Course Title: Perform biological procedures

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: ONPS5659C

Course Title: Perform biological procedures

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

Amber Mitton


Nominal Hours: 130

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


MSL973004A - Perform aseptic techniques  AND  MSL973007A - Perform microscopic examination 


Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to interpret work requirements, prepare samples, conduct pre-use and calibration checks on equipment and perform routine biological procedures, including sample preparation. These procedures may involve several steps and are used to classify cell types, species and biologically active compounds by analysing their biological and chemical characteristics. This unit includes data processing, interpretation of results and troubleshooting obvious departures from standard procedures.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL974006A Perform biological procedures


1. Interpret and schedule work requirements

Performance Criteria:

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


2. Receive and prepare biological 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 in accordance with testing requirements
2.4. Ensure traceability of sample from receipt to reporting of results


3. Perform techniques that assist in the classification of a cell or species

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Select suitable techniques in accordance with enterprise requirements and methods
3.2. Set up and use equipment and reagents in accordance with the method
3.3. Perform techniques in accordance with the method


4. Perform techniques that analyse biological activity

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Select suitable techniques in accordance with enterprise requirements and methods
4.2. Set up and use equipment and reagents in accordance with the method
4.3. Perform techniques in accordance with the method


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
6.3. Ensure the safe disposal of biohazardous wastes
6.4. Clean, care for and store equipment and reagents as required


7. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

7.1. Record approved data into enterprise 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

Details of Learning Activities

• Teacher directed delivery of lessons
• Class discussion
• Worksheets
• Laboratory experiments
• Record keeping of experiments
• Research activities
• Site Visits

Teaching Schedule

Wk. no. Date     


Practical/Site visit/Assignment/Exam

1 9/2 Cells and tissues

2 16/2 Cell structure and membrane

3 23/2 Diffusion, osmosis
 PRAC 1: Diffusion of glucose/starch across a membrane
4 01/3 Cell cycles - mitosis and meiosis

5 8/3 Nutrient cycle, energy transfer, photosynthesis
6 15/3 Classification and characteristics  
7 22/3 Ecosystems
8 29/3    Carlton Gardens site visit
9 5/4 Mid semester exam  Mid semester exam
    Student vacation  
10 19/4 Sexual reproduction  Excursion to Museum or Zoo
11 26/4 Digestive system  
12 3/5 Circulatory system  
13 10/5 Urinary system
14 17/5 Respiratory system, cellular respiration
Research assignment
15 24/5 Nervous system and sensory organs
16 31/5 Revision
17 7/6 End of semester exam  End of semester exam

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Introduction to General, Organic & Biochemistry (9th Edition) Bettelheim, Brown & March


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

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

Assessment Tasks

Semester 1

  • Practical report: Differential Permeability of a membrane (10%)
  • Carlton Gardens site visit report (20%)
  • Mid semester exam (25%)
  • Research assignment (20%)
  • End of semester exam (25%)

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).

Additional assessment may be provided at the discretion of the Program Coordinator if your average test mark is above 45% and you have passed all other assessments.

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 examination.

Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension will not be corrected.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview