Module information


Laboratory Techniques choice of test and interpretation
Stage Two
Module code

Module objective

By the end of the training period trainees will, in respect to developing skills and knowledge required for developing an understanding that allows a rational basis for choice of test according to its purpose and context and to be competent at accurately interpreting laboratory results according to context (clinical, infection control, public health etc.) and, with regards to the basic principles of laboratory haematology, be able to:

  • analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply knowledge
  • perform, adapt and master a range of technical and clinical skills and procedures and demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for professional practise as a Consultant Clinical Scientist dealing with the complexities, uncertainties and tensions of professional practise 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:

  • Demonstrating competence in interpretation and clinical authorisation of laboratory results
  • Understanding factors that influence choice of test including reliability, convenience, urgency, cost, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive
  • Understanding value of tests to confirm or exclude a diagnosis. Understand influence of context (e.g. clinical decision making, screening exercise, outbreak investigation) on choice of
  • Developing a working knowledge of molecular tests and their application, including MALDI-TOF, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), probes, fractional sequencing, and next-generation
  • Developing critical awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of molecular tests compared with other methods such as culture-based methods, serology and immunoassays.

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:

  • Scrutiny of the technical process behind results to identify significant positive and negative
  • Ability to look back on previous results and evaluate the need for any further investigation, including instigation of confirmatory tests and referral to other laboratories where
  • Build on experience and competence from Part 1 FRCPath in performing a broad range of molecular tests as would be applied in a diagnostic molecular laboratory, including:
    • Nucleic acid-based methods, such as:
      • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
      • Real-time PCR
      • Quantitative PCR
      • Probe hybridization
      • Ligase chain reaction
      • Fractional sequencing (e.g. 16S)
      • RNA amplification, including nucleic-acid-based amplification (NASBA) and transcription-mediated amplification (TMA)
      • Microarrays
  • Develop a working knowledge of the application of next generation/whole genome sequencing (WGS) for identification and typing of pathogens and detection of genetic determinants for antibiotic resistance and virulence (e.g. toxin genes).
  • Sanger sequencing
  • Next generation sequencing platforms (e.g. Roche 454, Illumina MiSeq)
  • Develop a capacity to update one’s knowledge of new sequencing platforms, their application and of software solutions for genome assembly, analysis, interpretation and reporting, as they emerge and become integrated into mainstream practice. Be able to understand the significance of results and present them to colleagues.

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to apply knowledge of the basic principles of laboratory microbiology to perform, adapt and master the clinical skills necessary to:

  • Correctly match clinical information with test results.

Attitudes and behaviours


This module has no attitude and behaviours information.

Module assigned to


Specialty code Specialty title Action
Specialty code HLS2-4-20 Specialty title Molecular Pathology of Infection [V1] Action View