Course Title: Perform chemical tests and procedures

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2009

Course Code: ONPS5201C

Course Title: Perform chemical tests and procedures

School: 155T Life & Physical Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5183 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact : Kirsten Balding

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4283

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Brian Long - Demonstrator.
Contact by email at 

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

Students must demonstrate the underpinning knowledge and practical skills of Prepare, standardise & use solutions (ONPS 5200C) by gaining a satisfactory pass in first semester. If these requirements are not met additional classes may be provided to students.

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:

PMLTEST404A Perform chemical tests and procedures


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


Interpret and schedule test requirements

Performance Criteria:

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


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


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.


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    Interpret trends in data and/or results and report 'out-of-specification' or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel
5.6    Determine if obvious procedure or equipment problems have led to atypical data or results


Receive and prepare samples

Performance Criteria:

2.1    Log samples using standard operating procedure
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


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

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

•    Teacher directed face-to face delivery of lessons
•    Whole class Discussion
•    Pair/group discussion
•    Small group workshops
•    Revision quizzes
•    Worksheets
•    Laboratory experiments
•    Record keeping of experiments
•    Research activities

See the Teaching Schedule (below) for details.

Teaching Schedule

Week No.Date (week of:) Theory Topic Prac Topic Assessment
Introduction to acids & bases, pH. Measuring pH, titration
Measuring pH - Indicators Log Book only
pH & pOH
Strong & weak acids & bases, pKa)

Analysis of Vinegar by Titration
Prac report:
 3 27/7 Pipetting workshop (Eppendorf)
(To be confirmed )
Measuring pH - the pH meter

Log Book only  
Introduction to Buffers, Predicting pH of buffer solutions
Buffers I

Log Book only 
 5 10/8
Buffering capacity, pH compared to pKa, buffer concentration

 Buffers II
Log Book only
 6  17/8
Intermolecular bonding,
Water as a solvent

Making TE buffer/practise for prac exam

Making a saturated solution

Log Book only
Revision (online)

 Prac Exam
(using a pH meter)
 Prac Exam
 8 31/8 
Mid Semester exams
  9 7/9(Prac only) Solvent Properties of water
 Prac Report
 10 14/9(Theory Only) Enzymes  
Mid semester break  

(Prac only)
- half the class only

IDH Enzyme Assay

 Prac report
(Prac only)
- other half of class

IDH Enzyme Assay

 (Prac report )
(Theory Only) Oxidation & Reduction (Redox) Reactions

 14 19/10 
(Prac only)

Prac - Redox:
Half cells and Electrochemical Series
 Log Book only
 15 26/10 
Revision (online)

 16 2/11 

  End of semester exams
 17 9/11 
Alternative assessment (Supp Exams)
  Alternative assessment

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Bettelheim FA, Brown WH, Campbell MK, Farrell SO (2007) General, Organic and Biochemistry  8th Ed. Thomson/Brooks-Cole, Australia (ISBN 0-495-01197-5)




Other Resources

Lab coat, protective gloves, safety glasses, appropriate footwear & a logbook are required at all practical classes.

A logbook is required for this course to record all experimental details. The logbook must be brought to class each week and signed off by the teacher.
The book needs to be a bound NON-SPIRAL exercise book.

Completion of experimental records in the logbook trains students how to keep good records that can be used as “proof of discovery”. These logbooks form legal documents that can be used to prove discovery for Intellectual Property & patenting purposes & thus form an important part of the course.

Overview of Assessment

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

Assessment Tasks

Attendance: 80% attendance is required to pass the course.

1. Prac Report 1
Value: 10%
Topic: Titration
When: Week 2

2. Theory Exam 1
Value: 30%
Topic: Term 3 topics only (see LearningHub information)
When: Week 8

3. Prac Exam
Value: competent
Topic: Using a pH meter
When: Week 8

4. Prac Report 2
Value: 15%
Topic: Solvent Properties of Water
When: Week 10

5. Prac Report 3
Value: 15%
Topic: IDH Enzyme Assay
When: Week 11 or 12

6. Theory Exam 2
Value: 30%
Topic: Term 4 topics only
When: Week 16

7. Logbook
Value: Must be "competent"
Topic: All pracs - must be signed off weekly by teacher
When: Submit completed logbook by end of Week 16

Total: 100 %

All reports are due 2 weeks after the day that the practical is performed. If you miss a write up prac you will only be eligible to write up a different prac if you provide a medical certificate.  For this to occur you need to discuss your situation with the teacher as soon as possible. Other reasons for missing a write up prac do not mean that you can write up a different report.

Logbooks need to be signed off by a supervisor each week and submitted at the end of semester.

All assessment tasks must be completed competently to pass the course.

80% attendance is required to pass the course.

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview