If you are planning to study to become a Medical Laboratory Scientist in Australia, there are a few things that you should consider.
Studying in Australia
If you are looking to study in Australia there are a plethora of university courses and programs that you can choose from. You might have had a chat with an education advisor or even Google’d each university’s campus and the national rankings yourself. However, the chances are you haven’t checked which courses are actually accredited by the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists (AIMS).
AIMS is the Australian skills assessing body for medical scientists from overseas. AIMS also deals with skills assessments for international students who have graduated from an Australian university with a degree in medical science.
Each university must approach AIMS directly and request that AIMS accredits their degree. The AIMS’s website lists the undergraduate and postgraduate courses that AIMS has accredited.
Undergraduate Courses: https://www.aims.org.au/services/undergraduate-courses
Postgraduate Courses: https://www.aims.org.au/services/postgraduate-courses
Why is it important to choose an accredited course?
When a university requests course accreditation, AIMS will undertake a thorough review of the course content and structure. AIMS is the peak professional body representing all disciplines of medical science in Australia and currently has over 23,000 members.
Skills Assessing Process
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has designated AIMS as the skills assessing body for Medical Laboratory Scientists and Medical Laboratory Technicians. What this means is that, if you choose to apply for a visa that requires a skills assessment (for example, the subclass 189, 190 or 489 visas), then you will need to obtain a positive skills assessment from AIMS.
If you do not have an accredited degree then AIMS will review your degree (including the units that you have studied) and assess whether it is an ‘acceptable science degree’ for skills assessment purposes.
After your qualifications have been assessed, hopefully as an accredited degree or an ‘acceptable science degree’, you will need to provide evidence of at least two years of paid work experience as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in order to complete the skills assessment process. The work experience can be completed overseas or in Australia.
The AIMS committee that reviews your skills assessment application will decide whether or not you need to sit an additional exam. Each application is assessed on a case by case basis, but holding an accredited degree is an advantage.
What if I have studied overseas?
AIMS will still require evidence of at least two years of paid work experience and each degree will be thoroughly reviewed by the committee. Getting your transcripts and work experience reviewed by an experienced Australian registered migration agent will help you to identify your potential visa pathways.
I am studying an unaccredited course, what do I do now?
If you are investigating permanent residence pathways and you aren’t studying an accredited course, it might worth consulting an experienced migration professional to find out how you might be able to get yourself on the right track!
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