Course Title: Perform chemical pathology tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2023

Course Code: BIOL5249C

Course Title: Perform chemical pathology tests

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities.  

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption.  

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT:  

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance:  


Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.  

School: 535T Social Care and Health

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5388 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology

Course Contact: Rauha Quazi

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4277

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

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

MSL974021  Perform biological procedures

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge to perform tests and procedures associated with the detection and monitoring of tissue and bodily fluid responses to normal physiological processes and disease through the identification and quantifying of chemical components. It covers tests and procedures that are usually associated with the discipline of clinical biochemistry.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL975037 Perform chemical pathology tests


1. Process samples and associated request forms

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify specimens and request forms that do not comply with minimum industry requirements for labelling, identification and test requests 1.2 Record any discrepancies and indicate what action is required 1.3 Log samples, recording details that allow accurate tracking and chain of custody


2. Perform tests

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Select authorised tests indicated for the requested investigations 2.2 Conduct individual tests, or batches of tests, according to documented methodologies, applying required quality control procedures 2.3 Manage tasks and organise work to ensure efficient use of time 2.4 Flag test results that are outside accepted quality control limits 2.5 Apply quality control processes to discriminate between significant data and artefact 2.6 Confirm with supervisor any further testing requirements 2.7 Record all test data, noting any phenomena that may be relevant to the treatment of data or the interpretation of results


3. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Record entries on report forms or into a laboratory information management system, accurately calculating, recording or transcribing data as required 3.2 Ensure samples and associated paperwork maintain traceability throughout testing

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

This course uses Canvas LMS and is run as a combination of laboratory practical classes, workshops, and theory classes.

Teaching Schedule



Week beginning




Week 1



 Theory class:

-Introduction to Clinical chemistry, Objectives, Analytical Variables, Quality Control (QC)

-QC manufacturers sheets


No practical this week: Print your practical manual this week and put your lab coat in your bag in preparation for week 2 laboratory practicals.


Week 2


Theory class:

- Preparation for on campus practical: Lipids I, Cholesterol assay, review the module and complete the quiz


Practical #1:

-Cholesterol assay

- HDL/LDL Ratio (Drylab)


Early assessment task - Chemical pathology quiz deadline 23.59 Sunday 20th February.



AT1: PRACTICAL LOG BOOK ENTRIES (A) (B) (D) (H) – submission deadline for your scanned logbooks entries weekly online before Sunday 23.59



Week 3



Theory class:

- Preparation for on campus practical: Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

-review the modules and complete the quiz

Practical #2:

-ELISA assay - for detection of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) simulation




Week 4



Theory class:


- Preparation for on campus practical: Renal Tests

-review the module and complete the quiz

-Electrolytes - review the module and complete the quiz


Practical # 3: Renal practical

1. Urine testing

2. Urine stix (Multistix diagnostic urinalysis

testing strips)





Week 5



Theory class:

-Preparation for on campus practical: Liver function tests (BCG and Total protein assay) : review the module and complete the quiz


Practical #4:

-BCG Albumin assay, limitations Beer Lambert






Week 6


No theory class due to Labour day holiday


Practical #5:

-Total Protein assay, first determine the Endpoint (minutes) of the reaction




Week 7


Theory class:

-Levey Jennings QC Plots (practice)


 Practical :

Allocated to catch-up practical session for notified students


Revision sheets activated within canvas


Week 8




Theory class : on campus AT2: MID-SEMESTER 1 THEORY EXAM (B)


On campus theory quiz - topics: Introduction to Chem Pathology, QC controls & Calibrators, Reference ranges & reading results, Electrolytes, Renal, Lipids, Liver,  ELISA & Endocrinology            

-AT2 knowledge quiz assessment on campus will be activated during theory class time

 Practical :

Allocated to catch-up practical session for notified students

Week 9




Theory class:

- Preparation for on campus practical: Toxicology Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) - Testing for Drugs

Introduction to Chromatography & High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)

-review the module and complete the quiz


Practical #6:

Separating analgesics drugs using HPLC


Chromatograms will be available the week after this HPLC practical- submit logbook before Sunday 23.59- you will receive a notification from canvas with a link to chromatograms for each standard and the analgesic table that each student group prepared.

 No on campus Theory class on Friday (Public holiday - Good Friday)

- Preparation for on campus practical: Serum Protein Electrophoresis (SPE) using Agarose Gels

-review the module and complete the quiz


Week 10





No Practical class this week due to Split week - 10-14th April : Mid-semester Break

No Theory class this week due to split week - 10-14th April : Mid-semester Break



Week 10



Practical: Automation module -preparation for AT3 assignment 

(half the class, Group A, attend this week’s practical (bring your laptop) and the second half of class attend week 13)




Group A - complete automation quizzes 1 and 2 before Sunday 23rd April 23.59


Week 11




Practical #7:

SPE electrophoresis (Helena Labs)




HelenaLab Scientist Georgina Sallmann will attend practical laboratory class this week

Week 12


Theory class:

Iron studies

- Preparation for on campus practical Haemoglobin (Hb) Electrophoresis

-review the module, case studies and complete the quiz


Practical #8:

Hb Electrophoresis (Helena Labs)

Workshop/ HelenaLab Scientist Georgina Sallmann will attend









HelenaLab Scientist Georgina Sallmann will attend practical laboratory class this week


Week 13


Theory class:

- Preparation for on campus practical:

Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) - LFT tests part 2

-review the module and complete the quiz


Practical: Automation module - preparation for AT3 assignment

(half the class (Group B) attend this week’s practical - bring your laptop)



Group B - complete automation quizzes 1 and 2 before Sunday 14th May 23.59

Week 14


Theory class:

Prep for on campus practical:

Tumour Markers I – Myeloma & Paraproteins Electrophoresis (Helena Labs)

-review the module and complete the quiz



Practical #10:

Paraproteins Electrophoresis (Helena Labs) Workshop/HelenaLab Scientist Georgina Sallmann will attend

 - Georgina is not able to attend todays HelenaLabs workshop so GGT practical will be held in its place.

Practical #9:

GGT assay



Revision sheet activated within canvas







HelenaLab Scientist Georgina Sallmann will attend practical laboratory class this week


Week 15


Theory class : On campus AT4: END OF SEMESTER 1 THEORY EXAM (B)

On campus theory quiz - topics: Use of controls and calibrators, Iron studies, SPE, Tumour markers, HPLC, GGT and LFTs.

-AT4 knowledge quiz assessment on campus will be activated during theory class time.


Practical #9:

GGT assay - completed 17th May 


Catch ups this week for notified students.


Week 16 /17


Finalise AT1 observation checklist for weekly PRACTICAL LOG BOOK ENTRIES

Week 18


Semester break

Note: While all course content in this schedule will be covered, the weekly order may change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Ϯ SYLLABUS subject to change pending pandemic conditions and RMIT & government safety advice

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Course resources/ Booklist

The following resources are used in this course.

For more details read the canvas LMS course resource module online.


Useful reference for in dept study:

Pagana, Kathleen Deska, author, & Pagana, Timothy James. (2018). Mosby's manual of diagnostic and laboratory tests(Sixth ed.). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Mosby. ISBN-10: 0323446639 ISBN-13: 978-0323446631


  1. Practical Manual contains protocols, proforma for lab records and patients slips / laboratory information system (LIS) data input - PRINT AND BRING A COPY TO CLASS. Digital copy available on Canvas. You will scan your weekly records using 'officelens' and upload to canvas.  Automation Manual -digital copy available on Canvas



  1. Required Texts : Note that the required texts are essential for completion of the weekly practice questions in this course.


  • Gaw, M. Murphy, R. Cowan, D. O'Reilly, M. Stewart, J. Shepard. (2008) Clinical Biochemistry, An illustrated colour text, 4th edition. Churchill Livingstone (Elsevier), Sydney, ISBN 9780443069321. Buy this book at the beginning of semester 1. Also available n course resources.



  • Upfal and O'Callaghan (2001) Your Medical Tests. Every person's guide to common medical tests and diagnostic images. Black Inc. Melbourne ISBN 1-86395-075-3. Required chapters 6 to 11 available to download from canvas within the course resources module and online from RMIT library.



  1. Recommended Texts


  • This is a very nice simple text that explains lots of lab techniques, especially electrophoresis and chromatography techniques and other techniques including enzyme kinetics, spectrophotometry and molecular diagnostics.
    Boyer R. (2006) Biochemistry Laboratory Modern Theory and Techniques, Benjamin Cummings - Available in the library: Call No. 572.078 B791


          4. Royal College of Pathologist of Australasia (RCPA) manual: within the RCPA website contains the RCPA manual and normal population reference ranges for every analyte tested: Link to the RCPA website:

Overview of Assessment

Assessment may include


knowledge tests

observation of laboratory skills


Assessment Tasks

Assessment task

Each task must be completed satisfactorily before Competence is achieved for the full subject/unit.

Due Date

S (satisfactory)
NS (not satisfactory)

Methods of Assessment include:


A. Direct Observation/
    Simulation Activities

B. Written/Verbal

C. Third Party

D. Portfolio/

E. Project/


F. Presentation

G. Role Plays

H. Practical Demonstration

I. Other





  1. AT1- logbooks (A) (B) (D) (H)



  1. AT2- knowledge quiz (B)

Week 8


  1. AT3 – automation (A) (B)

Week 11


  1. AT4- knowledge quiz (B)

Week 16


Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through satisfactory completion of assignments, observation checklists, reports, and through the application of learned practical skills and knowledge skills. Full assessment briefs will be provided and can be found on CANVAS assignments module.

Students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training qualifications are assessed for Competency. To be assessed as Competent means you have consistently demonstrated the required knowledge and skills at a standard expected in the workplace. 

To be assessed as Competent in this course, you will need to complete each assessment task to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher at the conclusion of each assessment task.

Decision making rules

Every task must be completed satisfactorily for competence to be achieved.
Resubmissions are at the discretion of the teacher and/or coordinator.


Assessment Information

CA = Competency Achieved

NYC = Not yet Competent

DNS = Did Not Submit (1 or more assessments)

Late work that is submitted without an application for an extension (see below) will not be corrected.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These mapping documents are available through Program Administration if required. 

Other Information

Attendance: Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. It is strongly advised that you attend ALL timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully. If you are sick you should submit a medical certificate to the program coordinator and course coordinator/teacher. If you miss an assessable practical class you need to provide a medical certificate (or other evidence), if you miss a practical class that is a prac report write-up you need to arrange an alternative report with your teacher.


Information about your studies: You can access My Studies through the RMIT website for information about timetables, important dates, assessment dates, results and progress, Canvas etc.

Extensions of time for submission of assessable work:If you are prevented from submitting an assessment on time by circumstances outside your control you may apply for an extension of up to seven (7) calendar days in writing (email) to your Program Coordinator one working day BEFORE the due date. Eligibility criteria for application and the form is available from the link:

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration.

Special consideration: If due to illness or other unforeseen circumstance, you are unable to attend on the due date of an assessment (e.g. test, examination, oral, etc.), you may submit an application for special consideration within 5 working days of the due date. If special consideration is granted, you will be given the opportunity to complete/repeat the assessment task at a later date. For advice on this application please visit or speak to your Program Coordinator.


Academic Integrity and Plagiarism: RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Reasonable adjustment

Reasonable adjustment is an individualised modification made to the training delivery or assessment methods to enable a student with specific needs to access and participate. Reasonable adjustment may include changed assessment conditions, flexibility in assessments, other academic support, and provision of adaptive equipment and in class support.

Reasonable adjustment is applied within the start date and end date for the subject/unit being undertaken.





Course Overview: Access Course Overview