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Registration with the HPCSA as a STUDENT Medical Technician (GTS)
Enrolement & Prerequisites
Medical Technician Examination Information
Examination Rules and Re-mark Process
Registration with the HPCSA as a QUALIFIED Medical Technician
Medical Cytotechnician Guidelines
The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) Professional Board for Medical Technology (PBMT) Medical Technicians' examination is administered by the Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists of South Africa (SMLTSA). The examination is a prerequisite for registration with the HPCSA as a qualified Medical Technician. Candidates must therefore familiarise themselves with the registration requirements as prescribed by the HPCSA.
The National Administrative Office of the SMLTSA is based in Cape Town and all correspondence regarding the examination should be addressed to:
Please ensure that all documents are submitted by registered mail. The SMLTSA accepts no responsibility for items lost in the post. All documents will be returned by registered mail. Please note that original or certified copies of the necessary documents must accompany your application.
(Refer to the section GENERAL under the Examinations tab for further general information)
Medical Technician Examination Disciplines
The examination is offered in the following disciplines:
Immunohaematology | Chemical Pathology | Clinical Pathology | TB | Microbiology | Cytology | Haematology | Immunology | Histolopathological Technique | Virology | Phlebotomy
Registration as a Student Medical Technician with the HPCSA
Once a student has found employment he/she must register with the HPCSA as a Student Medical Technician (registration form). Your completed application must include proof of payment of registration fees to the HPCSA (HPCSA banking details).
Note that the registration period is valid for a period of 4 (four) years only and allows for a maximum of 2 (two) attempts at the PBMT examination. Extensions to the registration period may be granted only under exceptional circumstances.
Enrolment for the PBMT Examination
Students are required to apply to the SMLTSA to write the examination before the 31st May of each year. In addition, it is imperative that original or certified copies of the originals must accompany their application.
Candidates must submit the following documents to the Registrar, SMLTSA in support of their application:
- A registration form (PDF).
- A certificate of Registration with the HPCSA.
- A letter of appointment as a full time Student Medical Technician in an HPCSA accredited training laboratory in the discipline which they are going to write.
- A copy of their identity document.
- The examination fee is to be deposited directly into the Standard Bank account indicated on the registration form and the deposit slip attached to the application.
On receipt of the application, the SMLTSA will issue candidates with an examination registration number. The Administrative Office of the SMLTSA will advise candidates of the examination date, times and venue in writing.
- A minimum age of 18 years.
- Must have completed Grade 12.
- HPCSA registration as a Student Medical Technician.
- Must have completed two years, full-time practical training in the relevant discipline, in an HPCSA accredited training laboratory. Students may write the examination after 18 months post registration as a Student Medical Technician, but do not qualify to register as a qualified Medical Technician with the HPCSA until they have completed the full 24 months at an HPCSA accredited training facility.
Medical Technician Examination Information
- The examination will be conducted in October of each year.
- Candidates may attempt only one discipline per examination.
- The SMLTSA will notify registered candidates of the dates and venues of the examinations in writing.
- Papers will be in English only.
- The examination in all disciplines, besides Immunohaematology and Cytology consists of two written papers.
- Immunohaematology and Cytology will write a theory paper in August. Only those candidates who pass will be entered for the practical examination in October.
- The following requirements must be met to be successful in the examination:
- Immunohaematology – a minimum of 50% for the theory. Candidates must be successful in the theory examination in order to write the practical. They m ust obtain a minimum of 50% in the practical paper. Should a candidate fail the practical paper, the theory mark may be carried forward to the second and final attempt the following year.
- Cytology – 50% for the theory and 60% for the practical component. Should a candidate pass only one paper, both will have to be rewritten the following year.
- Clinical Pathology - the student is required to obtain a sub-minimum of 50% for each discipline across both papers – Clinical Chemistry, Haematology & Microbiology – and an overall pass mark of 50%.
- In all other disciplines, a sub-minimum of 50% must be obtained in each paper,
- Medical Technicians who wish to qualify in a second discipline are required to complete a further twelve months training in the relevant discipline at an HPCSA accredited training facility.
Use this Quicklink to the examination rules as given in the GENERAL section.
Use this Quicklink to the re-mark process as given in the GENERAL section.
Registration as a Qualified Medical Technician with the HPCSA
To register as a Qualified Medical Technician with the HPSCA the following documents must be submitted to:
The Registrar | Health Professions Council of South Africa | PO Box 205 | Pretoria 0001
- The prescribed application Form 24 GT.
- Proof of payment of the prescribed registration fee the HPCSA account (HPCSA banking details).
- A certificate issued by the SMLTSA indicating that the student has passed the PBMT examination for Medical Technicians.
- HPCSA Form 25 duly completed.
- Copy of ID document.
- A copy of marriage certificate (should you wish to register in your married surname).
- A copy of registration certificate as a student with the HPCSA.
- In the event that a qualification in an additional discipline is being registered, the employer must certify that 1 (one) year of training has been completed in the further discipline.
PLEASE NOTE THAT ORIGINAL OR NOTORISED COPIES OF THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTS MUST ACCOMPANY YOUR APPLICATION.
CERTIFIED COPIES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE AND WILL BE REJECTED.
Exam Guidelines for Medical Cytotechnician Candidates
3-HOUR THEORY EXAMINATION (in August of each year) Total marks: 180
Theory component: 2/3 of marks = 120
Candidates can expect a mixture of short questions, comparisons, drawings, etc.
“Practical” component: 1/3 of marks = 60
Candidates can expect to be tested on any general (e.g. lab organization, safety, etc.) or practical aspect of the syllabus (e.g. preparatory techniques, fixation, staining, etc.) in this section.
Note: Multiple-choice questions will no longer be included in the examination.
A pass mark of 50% must be achieved by the candidate in the theory examination before admittance to the practical examination.
3-HOUR PRACTICAL EXAMINATION (in October of each year) Total marks: 200
Twenty (20) unmarked smears with appropriate clinical histories will be provided.
About twelve (12) gynaecologic and eight (8) non-gynaecologic cases can be expected. Candidates must screen and report on each slide in nine minutes.
When examining these cellular samples, technician candidates are mainly tested on their detection/recognition skills, rather than diagnostic/interpretation skills.
More marks are thus awarded for the adequate description of cellular changes/microorganisms (7 marks out of 10), than the final diagnosis (which counts 3 marks out of 10).
Coverslips used are usually 50 x 24mm or 40 x 24mm, but may be smaller in fluid specimens (to cover cytospin preparations).
A pass mark of 60% must be achieved by the candidate in the practical examination.
Recommended Format for Reporting:
Statement of adequacy –
Preservation; Staining; Endocervical component (gynaecology smears).
Blood (fresh/ altered); Inflammatory/ tumour diathesis.
Candida sp; Trichomonas sp; Schistosoma sp; etc.
Other findings –
Contaminants; Artefacts, etc.
Cells/ cellular changes –
|Number:||occasional/ numerous, etc.|
|Arrangement:||single/ sheets/ syncytia, etc.|
|Relative nuclear area:||normal/ increased|
|Membrane:||irregular/ interrupted wrinkled/ well demarcated|
|Chromatin:||hyper-or hypochromatic, finely or coarsely granular|
|Nucleoli:||number, size, shape|
|Other:||e.g. bi-/ multinucleation; karyorrhexis|
|Staining:||eosino-/ baso-/ ampho-philic|