Internationally Educated MLT

Internationally Educated MLTs (IEMLTs) are individuals that have completed a formal MLT program of study outside of Canada that has been deemed substantially equivalent to a Canadian MLT training program. Click here for a PDF of the following information.

The initial step before applying to the CMLTA for registration is to contact the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) at to request a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). The PLA will establish Canadian equivalency in order to determine readiness to challenge the applicable CSMLS certification examination. Once Canadian equivalency has been determined (by a third-party credential assessment organization), an individual will receive a PLA from the CSMLS indicating eligibility to challenge the next certification examination. The PLA process takes, on average, 18 months to complete.

Similar to new graduates of Canadian MLT training programs, IEMLTs may apply for CMLTA registration without CSMLS certification, provided the PLA indicates eligibility to challenge CSMLS certification examination and the CSMLS Confirmation of Examination Registration email has been issued. In this case, individuals that have not yet successfully challenged the CSMLS certification examination or have written and are awaiting confirmation of the examination results, may be issued a Provisional MLT Practice Permit (via email) with an expiry date of December 31 for the current registration year. Individuals with a Provisional MLT Practice Permit must practice under “direct supervision” which means a Regulated Member with an appropriate MLT Practice Permit is physically present and available to assist and/or consult.

Once CSMLS certification/exam results are available, Regulated Members with Provisional MLT Practice Permits are required to provide the CMLTA with a copy of their CSMLS certificate or examination results. If satisfactory, the Regulated Member will be upgraded from the provisional register to the applicable full standing register (e.g. General, Clinical Genetics) and receive a new MLT Practice Permit. It is advisable to provide an upgraded MLT Practice Permit to an employer as soon as possible to remove the condition of direct supervision.

IEMLTs that have obtained CSMLS certification more than two (2) years ago and lack the minimum 900 MLT practice hours in the previous four (4) years, must complete a refresher education program as approved by Council within two (2) years of the date of the complete application is received by the CMLTA. Please follow this link for additional information regarding refresher education.

Completed applications can usually be processed within 10 business days. As per section 31 of the Health Professions Act, applicants who have registered and have been issued a provisional practice permit have 30 days to request a review by Council of this registration decision.

Helpful Information and Resources

Directions for Immigrants in Trades and Professional Careers
Directions for Immigrants is a no-cost career service center that assists internationally educated professionals to secure professional employment and gain accreditation. Directions for Immigrants helps internationally educated Medical Laboratory Technologists prepare for the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) certification examination. To learn more, visit

The CSMLS offers assistance to find employment in Canada as an internationally trained professional. There are many career options and potential career alternatives for individuals that want to use their medical laboratory skills in a non-licensed or unregulated field. To learn more visit Alternate Careers website.

Bridging Programs
Bridging programs are refresher courses for individuals who have already completed post-secondary studies in medical laboratory technology and wish to re-enter the workforce and practice their profession again or for individuals who trained outside of Canada and wish to practice their profession in Canada. Bridging programs provide support and training needed as a result of the knowledge gap detected in a CSMLS Prior Learning Assessment. To learn more about a bridging program offered at The Michener Institute please visit

Government of Alberta
Alberta’s official immigration website has information on employment in Alberta, regulated professions, and accreditation. To learn more, visit:

Government of Canada
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office has additional information on becoming an MLT in Canada. To learn more, visit:

University Of Toronto
The University of Toronto offers the course “Orientation to the Canadian Health Care System, Culture and Context”. This course is designed for internationally educated health professionals who are in the process of becoming licensed in Canada. It is offered twice per year and provides learners with a deepened understanding of the Canadian healthcare system, what Canadian patients expect from their healthcare providers, and how to communicate with patients and caregivers. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with other internationally educated health care professionals in a supportive learning environment. To learn more visit

Windmill Microlending
Provides loans for immigrants to obtain the credentials needed to work in Canada. Loans may be used for: education and training programs of two years or less; fees for licensing and qualifying exams; travel expenses to take courses or exams not available in your area; books, supplies and other course materials; other costs related to continuing your career may be considered, including a living allowance to replace income while you study.  For more information, please visit:

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.

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