Training courses are held both at the Wellington Centre and internationally if facilities are appropriate. New Zealand based courses are restricted to ten trainees, with both theoretical and practical training covered over the duration of the course. 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 health laboratory specialties offered through NZ based courses include:

  • Laboratory Health and Safety; and Quality Management  Systems

  • Clinical Biochemistry

  • Effective Laboratory Management

  • Haematology and Blood Cell Morphology – *6 Weeks Duration*

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Transfusion Science

UPDATE: All courses scheduled for 2020 have been postponed to 2021.

2021 training courses are listed below. Applications are open for these courses. You can download the application form by clicking here: PPTC Centre Based Application Form

Laboratory Health and Safety; and Quality Management  Systems

1 March – 26 March 2021

This course was introduced in 2018 as a blended approach to improve health and safety and quality management challenges faced on a daily basis in a clinical laboratory, with a focus on resource-limited settings.

The course will have Health and Safety component covering the following subtopics: Implementing a Laboratory Health and Safety programme, Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment, Laboratory Premises and Design, Biohazard waste and disposal of contaminated material; Personal Protection; Code of conduct; Staff Health and Medical surveillance; Administrative Procedures; Chemical and dangerous goods  storage; Material Data Safety Sheets; Major Incident Response; Laboratory Emergency Planning; and Laboratory Biosecurity concepts.

 This will be followed by a detailed Laboratory Quality Management component which will cover: Laboratory Organisation and Management, Quality Management Systems, Human Resources, Accommodation and Environmental Conditions, Laboratory Safety, Laboratory Equipment, Procurement and Supplies Management, Information Management, Laboratory Specimen Management, Customer Service, and Laboratory Networking.

Laboratory tours of the Wellington Hospital and New Zealand Blood Services will be organised for the students. The overall objective of this training is: ‘that the participant will gain confidence in the evaluation, development, and implementation of a health and safety programme encompassing the key elements of the laboratory quality management systems and standards for health laboratory services’. 

Download the course objectives here: 2021 PPTC H&S and LQMS Course Objectives


19 April – 14 May 2021

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 hospital and community laboratories in the Wellington region. Guest presenters from various product suppliers in New Zealand is also arranged for the course.

Download the course objectives here: 2021 PPTC Biochemistry Course Objectives

Effective Laboratory Management  

24 May – 18 June 2021

Over the duration of four weeks, participants will be equipped with how to provide effective and efficient administration of the medical laboratory service, including budget planning and control with responsible financial management, in accordance with institutional assignment of such responsibilities; the importance of providing educational programs for the medical and laboratory staff, and participating in educational programs of the institution; how to select and monitor all referral laboratories for quality of service; how to implement the quality management systems, to monitor all work performed in the laboratory to determine that medically reliable data are being generated; how to ensure that there are sufficient qualified personnel with adequate documented training and experience to meet the needs of the laboratory and how to plan and set goals and develop and allocate resources appropriate to the medical environment; how to implement a safe laboratory environment; how to address any complaint, request, or suggestion from users of laboratory services; and ensure good staff morale. All requirements on how to be an effective laboratory manager will be discussed. 

Download the course objectives here: 2021 PPTC Effective Laboratory Management Course Outline

Haematology and Blood Cell Morphology 

28 June – 6 August 2021 – 6 Weeks Duration

Over the duration of six 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 6-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.

Download the course objectives here: 2021 PPTC Haematology Course Objectives


23 August – 17 September 2021

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. The 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.  Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and antimicrobial drug resistance will also be discussed in detail.

Download the course objectives here: 2021 PPTC Microbiology Course Objectives

Transfusion Science

18 October – 12 November 2021

The PPTC engages transfusion sciences technical expert 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.

Tours of the New Zealand Blood Donor Center and New Zealand Blood Bank Crossmatch laboratory will be incorporated in the training course.

Download the course objectives here: 2021 PPTC Transfusion Science Course Objectives

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