Student Medical Laboratory Technician Programme


The Student Medical Laboratory Technician (SMLT) programme is a two-year programme for 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. While South Africa is experiencing a shortage of qualified medical technologists, this qualification is one means to help bridge the gap. As rapid technological advances take place, the pathology industry envisages the need for more suitably qualified laboratory technicians. PathCare provides the opportunity for individuals to enter this environment.

The programme is run along similar lines to a learnership in which the students have theory and practical study in training rooms and rotations through various PathCare training laboratories for practical work. The subjects studied by those students aims to become Clinical Pathology Technicians are Anatomy and Physiology, Safety in the Laboratory, Medical Ethics, Chemical Pathology, Haematology and Microbiology. Students wishing to pursue the Histology Technician qualification follow the same initial generic training programme before substituting Histology for the Chemistry, Haematology and Microbiology disciplines. In addition, the students undergo training in the use of our Laboratory Information Systems and Life Skills training programmes further equip the students for the workplace. The trainers and supervisors are all qualified registered medical practitioners in their discipline of speciality.


The programme commences in February each year. Positions are advertised internally within PathCare and on the PathCare website. Entry criteria for this Academy programme includes a grade 12 pass with mathematics and science and/or biology. Selection includes pre-interview testing and panel interviews. Successful candidates are paid an allowance and are employed on a two-year contract during their studies at the PathCare Academy. Each year, the Academy is also increasing its number of candidates recruited for/from various locations in South Africa, and Namibia, in order to help address the skills shortages affecting various areas.

As with our Phlebotomy Technicians, the Academy’s Medical Laboratory Technicians have enjoyed exceptionally high pass rates on the HPCSA’s annual Board Exams. We are proud of their results and proud of our many graduates now successfully working in the field.