What are medical laboratory assistants and technicians?

Medical laboratory assistants/technicians perform pre-analytical functions such as collecting blood and other samples, processing specimens, and preparing special chemicals called reagents for use in testing.

These practitioners have a significant and increasing impact on quality patient care due to their expanding roles and broadened responsibilities in the clinical laboratory. As they provide phlebotomy services and pre-analytical functions, in many cases, medical laboratory assistants and medical laboratory technicians are the primary source of contact between the laboratory, patients, and other health care professionals in specimen collection centres, point-of-care settings, and longterm care facilities.

In other words, when patients receive phlebotomy services, medical laboratory assistants and technicians perform the blood draw (also known as venipuncture) and process your fluid samples.

What is the VR Affiliate Program?

Did you know that medical laboratory assistants and technicians are not regulated health professionals?

Since 2009, the CMLTO Board has made the regulation of medical laboratory assistants and technicians one of its’ strategic priorities. Until such time that medical laboratory assistants and technicians are regulated health professionals in Ontario, the CMLTO created the voluntary roster initiative on October 1, 2015 to serve the public interest. Inspired by the United Kingdom concepts of “right touch regulation”. The Voluntary Roster is a list of medical laboratory assistants and technicians who have volunteered to apply and meet a certain level of education and professional practice criteria.

The criteria involved with getting on the voluntary roster list that have been proven to be an effective means of assessment include:

  • Certification;
  • Educational preparation; and
  • Work experience.

Key recommendations

The CMLTO has compared the voluntary roster to the UK Professional Standards Authority’s eleven standards for Accredited Registers and came up with three key recommendations:

  • Only qualified medical laboratory assistants and technicians are authorized to practice;
  • Medical laboratory assistants and technicians are required to maintain their competence; and
  • Medical laboratory assistants and technicians are accountable for their conduct.

How do I apply to get onto the Voluntary Roster?

For more information on the Voluntary Roster Program, including how to apply, please consult our promotional one-pager

Promotional One-pager

If you are interested in applying to the CMLTO Voluntary Roster, please complete the following application:

CMLTO Voluntary Roster of Registered Medical Laboratory Technicians Application

If you would like to search the Voluntary Roster, follow the link below:

CMLTO Voluntary Roster (cmltoroster.com)

Additional Resources

If you want to learn more about the CMLTO Voluntary Roster, please consult the following resources:

VR Professional Portfolio Tipsheet

VR Learning Goal Guideline

VR Self Directed Study Guideline

Link to Webinar on the pursuit of regulating medical laboratory assistants and technicians in Ontario

English Transcript on the Pursuit of Regulating Medical Laboratory Assistants and Technicians in Ontario Webinar