Overview of the Laboratory Industry
This is a scientific and technology based industry.
Laboratory Operations covers a diverse group of technical and scientific occupations located across the whole of industry. People covered include scientific and technical employees involved in a variety of science-based occupations across many industries.
The Laboratory Operations training addresses the training and recognition needs of samplers, testers and laboratory personnel working in a wide range of enterprises and industry sectors, including:
- biomedical research
- pathology testing
- chemical analysis
- forensic analysis
- environmental analysis
- construction materials
- soil testing
- environmental monitoring and technology
- food and beverage processing and testing
- mining, mineral assay
- process manufacturing
- wine making.
The occupations covered are those in which non-professional employees use scientific techniques and equipment to carry out tests, and to operate and manage scientific processes. The core of these jobs is the use of scientific techniques, equipment and related knowledge.
A range of factors has driven the need for qualifications in these occupations.
First amongst them is the increasing regulation of standards relating to use of materials and equipment. Testing and monitoring of environmental and health hazards in the food processing and rural sectors are typical areas where this is observed. Similarly, testing of product safety is particularly important in the manufacturing industry.
A second factor is increasing attention to quality within manufacturing and construction. Testing of materials and products is now an inherent part of design and product quality systems.
It is a key role of laboratory personnel to recognise and report non-conformance and maintain security and confidentiality of all client/enterprise data and information. Personnel generally work under strict operating procedures and must be able to access, record and present information accurately. Initiative and planning is required at all levels.
Regulation and licensing requirements
No licensing or certification requirements exist for any of the job roles covered by the qualifications at the time of publication.
However, regulations and/or external accreditation requirements for laboratory operations exist, so users should always check local requirements. Relevant legislation, industry standards and codes of practice within Australia must also be applied.
The following career pathways chart shows the alignment between the occupational roles and the qualifications, and how these articulate into Degree programs. It provides an indication of the qualification pathways, direct entry points, links between qualifications in the VET and higher education sectors, and the occupational roles within laboratory operations.