Competency information


Receive process and store common virology specimens, including blood, swabs, urine, faeces, CSF and respiratory samples.


  • Minimum data set required for identification of samples and the importance of ensuring that this is complete and correct.
  • The repertoire, specimen and storage requirements of common virology investigations.
  • Factors affecting sample integrity and appropriate corrective action.
  • Procedures for handling samples which may contain category 2,3 and 4 pathogens.
  • Types and implications of hazards and risks associated with handling of specimens and relevant control measures.
  • The quality management process that ensures the correct location and storage of documentation and specimens at each stage of process.
  • Infection risk from blood samples.
  • Safe laboratory practices, including principles of decontamination of equipment and work areas.
  • Quality assurance procedures and their application.
  • Local and national health and safety policies and procedures and their application.
  • Relevant records, their importance and how to complete these correctly.
  • The procedures for assuring confidentiality of patient information.

Relevant learning outcomes

# Outcome
# 1 Outcome Interpret routine requests for virology investigations in the correct clinical context and process the specimens that accompany those requests.
# 5 Outcome Use laboratory IT systems for handling, processing and storage of patient data.