HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection

Pathology specimen collectors (Phlebotomists) are vital members of a pathology laboratory team. They need considerable technical expertise, along with good interpersonal skills. Their role includes collecting blood and other specimens from both hospital patients and external clients for pathology testing.

This course provides valuable skills, knowledge and practical experience to anyone who wants to pursue a career in the interactive, flexible and challenging world of pathology specimen collection (phlebotomy).

The course covers:

  • procedure for collecting blood specimens by venepuncture
  • procedures for handling and transporting pathology specimens
  • standard additional precautions
  • communicating in the workplace
  • complying with infection control policies and procedures
  • collecting pathology specimens other than blood
  • identifying and responding to clinical risks associated with pathology specimen collection
  • quality assurance.

This qualification is approved for subsidies under the Queensland Government’s Certificate 3 Guarantee program. Certificate 3 Guarantee provides a government subsidy to allow eligible Queenslanders to obtain their first post-school Certificate III level qualification. To be eligible for the Certificate 3 Guarantee funded by the Queensland Government you must meet eligibility criteria. For more information on the Certificate 3 Guarantee program and eligibility criteria go to the Costs section on this page.

2020 Open Day and Information Sessions:

Come and check out our world-class clinical simulation and learning facilities, and chat to real students and educators about our practical courses and what it's like to study onsite in a real hospital environment! We'll host regular info sessions throughout the day, so you can find out about funding, fees and eligibility requirements.

See event details and register your attendance:


Entry requirements

Mater Education wants everyone enrolled into the program to have every opportunity to succeed at their study. Our program is dynamic, and delivered in a way that caters to all learning styles.

When applications are open, you will need to complete an online application including:

  1. 1. addressing the following three criteria:

    • What motivates you to pursue a career in healthcare at this time?
    • Why do you think the Mater Education program would suit you?
    • How do you plan to balance your life, work and full-time study commitments while undertaking the Pathology collection program?

  2. 2. details of your work history and voluntary experience

  3. 3. details of any prior education, including copies of any qualifications, statements of attainment or a transcript of completed study and/or your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education awarded for the completion of year 12.

Applicants that address the defined criteria as published and whose answers are clear and informative will progress to the next stage. 

  1. 1. To set you up for success, we'll ask you to undergo a language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) evaluation before starting the program. The LLN evaluation will give us an insight into your reading, writing and numeracy skills, and help us plan any extra support you may need to succeed in the program. 

  2.  2. Applicants who display competence at or above Exit Level 2 in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) in both reading and numeracy will be invited to an interview, and complete a written assessment at Mater Education. 

Certificates and permits
Confirmation of your enrolment as a pathology student is subject to the completion of a criminal history check (Fit2Work).

You need to be immunised, or in the process of being vaccinated, for the following communicable diseases:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (chicken pox)
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Seasonal vaccinations (influenza) as required.

If you are applying for credit for your First Aid certification, your CPR currency must be up to date for the duration of the program. 

Students will require access to a reliable internet connection enabling access to Mater Education’s virtual learning environment, and a computer with up-to-date software, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player.

Read more about resource requirements here.

Find out more about this course

If you’d like to learn more about this course and future course offerings, please submit the form below.

Expression of Interest

Please complete the following form to submit an expression of interest.

Personal Details

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Full Fee-paying student—$3,700

View the schedule of fees for students in 2020.

Certificate 3 Guarantee
Non-concessional student Co-Contribution—$984
Concessional student Co-Contribution—$402

To be eligible for the Certificate 3 Guarantee you must meet the following criteria:

  • not hold or be currently enrolled in a certificate III or higher level qualification (does not include qualifications completed in secondary school)
  • be 15 years or older
  • have completed or left secondary school
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident residing in Queensland, or New Zealand citizen permanently residing in Queensland (including humanitarian entrants), or a temporary resident with the necessary visa and work permits on the pathway to permanent residency.

For more information about eligibility go to Certificate 3 Guarantee Student Fact Sheet or the Certificate 3 Guarantee FAQs.

You are eligible for the concession fee if you are eligible for subsidised training, and are listed on an Australian Government Low Income Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you hold a Department of Veterans' Affairs Pensioner Concession Card, or if you have a disability.

Mater Education offers a payment plan for some Pathology Collection course fees. To pay your fees this way you’ll need to make three to five non-refundable payments—the first before the start of the course. There are no administration fees or interest charges, and no extra charges for credit card payments. If you’re eligible for the Certificate 3 Guarantee or paying full fees, please contact us to find out about our payment plan.

Students will no longer be eligible for a government subsidised training place under the Certificate 3 Guarantee program once they complete the qualification.

Additional costs

As part of your enrolment you may need to buy:

  • Textbooks and materials 
  • Mater Education Uniform shirt (approximately $60 - $80 per shirt)
  • Closed-in black shoes
  • Black business pants or knee-length black skirt (preferably with pockets)
  • Criminal history check 'Fit2Work' ($29)
  • CPR currency ($50 - $60)
  • Any additional vaccinations you may require
  • Vocational placement at a non-Mater collection centre ($300) (limited number of places available) - see Vocational Placement Travel costs relating to vocational placement.

Cancellation and refund policy.

Vocational placements

Vocational placement consolidates your knowledge within the real or simulated healthcare environment by giving you the opportunity to apply theory to practice. It happens at the end of the course at one of Mater’s collection centres.

Placement is 40 hours within two weeks at the end of the course. There is the possibility of additional placement and or simulation if course requirements are not met.

Although every attempt is made to send students to a collection centre near to where they live, it is not always possible so some travel may be required.

A limited number of opportunities exist for students to undertake Vocational Placement at an external Pathology company (a $300 fee applies). 

To be eligible to undertake vocational placement at a non Mater pathology collection centre, student’s tuition fees must not be in arrears. 

As places are limited, Mater Education reserves the right to nominate students for placement.  Students have the option to opt-out if offered a place at an external provider.  

Learning outcome

On successful completion of the course you’ll receive a HLT37215 Certificate III in Pathology Collection that will carry the Nationally Recognised Training logo.

Should you leave the course before you complete it, you’ll receive a Statement of Attainment for any units of competency you’ve successfully completed and where fees have been paid in full.

Course outline

This qualification comprises 14 units in total, including 9 core units and 5 elective units.

Core Units

CHCCOM005 Communicate and work in the health or community services
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, management and other industry providers.

BSBMED301 Interpret and apply medical terminology appropriately
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to understand and respond to instructions; to carry out routine tasks and communicate with a range of internal/external clients in a medical environment; as well as use appropriate medical terminology.

CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work respectfully with people from diverse social and cultural groups and situations, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

HLTINF001 Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to follow organisational infection prevention and control procedures, including implementing standard and transmission-based precautions and responding to infection risks.

HLTWHS001 Participate in Workplace health and safety
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required for workers to participate in safe work practices to ensure their own health and safety, and that of others.

BSBCUS201 Deliver a service to customers
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to deliver all aspects of customer service at an introductory level. It includes creating a relationship with customers, identifying their needs, delivering services or products and processing customer feedback.

HLTPAT001 Identify and respond to clinical risks in pathology collection
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to recognise client risk factors, identify emergency situations and provide emergency or first aid response to client reactions associated with pathology specimen collection.

HLTPAT002 Perform venous blood collections
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to confirm collection requirements, prepare client and equipment, and perform routine blood collections using venous blood collection.

HLTPAT004 Collect pathology specimens other than blood
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to confirm collection requirements, prepare client and equipment and make routine pathology specimen collections.

Elective units

HLTPAT006 Receive, prepare and dispatch pathology specimens
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to receive specimens, complete the administrative process to prepare samples for pathology testing, and dispatch specimens. This unit does not cover the dispatch of dangerous goods or the transport of specimens to external facilities.

BSBWOR202 Organise and complete daily work activities
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to seek feedback for performance improvement and use current technology appropriate to the task. It applies to individuals working under direct supervision who develop basic skills and knowledge for working in a broad range of settings.

HLTAID003 Provide first aid
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to provide a first aid response to a casualty. The unit applies to all workers who may be required to provide a first aid response in a range of situations, including community and workplace settings.

BSBFLM312 Contribute to team effectiveness
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to contribute to the effectiveness of the work team. It involves planning with the team to meet expected outcomes, developing team cohesion, participating in and facilitating the work team, and communicating with the management of the organisation.

BSBWOR301 Organise personal work priorities and development
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to organise own work schedules, to monitor and obtain feedback on work performance and to maintain required levels of competence.

Duration and dates

This course is delivered over 15 weeks. Classes are held four days per week, except for your vocational experience which will run for 40 hours over a two-week period. Part of the course involves self-directed study, with tutorials available to help with your learning.

Class timetables
View the indicative timetables for students commencing study in:


Where is the course held?
The course is delivered onsite at Mater Education’s South Brisbane campus.

You’ll need to attend vocational placement, which means you will be learning in the workplace as a part of your training. This will be at either Mater Pathology (Mater Hospital Brisbane) or a Mater Pathology Collection Centre.

While Mater Pathology will try to arrange a vocational placement as close to your residential address as possible (after consulting with you), all placements will be at its discretion.

Placements will be in Queensland only.

Is the course available part-time or online?
No. You must attend all lectures and vocational placement to successfully complete the course. However, there are online self-directed learning modules.

Is there a course program?
Yes. Refer to the Duration and Dates section for timetable information.

Will I get a job?
While Mater Pathology gives you the skills and knowledge to obtain a job at the end of this course, it doesn’t provide an employment placement service and cannot guarantee employment.

How do we practise taking blood?
We have state of the art venepuncture arm mannequins (artificial) that students practice on, until competent. Once competent, the student will attend ‘live’ pathology collection centres.

What should I do if I have any other questions?
If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us

Come and check out our facilities, speak to students and educations and ask as many questions as you need!

Apply for upcoming dates

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