Becoming a Regulated Member of the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Alberta (CMLTA) is a legal requirement for any individual to be employed and practice as a Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT) in Alberta.
Only individuals with a valid CMLTA registration and MLT Practice Permit can practice as an MLT in Alberta and use the protected titles “Medical Laboratory Technologist” or “MLT”. It is illegal for an individual to practice as a Medical Laboratory Technologist or to expressly or implicitly present themselves as an MLT without CMLTA registration.
Legislation sets forth the requirements for mandatory registration as a Regulated Member and CMLTA policy further defines the requirements and specific parameters Council deems essential for all MLTs. Part 2 of the Health Professions Act (HPA) pertains to registration and outlines in detail the criteria and parameters applicable to initial registration, annual renewal, and reinstatement applications.
Pursuant to Section 46(1) (mandatory registration) of the HPA, a person must apply for registration if the person is qualified to meet the requirements for registration as a Regulated Member, and intends to provide one (1) or more of the following:
- Professional services directly to the public;
- The manufacture of dental appliances or conducting of laboratory tests that are used by other Regulated Members to provide professional services directly to the public;
- Food and nutrition professional services that are used by other Regulated Members and individuals to provide services directly to the public;
- The teaching of the practice of a regulated profession to Regulated Members or students of the regulated profession; and
- The supervision of Regulated Members who provide professional services to the public.
As per Schedule 11 of the HPA, individuals (MLTs) must be registered with the CMLTA if they intend to do one or more of the following:
- collect and analyze biological samples, perform quality control procedures and communicate results that have been critically evaluated to ensure accuracy and reliability;
- teach, manage and conduct research in the science and techniques of medical laboratory technology; and
- provide restricted activities authorized by the regulations.
It is important to note that mandatory registration applies to all facets of MLT employment including the acceptance of a formal offer of MLT employment, training and orientating, supervising, testing/reporting/interpreting laboratory test results, and paid leaves of absence (parental, sick, long term disability, etc.). In a situation where an individual is not physically in the workplace providing professional services, but is on a paid leave and receiving employer/government compensation/benefits, registration and an MLT Practice Permit are still required as the receipt of compensation/benefits is based on MLT employment.
Employer Reporting Requirement
Pursuant to Section 47 of the HPA, an employer must not knowingly employ a person who meets the requirements of Section 46(1), unless that person is a Regulated Member of the CMLTA and provides evidence of a valid registration and the appropriate MLT Practice Permit in good standing.
Individuals may interview for an MLT position and be presented with a formal offer of MLT employment without a current registration and MLT Practice Permit; however, prior to accepting an offer of MLT employment or the commencement of MLT employment, an individual must be in possession of a current registration and appropriate MLT Practice Permit and provide evidence of such to an employer.
Non-Compliance with Registration
Pursuant to Section 48 of the HPA, a person who meets the requirements of mandatory registration, but does not comply, is guilty of an offence. Furthermore, pursuant to Section 47 of the HPA, an employer who knowingly employs such a person is in contravention of mandatory registration. Both of these offences can result in fines and/or imprisonment.
To ensure timeliness, fairness, and to meet fiduciary responsibilities, the CMLTA uses electronic means (email) as the primary source for all communication. All Regulated Members are responsible for receiving, reviewing, and where necessary; responding to all communications from the CMLTA.