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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Handle biological specimens for immunochemistry analysis in a medical laboratory 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
257216  Handle biological specimens for immunochemistry analysis in a medical laboratory 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Medical Laboratory Assistants 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Curative Health 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will enable the learner to handle biological specimens for pre- and post-analytical processing in a medical laboratory and contribute to the competence required to work in other departments of a pathology laboratory. Knowledge and insight gained are essential elements for the competency required in handling pathology specimens as well as addressing the skills shortage in the country.

On completion of this unit standard, the competent learner will be able to:
  • Process biological specimens in the receiving area of a particular department.
  • Aliquot specimens for the tests required.
  • Operate and maintain laboratory apparatus. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Communication at NQF Level 2.
  • Mathematical literacy at NQF Level 2.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    Relevant prior work experience, qualifications and learning events will be recognised for this qualification, and competence will be measured against the equivalent assessment criteria. RPL will be granted in agreement with the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Range Statements:
  • Medical Laboratories included are Immunology (Serology and Endocrinology) and Chemistry.
  • Handle implies: Receive, record, prepare specimen; operate apparatus. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Process biological specimens in the receiving area of a particular department. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Types of specimens include: Blood, Serum, Plasma, Urine (random and timed collections), Aspirates, Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), Faeces (stool). 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Infection control and workplace safety protocols relating to the safe handling of samples are applied to all tissue to ensure environmental, personnel and sample safety. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Samples are received, recorded and registered for specimen type and specified tests according to the specific organisational system. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Specimen suitability/specific requirements for individual tests are explained and reported. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Collection containers, Fasting or Random, Timed collections, Special requirements e.g. Calcium - to be taken without cuff.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Specimens are sorted into test- or analyser-specific racks; specimens are collected and batched according to printed worksheets/lists, to facilitate timeous testing and results from the specimens. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    On completion of all requested tests, specimens are filed in an easily retrievable manner and then discarded after the specified period of time, to maintain safety and order in the laboratory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The effects of temperature on biological specimens are explained in terms of life of the specimen and accuracy of test results. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Transport temperature (on ice, ambient, frozen, cooled), pre-analytical storage temperature.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Aliquot specimens into other tubes. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Specimens are aseptically aliquotted into additional labelled tubes in the appropriate volumes for the tests to be performed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Aliquots of random urine and other fluid samples are centrifuged prior to laboratory analysis to prevent clogging of fine apertures in the apparatus. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    24-hour urine volumes are measured and aliquots are prepared for testing, the balance of the urine kept until testing is complete, then disinfected and discarded. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Operate and maintain laboratory apparatus. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Apparatus is checked and operated according to manufacturers' specifications and laboratory operating procedures, and any non-conformance regarding apparatus operation is recorded and reported for possible further action. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range of apparatus includes but is not limited to centrifuges, thermometers, scales and balances, pH meters, water deionisers/distillers, pipettes and glassware.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Apparatus is maintained by regularly performing and recording cleaning procedures, to ensure optimal performance and environmental and personnel safety. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor and/or moderator with the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance body (ETQA) or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning for this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the ETQA`s policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any relevant accredited assessment agency, assessor or provider institution, which is also accredited by the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Basic anatomy and physiology pertaining to the site of specimen collection.
  • Quality Control and Laboratory Safety Procedures.
  • Appropriate use and maintenance of laboratory apparatus.
  • Policies and Procedures of the relevant organisation.

    Current legislation pertaining to the following:
  • Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Handling or use of Human Tissue.
  • Medical, Dental and Supplementary Health Services.
  • Regulations defining the scope of the profession of Medical Technology.
  • Statutory guidelines of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) pertaining to Medical Ethics. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Refer to the following Specific Outcomes:
  • Process biological specimens in the receiving area of a particular department.
  • Operate and maintain laboratory apparatus. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organization or community:
  • Refer to all Specific Outcomes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively:
  • Refer to all Specific Outcomes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collecting, analysing, organizing and critically evaluating information:
  • Refer to all Specific Outcomes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the mode of oral and or written persuasion:

    Refer to the following Specific Outcomes:
  • Process biological specimens in the receiving area of a particular department.
  • Operate and maintain laboratory apparatus. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Using science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others:
  • Refer to all Specific Outcomes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems:
  • Refer to all Specific Outcomes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    It is strongly recommended that competency in the following Unit Standards is achieved prior to commencing learning towards this Unit Standard:
  • ID 252401: Comply with safety requirements in the medical or blood transfusion fields.
  • ID 119078: Use a GUI-based word processor to enhance a document through the use of tables and columns.
  • ID 13915: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS in a workplace and its effects on a business sub-sector, own organisation and a specific workplace.
  • ID 257201: Apply quality practice in the medical laboratory.

    Course requirements: The learner is required to be registered with the HPCSA as a Student Medical Laboratory Assistant for the duration of the period of learning.

    Matrix of Credits Assigned:

    Activity:
  • Tutoring:
    > Lecturer; 10 Hours.
    > Learner/self study; 6 Hours.

    Activity:
  • Practical:
    > On job & simulation; 64 Hours.

    Totals:
  • Total Hours: 80.
  • Total Credits: 8.

    All actions are measured against the prescribed protocols or standard operating procedures (SOP) of the organization/institution where the learner is currently employed. The prescribed protocols/SOP's are written instructions relating to specific tasks. These written instructions are issued to the learner, and signed once they have been studied. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  63189   National Certificate: Medical Laboratory Assistance  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2012-06-30   


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.