Narrative review article: A Review of the Current Medical Science Career Framework in Australia and Recommendations for the Future


Allan J. Hicks



Australian pathology laboratories are governed by a pathologist registered by the Royal College of Pathologists, Australasia (RCPA) and accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). It would seem that neither body support professional registration through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) but have funded an independent program of certification for medical scientists.

This program aims to provide solutions to many issues within the profession, but it is entirely voluntary in nature. This means that it will not have the ability to sanction misadventure and with no universal mechanism to recognize the professional status of laboratory staff. This review intends to look at the current framework and identify deficiencies while making suggestions to address the concerns.

A three-pronged approach would seem most beneficial with the first being a revision of the National Accreditation Advisory Council occupational definitions. Secondly, the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS) should provide relevant education for supervisory staff and discipline- specific fellowship pathways for laboratory management and clinical scientists and finally, the certification program should be scrapped as it currently has only 314 certified scientists, less than 1% of the approximated workforce.

Replaced with an employer financed, blockchain based credentialing framework which would provide accurate workplace data, a secure opensource framework and legitimate oversight of the competency and education of practitioners. There is a chronic under-recognition and lack of ongoing development of medical laboratory scientists within the Australian healthcare community which considering the importance placed on the accuracy of results during the pandemic needs to be addressed.


Key words: Registration, blockchain, credentialing

Int. J. Bio. Lab. Sci 2023(12)1:48-57  【PDF】