Course Title: Perform microbiological tests

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: ONPS5203C

Course Title: Perform microbiological tests

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5183 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact: Dinah van Ruyven

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4287

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

PMLTEST407A Perform biological procedures

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the ability of technical personnel to contribute to the culture, isolation and identification of micro-organisms for investigating the physiology and pathology of plants and animals; for monitoring the natural environment; and to assist in the production of foods, pharmaceutical goods and other manufactured materials.
This unit of competency provides for the development of skill in procedures that can be applied in investigations of bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoans, algae and parasites, as well
as addressing the broader needs of biotechnology and tissue culture applications.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PMLTEST501B Perform microbiological tests


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

Performance Criteria:

1 Count cells in undiluted samples to indicate the dilution necessary to reliably count organisms in culture

2 Prepare serial dilutions of samples aseptically for culture and colony counting

3 Count colonies for calculating number of viable organisms per unit volume

4 Count micro-organisms in samples and cultures using spectrometric and electronic methodologies, where relevant


Maintain records of laboratory work

Performance Criteria:

1 Make entries on report forms or into computer systems, accurately recording or transcribing required data as required

2 Maintain instrument logs as required by accreditation checklists

3 Maintain security and confidentiality of all clinical information, laboratory data and records


Prepare for safe microbiological work and aseptic applications

Performance Criteria:

1 Select work area and equipment required for the safe handling of materials that may contain micro-organisms of specified risk groups

2 Wear protective apparel, replacing it when contamination is suspected

3 Apply correct disinfection procedures to work areas before and after use

4 Locate relevant emergency equipment for timely response to microbiological accidents

5 Apply standard precautions when handling biological materials

6 Minimise the production and release of aerosols, using biological safety cabinets where necessary

7 Clean spills, reporting all spills and suspected incidents to supervisor

8 Wash hands before and after laboratory work and when contamination is suspected

9 Ensure the safe disposal of biohazardous materials and other laboratory wastes in accordance with enterprise procedures


Prepare samples to concentrate material for subsequent staining or microscopy

Performance Criteria:

1 Select culture media to maximise growth of micro-organisms and cells

2 Inoculate media aseptically, applying techniques suitable for purpose of culture

3 Incubate inoculated media in conditions to optimise growth of organisms and cells

4 Sub culture on suitable media to optimise production of pure cultures


Process samples for direct examination

Performance Criteria:

1 Prepare thin smears of samples for subsequent staining to enable microscopic identification of cells

2 Prepare liquid films of specimens for direct observation for motility or cell structure

3 Prepare samples to concentrate material for subsequent staining or microscopy


Receive samples and process associated request forms

Performance Criteria:

1 Check samples and request form details before they are accepted

2 Return samples and request forms that do not comply with requirements to source with reasons for non-acceptance

3 Log samples, recording details that allow accurate tracking and chain of custody

4 Distribute samples for local testing or dispatch samples to other testing facilities

5 Store samples appropriately where testing or transport is to be delayed


Sub culture on suitable media to optimise production of pure cultures

Performance Criteria:

1 Select staining techniques to demonstrate required cellular characteristics

2 Stain prepared films to demonstrate diagnostically useful characteristics

3 Inoculate and incubate media with pure cultures to assist in the biochemical and immunological identification of micro-organisms

4 Perform tests on pure cultures to assist in the biochemical and immunological identification of micro-organisms


 Contribute to antibiotic sensitivity testing where required

Performance Criteria:

1 Prepare inoculum suitable for antibiotic sensitivity testing

2 Dispense or position antibiotic discs as indicated by enterprise protocol

3 Incubate inoculated media under conditions to maximise growth of cultured organism

4 Read and record sensitivity reactions, noting phenomena that can assist in the correct interpretation of results

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Practical laboratory exercises


online research activities

group discussion

Teaching Schedule

WeekDate Topic
110/2 Introduction to Microbiology
217/2 Microscopy: Smears & Staining
324/2 Bacterial Metabolism and growth requirements
43/3 Bacterial Growth & its measurement
510/3 Controlling Microbial Growth
617/3 Culture media
724/3 Microbial genetics
914/4 theory exam
1021/4 Microbial genetics
1128/4 Classification of organisms
125/5 Introduction to Identification
1312/5 More Identification Tests
1419/5 Gram Positive Bacteria
1526/5 Gram Negative Bacteria
162/6 REVISION & Prac Exam
179/6Theory exam
1816/6additional assessment
114/7 Normal human flora
221/7 Immunology and epidemiology
328/7 Skin and wound infections
44/8 Urinogenital tract infections
511/8 Respiratory tract infections
618/8 Systemic and nervous system infections
725/8 REVISION & Prac exam
81/9Theory exam
98/9 Virology
1015/9 Antimicrobials and antivirals
1129/9 Gastrointestinal infections
126/10 Food microbiology
1313/10 Biotechnology applications
1420/10 Environmental microbiology
1527/10 REVISION
163/11Theory exam
1710/11additional assessment

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

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


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

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

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

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 submission of work will incur a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark per day unless Special Consideration is applied for in writing using the required form. Marks can be deducted until the minimum pass mark is reached, after which no further marks will be deducted. Work will not be accepted more than 1 week after the due date.

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.

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