Medical TECHNICIANS Board Exam Application Form (PDF)


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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:

The Registrar | SMLTSA | PO Box 505 | Howard Place 7450
tel: 021 531 1231 | fax: 021 531 1233 |

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


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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.


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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:

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.

Examination Prerequisites


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Medical Technician Examination Information


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Examination Rules

Use this Quicklink to the examination rules as given in the GENERAL section.

Re-mark Process

Use this Quicklink to the re-mark process as given in the GENERAL section.


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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



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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).

Background –
Blood (fresh/ altered); Inflammatory/ tumour diathesis.

Micro-organisms –
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
  Nuclei: Position: central/ eccentric
    Size: small/ enlarged
    Membrane: irregular/ interrupted wrinkled/ well demarcated
    Chromatin: hyper-or hypochromatic, finely or coarsely granular
    Nucleoli: number, size, shape
    Other: e.g. bi-/ multinucleation; karyorrhexis
  Cytoplasm: Amount: scanty/ abundant
    Staining: eosino-/ baso-/ ampho-philic
    Membrane: distinct/ indistinct
    Consistency: dense/ vacuolated
    Other: e.g. inclusions

Final diagnosis

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