Course Title: Perform microbiological tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: ONPS5660C

Course Title: Perform microbiological tests

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5283 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing)

Course Contact: Amberlee Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Joanne Bobbitt

Nominal Hours: 140

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

Perform biological procedures
Perform microscopic examination
Perform aseptic techniques

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to contribute to the culture, isolation and identification of micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, algae and parasites in order to investigate the physiology and pathology of plants and animals, monitor the natural environment, and to assist in the production of foods, pharmaceutical goods and other manufactured materials.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975001A Perform microbiological tests


1. Receive samples and process associated request forms

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Check samples and request form details before they are accepted
1.2. Return samples and request forms that do not comply with requirements to source with reasons for non-acceptance
1.3. Log samples, recording details that allow accurate tracking and chain of custody
1.4. Distribute samples for local testing or dispatch samples to other testing facilities
1.5. Store samples appropriately where testing or transport is to be delayed


2. Prepare for safe microbiological work and aseptic applications

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Select work area and equipment required for the safe handling of materials that may contain micro-organisms of specified risk groups
2.2. Wear protective apparel, replacing it when contamination is suspected
2.3. Apply correct disinfection procedures to work areas before and after use
2.4. Locate relevant emergency equipment for timely response to microbiological accidents
2.5. Apply standard precautions when handling biological materials
2.6. Minimise the production and release of aerosols, using biological safety cabinets where necessary
2.7. Clean spills, and report all spills and suspected incidents to supervisor
2.8. Wash hands before and after laboratory work and when contamination is suspected
2.9. Ensure the safe disposal of biohazardous materials and other laboratory wastes in accordance with enterprise procedures


3. Process samples for direct examination

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Prepare thin smears of samples for subsequent staining to enable microscopic identification of cells
3.2. Prepare liquid films of specimens for direct observation for motility or cell structure
3.3. Prepare samples to concentrate material for subsequent staining or microscopy


4. Prepare pure cultures for microbiological work and aseptic

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Select culture media to maximise growth of micro-organisms and cells
4.2. Inoculate media aseptically, applying techniques suitable for purpose of culture
4.3. Incubate inoculated media in conditions to optimise growth of organisms and cells
4.4. Subculture on suitable media to optimise production of pure cultures



5. Perform procedures that can assist in the identification of micro-organisms

Performance Criteria:

5.1. Select staining techniques to demonstrate required cellular characteristics
5.2. Stain prepared films to demonstrate diagnostically useful characteristics
5.3. Inoculate and incubate media with pure cultures to assist in the biochemical and immunological identification of micro-organisms
5.4. Perform tests on pure cultures to assist in the biochemical and immunological identification of micro-organisms


6. Estimate the number and/or size of micro-organisms in samples

Performance Criteria:

6.1. Count cells in undiluted samples to indicate the dilution necessary to reliably count organisms in culture
6.2. Prepare serial dilutions of samples aseptically for culture and colony counting
6.3. Count colonies for calculating number of viable organisms per unit volume
6.4. Count micro-organisms in samples and cultures using spectrometric and electronic methodologies, where relevant
6.5. Estimate and document uncertainty of measurement in accordance with enterprise procedures, where relevant


7. Contribute to antibiotic sensitivity testing where required

Performance Criteria:

7.1. Prepare inoculum suitable for antibiotic sensitivity testing
7.2. Dispense or position antibiotic discs as indicated by enterprise protocol
7.3. Incubate inoculated media under conditions to maximise growth of cultured organism
7.4. Read and record sensitivity reactions, noting phenomena that can assist in the correct interpretation of results


8. Maintain records of laboratory work

Performance Criteria:

8.1. Make entries on report forms or into computer systems, accurately calculating, recording or transcribing data as required
8.2. Maintain instrument logs as required by accreditation checklists
8.3. Maintain security and confidentiality of all clinical information, laboratory data and records

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Practical laboratory exercises

Lectures on theoretical aspects of microbiology

Online research activities

Group discussion

You will be provided with revision questions for the material covered each week in class.

It is expected that for every hour of theory class, each student dedicates an hour of out-of-class study to the theoretical aspects of microbiology.

Teaching Schedule

WeekDate Topic
113/2 Introduction to Microbiology
220/2 Microscopy: Smears & Staining
327/2 Bacterial Metabolism and growth requirements
46/3 Bacterial Growth & its measurement
513/3 Controlling Microbial Growth
620/3 Culture media
83/4 Easter break
 910/4 Theory exam
917/4  Microbial genetics
1024/4 Classification of organisms
111/5 Introduction to Identification
128/5 More Identification Tests
1315/5 Gram Positive Bacteria
1422/5 Gram Negative Bacteria
1529/5 REVISION & Prac Exam
165/6Theory exam
1813/6additional assessment
110/7 Normal human flora
217/7 Immunology and epidemiology
324/7 Skin and wound infections
431/7 Urinogenital tract infections
57/8 Respiratory tract infections
614/8 Systemic and nervous system infections
828/8Theory exam
92/9 Virology
1011/9 Antimicrobials and antivirals
 1118/9Gastrointestinal infections
 25/9 Break
122/10 Food microbiology
139/10 Biotechnology applications
1416/10 Environmental microbiology
1523/10 REVISION and Prac exam
1630/10Theory exam
177/11additional assessment

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Tortora, Funke & Case Microbiology An Introduction, Pearson/ Benjamin Cummings


Other Resources

On-line resources and other material will  be provided in class and will be available via the Learning Hub

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course typically consist of:
• Laboratory reports
• Practical Assessments
• Log book competency
• Exams


Assessment Tasks

Formative assessment:
• Online Quizzes
• Problem sheets/work sheets.
• Feedback and self-assessment in laboratory/workplace

Students must pass all of the following assessment tasks to pass this course
4 x Theory Tests (2 per semester) @ 15 % each 60%
6 x Formal Practical Reports (3 per semester) @ 6.6 % each 40%
1 x Practical observation (1st semester) C/NYC
1 x Practical examination (2nd semester) C/NYC
Log Book C/NYC

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

To pass the course you need to pass, on average, each type of assessment (tests, reports, assignments)
For example, if there are two tests you need to have an average of 50% to pass. But you also need to have passed the other assessments as well. You can’t make up marks from one type of assessment to another (eg pass the tests but fail the prac reports).
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

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 the assessment.

Submission of work & late work- Students are required to submit work on the due date at the School Office using the cover sheets provided. The work will be accepted through the School Office and you will receive a receipt which you should keep as proof of submission. Students must NOT submit work directly to the teacher.
Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected

Special Consideration- Any student who, because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control, has been prevented from attending a test, or whose performance in a test was affected by illness or other circumstances beyond their control may apply for Special Consideration. This must be done within 48 hours of the missed assessment/ assignment by lodging the appropriate form (available at the 6th floor office) with medical certificate or other supporting documentation at the Reception Office on Level 6, Building 51. Note: It is the policy of the School of Life and Physical Sciences NOT to AUTOMATICALLY PROVIDE SUPPLEMENTARY OR DEFERRED EXAMS. You will be advised of the outcome of your application for Special Consideration. The taking of Annual Leave does NOT constitute grounds for special consideration.
Attendance Requirements- Student must attend 80% of practical classes to pass. Practical exercises will be chosen for presentation as formal reports. If they are not satisfactory, you will be given an opportunity to resubmit. If you are absent from a session nominated for a formal report and you have applied for special consideration, it is your responsibility to negotiate a replacement report with the teacher. You MUST submit the number of required reports in order to pass the subject.

Plagiarism- Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data and oral presentation. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.
It also occurs through enabling plagiarism, which is the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work. Please make sure you consider this carefully in completing all your work and assessments in this course and if you are unsure about whether you might have plagiarised, seek help from your teacher.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview