Medical LABORATORY ASSISTANTS Board Exam Application Form (PDF)


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Registration as a STUDENT Laboratory Assistant with the HPCSA

Laboratory Assistant Examination Information
Guidelines to Questions Asked
Examination Rules and Re-mark Process
Registration as a QUALIFIED Laboratory Assistant with the HPCSA


The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) Professional Board for Medical Technology (PBMT) Laboratory Assistants’ examination is administered by the Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists of South Africa (SMLTSA). The examination is a prerequisite for registration with the HPCSA as a qualified Laboratory Assistant. Candidates must therefore familiarise themselves with the registration requirements as prescribed by the HPCSA.
The National Administrative Office of the SMLTSA is based in Cape Town and all correspondence regarding the examination should be addressed to:

The Registrar | SMLTSA | PO Box 505 | Howard Place 7450
tel: 021 531 1231 | fax: 021 531 1233 |

Please ensure that all documents are submitted by registered mail. The SMLTSA accepts no responsibility for items lost in the post. All documents will be returned by registered mail. Please note that original or certified copies of the necessary documents must accompany your application.

(Refer to the section GENERAL under the Examinations tab for further general information)


Laboratory Assistant Examination Disciplines

The examination is offered in the following disciplines:

Clinical Pathology (Incorporating Chemistry/ Haematology/ Microbiology/ Media) | Immunohaematology (Blood Transfusion) | Histology | Cytology


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Registration as a Student Laboratory Assistant with the HPCSA

Once a student has found employment he/she must register with the HPCSA as a Student Laboratory Assistant (HPCSA Form 53). Your completed application must include proof of payment of registration fees to the HPCSA (HPCSA banking details). Students have a maximum of 2 (two) attempts at the PBMT examination.

Enrolment for the PBMT examination

Student Laboratory Assistants must be registered with the HPCSA and have trained as a student laboratory assistant for a minimum of 1 (one) year before they may write the PBMT examination. They must apply to write the PBMT examination by the 31st January of each year.

Prospective candidates must submit the following documents to the Registrar, SMLTSA, in support of their entry to the PBMT examination:

On receipt of the application, the SMLTSA will issue candidates with an examination registration number. The Administrative Office of the SMLTSA will advise candidates of the examination date, times and venue in writing.



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Laboratory Assistant Examination Information


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Guidelines to Questions Asked

The general section will be very basic – 
What to do in the case of a spill, or an accident? How would you correct pH of a urine, what type of sample is needed for FBC (Lab. Assistants do not need to have any idea of the mechanism of clotting or anti-coagulants). What to do with multi-discipline individual samples? What is specimen reception all about?

Questions may also touch on things like communication & telephone etiquette – what is the minimum information required when taking or giving messages? When it comes to staining, Lab. Assistants would not be expected to know which cells take up which colour and why, but they would be expected to have an idea of the staining sequence.

Questions will be set on both the 2008 HPCSA Syllabus and the unit standards on the SAQA website: – Qualification ID: 63189


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Examination Rules

Use this Quicklink to the examination rules as given in the GENERAL section.

Re-mark Process

Use this Quicklink to the re-mark process as given in the GENERAL section.


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Registration as a Qualified Laboratory Assistant with the HPCSA

To register as a qualified Laboratory Assistant with the HPSCA the following documents must be submitted to:

The Resistrar | Heath Professions Council of South Africa | PO Box 205 | Pretoria 0001

NOTE: No original HPCSA registration certificates must be sent to the SMLTSA. However, the original application form must be submitted with ALL other documents certified by a Commissioner of Oaths, otherwise applications will be returned.


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