theory, atomic number & atomic weight, electron structure & configuration Lab safety
Using balances

 Theory online quiz


Report – write up ‘Using Balances’ in communication class

Total of 10% for all quizzes

Satisfactory completion required
325/2 Periodic table, Electron configuration of atoms - shells, subshells & orbitals, IonsLaboratory glassware
OHS: MSDS & Chem Labels   
 Theory online quiz Total of 10% for all quizzes
44/3 Chemical bonds:  ionic & covalent bonding, properties of ionic & covalent compounds, Lewis dot diagrams, naming compounds, bond angles& molecular shapes   Glass pipettes  Theory online quizTotal of 10% for all quizzes
511/3 Review bonds, Electronegativity, classifying bonds, shapes of molecules - Lewis structures, Polar/Non-Polar molecules, Types of solutions & solubilityno prac class
(Labour day)    
Theory online quizTotal of 10% for all quizzes
618/3 Formula weight, the mole, Avogadro’s number, Concentrations – Molarity & % solutions 

Conductivity of aqueous solutions

Theory online quiz

Prac report 1 - conductivity of aqueous solutions

Total of 10% for all quizzesPrac Report:
725/3 Revision         Prac Exam 1: Using pipettes/balances Prac Exam 1: Using pipettes/ balances  must be competent
    29th Mar – 4th Apr Student vacation    
 8 8/4 Theory exam 1  No prac  Theory exam 1  30%
Term 2    
Wk Date (week of)Theory (2hr)
Tues am (BIO)
Tues pm (PT)
Prac (3hr)
Mon (PT)
Wed (Bio)
 Assessment Task Value (%)
915/4Spectrophotometry Preparing solutions

Lab Safety:
Chem Labels

 Theory online quiz

Lab Safety

Total of 10% for all quizzes

Satisfactory completion required 


Chemical equations, balancing equations  


Spectrophotometry I


Theory online quizTotal of 10% for all quizzes
1129/4StoichiometrySpectrophotometry II  

Theory online quiz

Prac Report 2 - Spectrophotometry

 Total of 10% for all quizzes


126/5  Limiting & excess reagents,% yields, Ionic reactions & equations (net & ionic), Solubilities of ionic compoundsMicropipettes
Using Centrifuges
Theory online quizTotal of 10% for all quizzes
1313/5  Reaction rates, Reversible reactions, Chemical equilibrium, Le Chatalier’s principle, Equilibrium constants    Balanced chemical equations  Theory online quizTotal of 10% for all quizzes
1420/5 Serial Dilutions Effect of concentration changes on equilibrium yields    Theory online quizTotal of 10% for all quizzes
1527/5 Revision   Prac Exam 2: Making solutions    Prac Exam 2: Making solutions    must be competent
163/6 Theory exam 2    No prac    Theory exam 2

Submit Logbook   

must be competent
1710/6 Alternative assessments
(Special consideration only)
Prac exam resits  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Bettelheim, Brown, Campbell, Farrell and Torres (2013)
Introduction to General, Organic & Biochemistry, 10th Edition. Cengage Learning, Australia

Chemistry Practical Manual semester 1
Download and print the practical manual from Blackboard:Go to myRMIT and login in. Then choose the link to the Blackboard for this course


Other Resources

1. Students require a lab coat, safety goggles and gloves for Laboratory classes. Some safety goggles are available in the lab, but it is recommended that students buy their own for best comfort.  These can be purchased from the bookshop.
2. An exercise book for the logbook.This should be a bound book, not spiral. 30 pages is sufficient.
3. A permanent marker pen, fine or medium, for labelling tubes etc.

Overview of Assessment

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

Assessment Tasks

Theory Online quizzes (10 quizzes)
10% AND must get average pass for all 10 quizzes
When: Each week

Theory Exam 1
30% AND Must get average pass for both exams to pass the course
When: end of term 1

Prac Report 1 – conductivity of aqueous solutions
15% AND Must get average pass for both prac reports to pass the course
When: term 1


Prac Exam 1 – Balances & Glass pipettes
Competent/ Not competent: Must pass this component (result is “competent”) to pass the course
When: term 1

Prac Report 2 – spectrophotometers
15% AND Must get average pass for both prac reports to pass the course
When: term 2

Assignment – Lab Safety: Chem Labels
Competent/Not Must pass this component with competent to pass the course
When: term 2

Prac Exam 2 – Making solutions
Competent/Not competent: Must pass this component (result is “competent”) to pass the course
When: term 2  

Theory Exam 2
30% AND Must get average pass for both exams to pass the course
When: end of term 2

Signed off each week by teacher
Competent/Not competent: Must pass this component (work is considered “competent”) to pass the course
When: each lab class/end of semester
Class attendance (In class observations):
Students must attend at least 80% of classes to pass the course so that assessors have sufficient opportunity to observe students in order to determine competency.
When: All semester

Total: 100%

Satisfactory Participation** in Introductory Chemistry (if required ie. If VCE Chemistry score is not ≥ 20, or equivalent)
Competent/Not competent: Must pass this component (work is considered “competent”) to pass the course
**Satisfactory Participation in Introductory Chemistry means:
Class attendance: Students must attend at least 80% of classes
When: Introductory Chemistry goes for Semester 1 only.

**All assessments must be passed to pass the course** 

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

**Students must attend at least 80% of practical classes AND pass all assessments to pass the course**.

What does “all assessments must be passed” mean exactly?

It is your responsibility to understand exactly what you need to do to pass the course, but hopefully the information below will make things clear… if you need more information, please ask a teacher ☺

To pass the course you need to pass, on average, each type of assessment listed in the table ie:
•    Average exam mark (2 exams) is a pass,
•    Average prac report mark (2 reports) is a pass,
•    Average quiz mark (of the 10 quizzes) is a pass,
•    The assignment is passed,
•    Both prac exams are passed,
•    Logbook is passed,
•    Attendance is >80%, If you miss a prac class you should provide a copy of your medical certificate or other evidence (court appearance, funeral notice, statutory declaration) to the teacher.
•    Intro Chem. (if required) - attendance is >80%

Theory Online Quizzes
Students are expected to do the set readings each week. Powerpoint slides are also available for your review. The powerpoints summarise the readings. Each week the quiz tests you on key concepts from the readings. In theory classes there will be discussion based around the questions, and any questions or difficulties you are having with the topic. Each quiz will be available for a limited time only. If you are ill for the whole time the quiz is available, you will need to provide a medical certificate or else you will not get any marks for that week’s quiz. Each quiz can be submitted once only.
If you have network difficulties or don’t submit the quiz properly you will not get marks for that quiz. Make sure you use a reliable network connection to submit the quiz! It is your responsibility to ensure your quiz is submitted properly. Please check with the teacher if you are unsure if you are submitting the quiz correctly. There are no extensions available for quizzes.

Results from each practical need to be recorded in your logbook. This is an important aspect of developing your record-keeping skills. Logbooks are to be submitted at the end of semester.

Practical Reports
Practical reports are indicated in the Practical Manual. These pracs must have a formal report submitted as part of your assessment. Reports must be typed. Each practical report is due two weeks after the prac has been done. You can apply for an extension of up to 7 days by filling out the Assignment extension form. Prac reports will not be accepted after this time. If you did not apply for an extension by the due date, your assignment will not be accepted and you will get a zero grade.

If you are absent for a practical that is to be written up, a medical certificate must be provided to the teacher. In this case another practical exercise needs to be written up – as negotiated with the teacher. If you are absent when the prac is to be written up but do not provide a medical certificate, another prac may not be written up. No marks will be allocated in this case.

Students must attend at least 80% of practical classes. If you miss a prac class you should provide a copy of your medical certificate or other evidence (court appearance, funeral notice, statutory declaration) to the teacher.

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 on the web) at least the day before the due date
The application is lodged with the School Admin Office on Level 6, Bdg 51
Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected, and therefore will receive a zero grade.

Students requiring longer extensions must apply for Special Consideration  (form available on the Web)
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 at the HUB or online with supporting evidence (eg medical certificate), prior to, or within, 48 hours of the scheduled time of examination.

Time Allowance for this course
The 100 nominal hours for this unit are allocated as follows:
Preparation for class/Research work/Report completion        16 x 1hour/week                                          16

Theory Class                                                                                     14 x 1 hr/week                                              14

Theory at home/online Quiz/revision                                             14 x 1hr/week + 2 x 2hr revision               18

Practical activities/prac exams                                                       16 x 3hours                                                   48  

Theory tests                                                                                        2 x 1.5hrs (+1hr alternate if req’d)            4

                                                                                                                                                   Total                         100

Course Overview: Access Course Overview