Commissioners Information Bulletin 657

Process Manufacturing

Laboratory Operations - Traineeships

Date of effect: 21 May 2010

Updated: 11 January 2019

Bulletin Information

In this Commissioner's Information Bulletin (CIB) three qualifications have had code updates MSL30118 Certificate III in Laboratory Skills, MSL40118 Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques and MSL50118 Diploma of Laboratory Technology* all are deemed equivalent and align to the current MSLv2.0 Laboratory Operations Training Package.

There are no other changes to the Vocational Training Order.

Superseded Bulletin

This Commissioner's Information Bulletin updates Bulletin 467.

On this page:

Vocational Training Order (VTO)

Qualifications, structure and packaging

Transition Arrangements

Industrial arrangements

Competency based completion

School based traineeships

Registered training organisations

Funding arrangements

Inspecting Vocational Training Orders

Enquiries

For any enquiries regarding this Commissioner's Information Bulletin, please contact Apprenticeships and Traineeships on (02) 8267 7704. To find a job in an apprenticeship or traineeship search here.

For implementation of new pathways in relation to this Training Package profile please contact this Leon Drury NSW ITAB Mobile: 0414 912 383.

David Collins
TheCommissioner for Vocational Training


Job Descriptions

Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement trainees will learn the skills and knowledge required to perform a range of sampling and measurement activities as part of laboratory, production or field operations in the construction, manufacturing, resources and environmental industry sectors. They may be employed as samplers and testers, production personnel, plant operators, production operators, field assistants, drivers, sample couriers and many others.

Samplers and testers conduct limited sampling and testing as part of their duties in their particular industry. They apply a restricted range of skills and operational knowledge to perform these tasks and do not generally work inside a laboratory. They:

  • follow set procedures to sample raw materials and products
  • may package, label, store and transport samples
  • use simple equipment (hydrometers, thermometers and pH meters) to make measurements and perform basic tests that take a short time and involve a narrow range of variables and easily recognised control limits
  • may make visual inspection of products and packaging.

In some industry sectors (for example, mineral assay) this work forms a whole job role.

Certificate III in Laboratory Skills - trainees may learn to perform a limited range of laboratory operations across all industry sectors and this is the entry level required for laboratory personnel across all industry sectors. They may be employed as laboratory technicians, instrument operators and similar personnel.

Laboratory technicians perform straightforward laboratory work. They follow set procedures and recipes, and apply well developed technical skills and basic scientific knowledge. They generally work inside a laboratory but may also perform technical tasks in the field or within production plants. They may also perform a range of laboratory maintenance and office tasks. The majority of their work involves a predictable flow of parallel or similar tasks within one scientific discipline. Laboratory technicians: perform straightforward technical tasks to prepare and test samples using relevant procedures, Australian Standards and readily available advice. These tasks generally require close attention to detail and to the accuracy and precision of measurements. They may require the use of manual or semi-automated techniques to:

  • operate test equipment and instruments and make limited adjustments to their controls
  • process and record data and recognise trends and out of control conditions
  • solve predictable problems using clear information or known solutions. Where alternatives exist, they are limited and apparent
  • work under close and regular supervision, although they may have autonomy for specific tasks and responsibility for their own outputs
  • take decisions within defined limits of responsibility
  • work as part of a team.

Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques - trainees will learn the skills and knowledge required to perform a range of laboratory techniques which may be manual, semi-automated or fully automated. Laboratory work covers a variety of industry sectors and trainees may be employed as technical assistants, technicians, instrument operators and similar personnel.

Trainees skillsets:

  • working according to established procedures in a structured environment
  • collecting and preparing samples in a laboratory
  • conducting a wide range of basic tests and some specialised tests
  • defining and solving problems and adjusting formulations and production mixes in a collaborate work group
  • generally trainees work in a team and may have responsibility for their own work outputs
  • work under the direction and regular supervision of senior technical staff, laboratory or quality managers, or scientific/medical personnel.

Diploma of Laboratory Technology - trainees will learn skills and knowledge required to apply a range of laboratory technologies to conduct scientific-technical tests using specialist technical knowledge.

Trainee skillsets:

  • conduct a wide range of routine and complex, specialised tests
  • use instrumentation with a wide range of operating variables.
  • subject matter expert communication skills
  • liaise with suppliers to troubleshoot product non-conformance
  • demonstrate methodologies to others
  • train team members to collect samples and conduct basic tests reliably.
  • Workers contribute to the modification of standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • plan schedules and monitoring resources in their work area
  • work under the direction and regular supervision of senior technical staff, laboratory or quality managers, or scientific/medical personnel.

Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations - trainees will learn the skills and knowledge required to supervise laboratory operations within a work area or project team and may be employed as laboratory supervisors, senior technical officers and similar personnel.

Senior technicians or laboratory supervisors are generally responsible for the planning, allocation of tasks, coordination, quality assurance, recording and reporting of laboratory outputs within their section. This requires significant judgement about work sequences, and choice of appropriate technology and procedures to ensure that products and services meet customer expectations and are provided safely and efficiently in keeping with the enterprise business plan. Under broad direction from scientists/medical staff/engineers, the senior technician/supervisor accepts responsibility for the day-to-day operation of his/her work/functional area. They are often responsible for the effective implementation of operational policies and the technical training of personnel in their work area. They also contribute significantly to the development of these policies through the application of specialised technical knowledge.

The work of laboratory supervisors involves frequent peak periods, multiple and competing demands and frequent interruptions. Immediate decisions are often required. They must be adaptable to deal with the demands brought about by any of a number of causes. For example:

  • a range of demanding clients, suppliers or contractors
  • changes in technology
  • regularly changing priorities.

In the course of their normal work, they:

  • plan, allocate and monitor resources for their work area and are responsible for their work group's outputs
  • apply in-depth technical knowledge and skills to deliver the variety of products and services associated with the work area
  • explain complex instructions and procedures to others
  • define and solve complex problems by investigating, developing and testing alternatives in response to vague or ill-defined information that is not readily accessible and requires selective analysis
  • make significant contributions to the development of technical and operational policy and procedures within a function or work area
  • liaise with outside organisations, customers, suppliers and contractors on technical matters
  • provide technical information to internal and external customers
  • often provide workplace training and assessment
  • implement, maintain and promote work health and safety (WHS), quality and other compliance requirements and conduct audits
  • work under the general direction of laboratory or quality managers, or scientific/medical personnel.

Laboratory Operations - Traineeship

Vocational Training Order

Date of effect 21 May 2010
Updated 11 January 2019
Qualifications
Terms of traineeships: Full time:
  • MSL20116 Certificate II in Sampling Measurement
    • 12 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • MSL30118 Certificate III in Laboratory Skills by direct entry
    • 24 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • MSL30118 Certificate III in Laboratory Skills where the trainee holds MSL20116 Certificate II in Sampling Measurement
    • 12 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • MSL40118 Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques by direct entry
    • 36 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • MSL40118 Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques where the trainee holds MSL30118 Certificate III in Laboratory Skills
    • 12 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • MSL50118 Diploma of Laboratory Technology by direct entry
    • 48 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • MSL50118 Diploma of Laboratory Technology where the trainee holds MSL40118 Certificate IV in Laboratory Techniques
    • 24 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved
  • MSL60116 Advanced Diploma of Laboratory Operations
    • 24 months or until the relevant competencies are achieved

Part-time:
See nominal terms and hours for part-time traineeships

School based MSL20116 Certificate II in Sampling Measurement

The term for a school based traineeship will be calculated in months from the date of commencement to 31 December of the HSC year. During this period the school-based trainee must undertake a minimum of 100 days of on-the-job training.

Probationary periods Where the nominal term is:
  • up to and including 24 months - 2 months
  • greater than 24 months - 3 months
Page last updated: 11 January 2019