Training Academy

Addressing the skill shortage in the pathology sector
The PathCare Academy for Training and Development was established in Cape Town in February 2006 with the aim to help address the South African skills shortages in the pathology sector in particular.


The PathCare Academy was the first centre in South Africa where phlebotomists were trained. We also developed courses for laboratory technicians and laboratory assistants.

Rather than perfect vision, 2020 turned out to be blindsiding.   Instead of clarity, opacity intruded and clouded one’s worldview.  It was a year of disruption and seemed to offer only fear and uncertainty.  Yet, stepping through such a haze and emerging from a heavy fog can offer great moments of clarity – crystalline clarity.  And, as the philosopher Gotthold Lessing noted:  “The greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.”  Such clarity of purpose and beauty are wished for, and are surely the just deserts for Academy students who completed programmes successfully in the turbulent year.  May they follow the advice of the great naturalist Thoreau: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”


In 2020, we witnessed how PathCare impressively pulled together as one to meet the challenges of the year.   The actions and attitudes of the individuals who make up PathCare did not disappoint, and enabled the organisation to flourish despite difficult times.  The Academy admirably adapted to the challenges of the year, and found opportunities to make improvements in programmes and delivery models and methods. Learning opportunities within the crisis were identified and successes were made thanks to the efforts of many. Each year the Academy adjusts in response to an ever-changing environment, and the past year was certainly no exception.  The advances made in our e-learning platform, programme approaches, and portals were particularly noteworthy.


The Academy continues to succeed as a result of the commitment, hard work, and kind collaboration of the Academy staff, dedicated colleagues in the broader PathCare organisation, and the students and programme participants themselves.   Our students on our flagship programmes have maintained our extraordinary 97% pass rate on Health Professions Council exams since opening our doors in 2006, and with over 93% of our students selected from historically disadvantaged communities across the country, we have contributed to developing a South Africa for all who live in it.  The Academy offers a variety of full-length programmes (varying in duration from three months to two years): Learnerships, certificate programmes, work/study programmes, workplace experience programmes, and internships provide individuals with opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills in professional, technical and support areas of health care. The programmes provide students with a balance of theoretical knowledge gained in classroom situations and practical knowledge gained in real work settings.  Qualified professional staff lecture, train and supervise the students. Students pay no tuition fees at the Academy, but are rather paid a monthly stipend to work for PathCare under supervision in their chosen field while they learn.


2020 also offered another unique opportunity for the Academy to illustrate how it continues to support and promote the PathCare value system:  Aiming to improve customer service and experience through training; to develop and engender a culture of accountability and responsibility; to value and respect every person who comes to / interacts with us; and to set an example for professional and ethical behaviour.


It is perhaps fitting to recall the words of a previous US president, and for our Academy students to heed his call:  “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson.   May your vision be enriched to a beautiful crystal clarity that comes through time and hard experience.


Please find further information on Academy programmes, short courses, and students in the following pages.

Academy Programmes


In addition to the BHSC degree students at the Academy in Cape Town, the Academy also supports a number of Intern Medical Technologists through distance programmes.

Phlebotomy Technician Learnership

The PathCare Academy offers this programme for the training of Phlebotomy Technicians (Further Education and Training Certificate: Phlebotomy Techniques, NQF level 4).

Programmes for existing Pathcare employees

In addition to our full-length programmes, various short courses in the Academy’s technical expertise, service quality, and business capacity pillars are continuously on offer for existing PathCare staff nationally, in classroom and e-learning formats.

Student Laboratory Assistant Programme

The Academy’s Laboratory Assistant Programme provides for training towards a nationally recognised qualification and career path at PathCare.

Student Medical Laboratory Technician Programme

The Student Medical Laboratory Technician (SMLT) programme is a two-year programme in which suitable candidates from within and outside of PathCare are recruited to undergo training to become Qualified Medical Laboratory Technicians in Clinical Pathology or Histology.

Trainee Data Capturer Programme

The accurate and rapid entering of patient demographics and tests requested by referring doctors is critical to the quality and success of diagnostic pathology.

Trainee Depot Administrator Programme

The Academy first and foremost aims to develop training programmes in support of PathCare’s business objectives and operations.

Contact Academy for further information: