Training courses are held both at the Wellington Centre and internationally if facilities are appropriate. New Zealand based courses are restricted to eight trainees, with both theoretical and practical training covered in one month. Trainees wishing to be accepted must be currently employed in a medical laboratory and have had at least two years’ experience before attending.  Courses cover all aspects of medical laboratory science.

New Zealand Based Courses

The 2017 health laboratory specialities offered through NZ based courses include:

  • Haematology and Blood Cell Morphology

  • Clinical Biochemistry

  • Laboratory Quality Management 

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Transfusion Science

2017 Training Courses

2017 training courses are listed below. Applications are still open for all these courses. You can download the application form by clicking here: PPTC Centre Based Application Form.

Haematology and Blood Cell Morphology 

24 April – 19 May 2017  

Over the duration of three weeks, both a comprehensive theoretical component and a series of practical workshops are provided to students attending the course. This course provides students with guidelines for the objective microscopic evaluation of white cells, red cells and platelets in both health and disease. Students are introduced to the workings of the microscope in terms of correct operation, correct use of objectives, and essential maintenance. Students are taught the principles of Romanowsky staining, the preparation of stains and buffers, causes of inconsistent staining quality and the correct staining techniques used in the identification of malarial parasites. Students are introduced to the blood film in terms of sample quality, the effects of anticoagulants, the correct technique in blood film making, morphological artefacts, buffy coat preparations, and the correct storage of blood films. Students also learn extensively, the correlation of blood film findings with results obtained from manual and / or automated methods for red cell, white cell and platelet parameters. Morphological terminology with reference to origin and correct application is also discussed. The lineage of all blood cells is followed through systematically from the common stem cell through all stages of development. A comprehensive account of both normal Haematology and pathological Haematology is given over the 4-week teaching programme. The course is designed to give trainees confidence in the preparation, staining and examination of blood films, be able to differentiate the white cell count into both normal and abnormal populations and finally recognise and comment on with confidence, abnormal film findings in an extensive range of common blood cell disorders.


19 June – 14 July 2017

 The course is taught over the duration of four weeks and includes the following topics: organisation of phlebotomy collection and laboratory reception; blood collection sets and vacutainer tubes and needle systems; IATA Regulations and packaging techniques for biological substances; basic equipment including pipettes, pH meters, waterbaths, centrifuges, balances; an overview of blood gas and other biochemistry analysers; an overview of Diabetes in terms of pathology diagnosis, laboratory management and point of care testing; renal function and renal dialysis; an overview of cardiac enzymes in health and disease focusing on Myocardial Infarction, diagnosis and laboratory management; advances in protein analysis and specialist biochemical analysis; an overview of thyroid function and associated abnormalities; a molecular approach to biochemical pathology; organisation and effective management of the Biochemistry laboratory; Quality Control, QLab, and External Quality Assessment in the Biochemistry laboratory; use of spread sheets, word processing in the Biochemistry laboratory. Discussion of quality systems, Standard Operating Procedures, stock control and its management, result processing, audit trails, reducing error and process improvement; and an overview of Laboratory Information Systems is also discussed. Staff competency/ personal records, quality manual essentials, documentation framework, auditing and quality review is also covered. This course does not incorporate practical workshops, but students are presented with a tour of both Wellington Hospital and Aotea Pathology laboratories.

Laboratory Quality Management Systems

7 August – 1 September 2017

 Over the duration of four weeks, a comprehensive theoretical component and a series of practical workshops are provided to students attending the course. The content of the course are as follows: Overview of LQMS and associated guidelines; Laboratory manager and Quality manager Roles; Setting policies, aims and objectives, developing a quality statement, devising quality plan, quality performance indicators; the Organisational responsibility. A workshop practical based on organisation charts, role documents, title page, document formats, set up numbers etc. is carried out. Quality manual, structure and contents; contents of personnel, health & safety manuals; Standard operating procedures (SOP) essentials; Documentation control and preparation; Out takes, copies, draft SOP’s, obsolete documents, worksheet versions; Record keeping, report presentation, archives is all covered. Worksheet practical in SOP creation, policy creation, staff training logs; Specimen management manual contents; Personnel (staff records), CPD training logs, induction records; Monitoring and evaluation; Job descriptions, orientation, skill listing is carried out. Structure of departmental manuals, Health & Safety SOP’s; Incident and accident reporting complaints, compliments and surveys; Quality improvement projects, is discussed as well. IATA transport requirements; Procurement management, inventory; Specimen management and collection are covered. Group discussions in all of the above processes are carried out in terms of the document required. Auditing and review processes for LQMS and agenda for management review meetings are discussed.


18 September – 13 October 2017

This course will provide trainees with an update on developments in microbiological procedures. The theoretical and practical aspects of current methods used in the isolation, identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of microorganism pathogens will be covered along with discussions on emerging and re-emerging bacterial organisms likely to cause infectious diseases. Specimen collection, transportation, and storage will be also discussed. Emergence of automation in Microbiology, in-house media production for bacterial isolation, and choosing the right resources and practical to carry out microbiological testing will be addressed. Serological and other rapid methods for the identification of bacterial and viral diseases including Hepatitis A, B, and C, HIV and other STIs, will be discussed. Also discussed will be the role of the microbiology laboratory in the surveillance of nosocomial infections and identification of infections of public health importance. Laboratory quality management issues, including running/ managing quality controls will be included.

Blood Transfusion Science

30 October - 24 November 2017

The PPTC engages NZ Blood Service technical experts highly proficient in Transfusion Medicine to provide a four week lecture series covering transfusion transmitted diseases (including HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C), donor selection and collection, blood processing, blood transfusion practise, ABO, Rh and other blood group systems, blood group genetics and basic immunology, preparation of Coombs control cells, technical methods, antibody screen and identification, compatibility testing, haemolytic diseases of the newborn, transfusion reaction investigations, haemovigilance, blood bank quality management, equipment maintenance, organisation of a blood bank and the appropriate use of blood components in transfusion medicine. Practical sessions are also provided, focusing on correct technique and fundamental basic procedure. The content of this course ensures that the practical needs of all students attending are met. Practical sessions will focus on repeated basic methodology, so as techniques are mastered to levels of excellence.

For further information contact: Navin Karan, Programme Manager, PPTC, PO Box 7013 Wellington, New Zealand Telephone: 64 4 389 6294 Fax: 64 4 389 6295 Email: