Course Title: Perform chemical tests and procedures

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: ONPS5201C

Course Title: Perform chemical tests and procedures

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5182 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Pathology Testing)

Course Contact: Kirsten Balding

Course Contact Phone: (03) 9925 4283

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Dinah van Ruyven runs the lab classes. 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


1. Interpret and schedule test requirements

Performance Criteria:


Review test request to identify samples to be tested, test method and equipment/instruments involved

Identify hazards and enterprise control measures associated with the sample, preparation/test methods, reagents and/or equipment

Plan work sequences to optimise throughput of multiple samples (if appropriate)


2. Receive and prepare samples

Performance Criteria:


Log samples using standard operating procedure

Record sample description, compare with specification and note and report discrepancies

Prepare samples and standards in accordance with chemical testing requirements

Ensure traceability of samples from receipt to reporting of results


3. Check equipment before use

Performance Criteria:


Set up equipment/instruments in accordance with test method requirements

Perform pre-use and safety checks in accordance with relevant enterprise and operating procedures

Identify faulty or unsafe components and equipment and report to appropriate personnel

Check equipment calibration using specified standards and procedures (if applicable)

Quarantine out-of-calibration equipment/instruments

Ensure reagents required for the test are available and meet quality requirements


4. Test samples to determine chemical species or properties

Performance Criteria:


Operate equipment/instruments in accordance with test method requirements

Perform tests/procedures on all samples and standards (if appropriate) in accordance with specified methods

Shut down equipment/instruments in accordance with operating procedures


5. Process and interpret data

Performance Criteria:


Record test data noting atypical observations

Construct calibration graphs (if appropriate) and compute results for all samples from these graphs

Ensure calculated values are consistent with expectations

Record and report results in accordance with enterprise procedures

Interpret trends in data and/or results and report 'out-of-specification' or atypical results promptly to appropriate personnel

Determine if obvious procedure or equipment problems have led to atypical data or results


6. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:


Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety and that of other laboratory personnel

Minimise the generation of wastes and environmental impacts

Ensure the safe collection of laboratory and hazardous waste for subsequent disposal

Care for and store equipment and reagents as required


7. Maintain laboratory records

Performance Criteria:


Enter approved data into laboratory information management system

Maintain confidentiality and security of enterprise information and laboratory data

Maintain equipment and calibration logs in accordance with enterprise procedures.

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Lab classes
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 8-Feb
 Outline of course
Atomic theory,
 Lab safety intro  
2 15-Feb Classification of matter, atomic theory, atomic number & atomic weight, electron structure & configuration
 Lab safety
Using balances
 Theory online quiz (practice)

Report – write up ‘Using Balances’ in communication class

Satisfactory completion required
3 22-Feb Periodic table, Electron configuration of atoms - shells, subshells & orbitals, Ions
  Glass pipettes     Theory online quiz 1    (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)
4 01-Mar Chemical bonds:  ionic & covalent bonding, properties of ionic & covalent compounds, Lewis dot diagrams, naming compounds, bond angles& molecular shapes   

  Laboratory glassware MSDS & Chem Labels -->OHS    Theory online quiz 2

  Report -
(1)    MSDS Q’s (submit hardcopy)
(2)    Chem Labels (submit online)
   (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)

Satisfactory completion required
5 08-Mar Review bonds, Electronegativity, classifying bonds, shapes of molecules - Lewis structures, Polar/Non-Polar molecules, Types of solutions & solubility   

  no prac class
(Labour Day)
   Theory online quiz 3  (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)
6 15-Mar Formula weight, the mole, Avogadro’s number, Concentrations – Molarity & % solutions 

 Conductivity of aqueous solutions    
Theory online quiz 4

 Prac report (write up in pairs) - conductivity of aqueous solutions   
(best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)

722- MarCentrifuges  

Preparing solutions    
Theory online quiz 5
 (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)
829- Mar  Revision        
 Prac Exam 1: Using pipettes/balances
  Prac Exam 1: Using pipettes/ balances 
 must be competent
 2-7 AprStudent Vacation   
912-Apr Theory exam 1       
 No prac     Theory exam 1  30%
Wk Date (week of) Theory (2hr)
Tues am (BIO)
Tues pm (PT)
Prac (3hr)
Mon (PT)
Wed (Bio)
 Assessment Task Value (%)
1019-Apr Serial Dilutions Chemical equations, balancing equations     micropipettes     Theory online quiz 6 (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)
1126-Apr Spectrophotometry     Using Centrifuges/ Serial Dilutions     Theory online quiz 7
 (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)
1203-May Classes of reactions,  Chemical equations Stoichiometry      

Spectrophotometry I 
Theory online quiz 8

 Prac Report - Spectrophotometry
(best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)

1310-May Limiting & excess reagents,% yields,  Ionic reactions & equations (net & ionic), Solubilities of ionic compounds     
 Spectrophotometry II 
 Theory online quiz 9 (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)
1417-May Reaction rates, Reversible reactions, Chemical equilibrium, Le Chatalier’s principle, Equilibrium constants    
 Balanced chemical equations     Theory online quiz 10 (best 5 quizzes worth 2% each=10% total)
1524 May Sustainability Tutorial: Internet Research - in the library            
   Effect of concentration changes on equilibrium yields     Prac Report - Effect of concentration changes on equilibrium yields     10%
1631-May Revision  
  Prac Exam 2: Making solutions     Prac Exam 2: Making solutions     must be competent
1707 Jun Theory exam 2   
 No prac    
 Theory exam 2

  Submit Logbook   

must be competent
1814-Jun Alternative assessments/ prac exam resits  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

•    Bettelheim, Brown & March (2007) Introduction to General, Organic & Biochemistry,
8th Edition.

•    Chemistry Practical Manual semester 1 (available from RMIT online (ie the “DLS”))

Recommended Texts:  

For “Serial Dilutions”
(Relevant to the prac class in week 10.

Linné, Jean Jorgenson & Ringsrud, Karen Munson. Clinical laboratory science: the basics and routine techniques, (p. 177-180). 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby, 1999.

Available at eReserve @ RMIT Library – click on this link to open the document:
(You will need to login).


Other Resources

1. Students require a lab coat and gloves for Laboratory classes.
2. An exercise book for the logbook.

Overview of Assessment

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

Assessment Tasks

**You must pass all assessment tasks to pass this course**

Theory Online quizzes
*Best 5 weekly quizzes are worth 2% each (i.e. 10% of total grade), you must attempt ALL quizzes and get an average pass mark (av=50% correct) to pass this component)

Assignment 1 –  lab safety report
Competent/Not competent

Assignment 2 – MSDS & Chem Labels
Competent/Not competent

Test 1

Prac 1 –  conductivity of aqueous solutions

Prac Exam 1 – Balances & Glass pipettes
Competent/Not competent

Prac 2 –  spectrophotometers

Prac 3 –  effect of concentration changes on equilibrium yields

Prac Exam 2 – Making solutions
    Competent/Not competent

Test 2

Signed off each week by teacher
Competent/Not competent

Class attendance:
Students must attend at least 80% of classes
Competent/Not competent

Satisfactory Participation* in Introductory Chemistry
(if required ie. If VCE Chemistry score is not ≥ 20, or equivalent)
Competent/Not competent
Total     100%
**You must pass all assessment tasks to pass this course**

*Satisfactory Participation in Introductory Chemistry means:

Class attendance:
Students must attend at least 80% of classes    Competent/Not competent
Completion of at least 4 Quizzes    Competent/Not competent

Introductory Chemistry goes for Semester 1 only.

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

**You must pass all assessment tasks to pass this course**

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.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU SUBMIT THE QUIZ PROPERLY. If you do not submit it properly, so that a score is achieved, you will not get the marks for that 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.

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. Each practical report is due two weeks after the prac has been done. Late reports will incur loss of marks for each day late, up to one week after the due date. Prac reports will not be accepted after this time.

If you are absent for a practical that is to be written up, a medical certificate must be provided and special consideration applied for. 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 / cannot apply for special consideration, another prac may not be written up. No marks will be allocated in this case.

Class attendance
Students must attend at least 80% of classes to pass the course.
A medical certificate must be provided and special consideration applied for if you are absent.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview