Preparing for PLA

If you are considering applying for a Prior Learning Assessment, you will need to start here.

Each step outlined below has required reading and forms in order to proceed through PLA.

Download and read through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Handbook

This Handbook is the key to your success. Take the time to read it thoroughly as it will answer any questions you have about Prior Learning Assessment and Certification.

The Personal Competency Rating Booklet (PCRB) is a free tool that will help you identify areas in your experience/education that may need help before writing the certification exam. 

Each booklet takes you through the required competencies expected of the profession at an entry-level as stated in each Competency Profile.

You will send your completed rating booklet, along with your Prior Learning Assessment application, to the CSMLS. We use this information to help with your assessment.

General Medical Laboratory Technologists

Competency Rating Booklet for General Medical Laboratory Technologists

Diagnostic Cytology Technologist

Competency Rating Booklet for Diagnostic Cytology Technologist

Clinical Genetics Technologist

Competency Rating Booklet for Clinical Genetics Technologists

Medical Laboratory Assistant

Competency Rating Booklet for MLA – Self-Assessment

Competency Rating Booklet for MLA – Employer Assessment

The Online Self- Assessment (OSA) will give you insight into the medical laboratory practice in Canada and your readiness for the Canadian workforce. There is no minimum passing score. Your OSA score and report are for your information only and CSMLS will not use them to decide your PLA result.

This test will give you valuable information to help you decide whether to pursue Canadian certification. It will provide you with feedback and help you to identify areas in which you may need more education.

You must complete the 100 question test before you apply for PLA. Your username from the OSA must be sent in, along with your completed rating booklet with your PLA application. There is a fee for the OSA, so we suggest completing the competency rating booklet first.

Online Self-Assessment

Is PLA Right for You?

  The PLA process is time intensive and expensive, so be sure you have all the information you need before starting.

If you decide that starting the PLA process is not right for you at this time, there are other options available to you.

Pre-Assessment and Fees  

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement : We respectfully acknowledge the CSMLS office, located in Hamilton, Ontario, is situated upon the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississauga Nation, Anishinaabe Peoples, and the Neutral Peoples. This land is covered by the Dish With One Spoon wampum, which is a treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe to share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We further acknowledge that this land is covered by the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, 1792, between the Crown and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.


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