Title Laboratory competencies - Analytical techniques and instrumentation
Type Stage Two
Code HLS114
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

By the end of the training period trainees will, in respect of an appreciation of a range of analytical techniques, their performance, comparative usefulness and applications so as to be competent in the management of the analytical toxicology laboratory be able to

  • analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge
  • perform, adapt and master a range of technical and clinical skills and procedures
  • demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for professional practice as a consultant clinical scientist dealing with the complexities, uncertainties and tensions of professional practice at this level.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to demonstrate the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant knowledge and its application to their professional practice in relation to methods of standardisation and calibration:

Basic laboratory techniques and centrifugation

  • identification of common method interferences
  • use of pipettes
  • preparation and storage of calibration standards and reagents
  • use and maintenance of centrifuges

 Assay interference

  • understands the mechanisms by which common interferents affect laboratory assays (haemolysis, jaundice, plasticisers, lipaemia, putrefaction products)
  • heterophilic antibodies

Automated instrumentation

  •  random access, immunoassay analysers robotics and modular systems 

Spectrometric methods

  • spectrometry: visible, UV, derivative, linear diode array
    • spectrophotofluorimetry
    • atomic absorption: flame, furnace 


Electrometric methods  

    • ion selective electrodes Na+, K+, Cl, F, H+, pO2, pCO2 , Ca2+, NH 4+, Mg2+, Li+ 


  • fixed interval, kinetic assays, isoenzymes, enzymes as reagents. 

Immunochemical techniques

  • immunoassay
  • labels: enzyme, fluorescent, chemiluminescent.

Electrophoresis, including capillary electrophoresis

Chromatography, including thin layer, gas liquid, and high- performance liquid

  • principles of techniques, including sample preparation, derivatisation, liquid-liquid extraction, solid-phase extraction, etc.

Mass spectrometry, including GC-, LC-, and ICP-MS

  • choice of ionization and detection conditions
  • optimization and validation of MS assays

Point-of-care testing

  • glucose, bilirubinometers, blood gas, ion–selective electrodes, urinanalysis, alcohol, drugs of abuse

Solid/dry phase chemistry

  • dipstick, thin film.

Technical and clinical skills

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of current relevant research, theory and knowledge and its application to the performance, adaptation and mastery of the following technical procedures and laboratory skills:

  • biochemical techniques, together with in depth experience of analytical toxicological techniques
  • performance and limitations of widely used methods in analytical toxicology and clinical biochemistry
  • detection of errors and sources of error
  • responsibility for assays
  • analytical competence
  • practical experience of investigating assay interference
  • the limitations and benefits of biochemistry analysers
  • the application of these methods as applied in analytical toxicology
  • sources of interference and the need for confirmation of results using a chromatographic or similar method
  • undertake and advise on QA schemes, interdisciplinary liaison.

Attitudes and behaviours

This module has no attitude and behaviours information.


Code Title Action
HLS1-5-20 Analytical Toxicology [v1] View
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