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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 venipuncture
  • 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.

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 writing assessment at Mater Education. 

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

To complete clinical placement, you will also be required to obtain a Blue Card. This is free for students and will be discussed at the interview stage. (If you have any questions about Blue Card requirements, please contact us.)

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.

Duration & dates

Vocational experience will be 50 hours acquired over a two-week period. Part of the course involves self-directed study, but tutorials will be available to help you with your learning.

2018 January intake dates

January 2018 — June 2018 (Orientation 25 January 2018)
Classes are held on Thursdays and Fridays, with either Tuesdays or Wednesdays for skills practice.

See course timetable here.




Full Fee-paying student—$3700  RPL
Certificate III Guarantee—$1152 * 
Certificate III Guarantee with Concession—$606*

* Certificate III eligibility requirements

Additional costs:

As part of your enrolment you may need to buy:

  • closed-in black shoes

  • black tailored pants or a knee-length black skirt (preferably with pockets). You will be provided with a Mater Education student polo shirt

You’ll also be responsible for any expenses relating to demonstrating immunity or vaccination and Criminal History Checks.

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 semester at one of Mater’s collection centres.

Placement is 50 hours over 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.

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 competence you’ve completed.

Course outline

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.

HLTAAP001 Recognise healthy body systems
This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to work with basic information about the human body and to recognise and promote ways to maintain healthy functioning of the body.

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.

Expression of interest for next available intake


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.
How do we practise taking blood?
It’s all done with "manikin" (artificial) arms.
What should I do if I have any other questions?
If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us