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REGISTRATION OF MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNOLOGIST QUALIFIED ABROAD

REGISTRATION OF MEDICAL LABORATORY TECHNOLOGIST QUALIFIED ABROAD

Per Haugum

Correspondence
Per Haugum
The Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel
Postbox 8053 Dep, 0031
Oslo, Norway
email : postmottak@safh.no

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The Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel

In Norway there is only one governemental regulating body, who register all health professionals in Norway. In Norway there is also only one legislative Act, which regulate all health professionals and there is one central database, with all registered health professionals in Norway.

Regulated professions in Norway

In Norway there are 29 regulated professions in the health care services, of which the medical laboratory technologist (bioingeniør) is one.
With a population of about 4.9 millions, there are authorised 6 887 medical laboratory technologists in Norway. Of those is 6 510 with education from Norway, 242 with education from another Nordic country (Sweden, Denmark, Finland or Iceland), 70 with education from an EEA country outside the Nordic countries and 65 with education from a country outside EEA.

Monopoly of title and responsible conduct

Registration as health professional in Norway gives the right to use the professional title. There is in other words a monopoly of title. It is no monopoly of methods in Norway:
The health professional act does not regulate what the health personnel can do, but health professionals shall conduct their work in accordance with the requirements to professional responsibility and diligent care that can be expected based on their qualifications, the nature of their work and the situation in general.

The legal framework requires responsible conduct and the health professional act article 4 says:
"Health personnel shall conduct their work in accordance with the requirements to professional responsibility and diligent care that can be expected based on their qualifications, the nature of their work and the situation in general.
Health personnel shall act in accordance with their professional qualifications, and assistance shall be obtained and patients shall be referred on to others if this is necessary and possible. If the patient's needs so indicate, the profession shall be performed through co-operation and inter-action with other qualified personnel."
This has given Norway a flexible system, which enables employers to deploy professionals flexible and avoids professional rivalry.

Regulation in Norway

Regulation in Norway is divided with three authorities:

  • The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT)approves university courses
  • The Norwegian Registration Authority for Health personnel (SAFH) gives the authorisations and holds the register
  • The National Board of Health (Htil) runs the Diciplinary actions

REGULATION IN NORWAY

Authorisation as a Medical Laboratory Technologist in Norway

Legislation

The Norwegian Health Professional Act - Article 48 says:
"The right to be granted an authorisation following an application belongs to anyone who:

  • has passed an examination in the relevant subject at a Norwegian university or college or through occupational training at a secondary level,
  • has completed practical training in accordance with regulations laid down by the Ministry,
  • is under 75 years of age and
  • is not considered to be unfit for the profession."

The right to be granted an authorisation following an application also belongs to anyone who:

  • has passed an examination in a foreign country which is recognised as being equally as good as the equivalent Norwegian examination,
  • has passed an examination which is recognised in accordance with agreement on mutual recognition pursuant to section 52, or
  • has otherwise proven to possess the necessary skills."

With this legal regulation Norway divides the applicants into four groups:

  • With education from Norway
  • With education from another Nordic country
  • With education from an EEA country outside the Nordic countries
  • With education from a non-EEA country

With education from Norway

The education in Norway is in accordance with the Norwegian act relating to universities and university colleges article 3-2 and the regulation in accordance with the law: The regulation gives the national framework for qualifications and objectives for degree courses and professional training courses

For Medical Laboratory Technologist is like this:

  • Three years course at a University College that gives 180 ECTS
  • Bachelor degree as Medical Laboratory Technologist.

With education from another Nordic country

Between the Nordic countries we have had The Nordic Agreement for Common Labour Market for Health Care Professionals and Veterinary Surgeons since the 1950s. In the agreements article 12 a, about Medical Laboratory Technologist the Nordic countries have harmonised the educations for this professions

  • Sweden - Biomedisinsk analytiker
  • Denmark - Hospitallaborant
  • Finland - Laboratoriohoitajat/laboratorieskötare
  • Iceland - Meinatæknar
  • Norway - Bioingeniør

If an applicant with on of these educations from another Nordic country is authorised in one country he or she will be given automatic authorisation in the other countries.

With education from an EEA country outside the Nordic countries

The application has to be handled in accordance with the regulation in directive 2005/36/EU

The medical laboratory technologist is not a harmonised education in EU. SAFH must therefore compare the applicant's qualification with the norwegian education for Medical Laboratory Technologist

The applicant must provide attestations of competence or evidence of formal qualifications that shall satisfy:

  • That the attestation have been issued by a competent authority in a Member State where the profession is regulated
  • That the applicant's education is at least equivalent to the level immediately prior to that which is required in the host Member State, as described in Article 11.
  • shall also be granted to applicants who have pursued the profession referred to in that paragraph on a full-time basis for two years during the previous 10 years in another Member State which does not regulate that profession

Compensation measures can be decided. Article 13 does not preclude the host Member State from requiring the applicant to complete an adaptation period of up to three years or to take an aptitude test if:

  • the duration of the training of which he provides evidence under the terms of Article 13, paragraph 1 or 2, is at least one year shorter than that required by the host Member State;
  • the training he has received covers substantially different matters than those covered by the evidence of formal qualifications required in the host Member State;
  • the regulated profession in the host Member State comprises one or more regulated professional activities which do not exist in the corresponding profession in the applicant's home Member State within the meaning of Article 4(2), and that difference consists in specific training which is required in the host Member State and which covers substantially different matters from those covered by the applicant's attestation of competence or evidence of formal qualifications.

With qualifications from a non-EU country

According to norwegian legislation the qualification must be approximately equal to the norwegian education, or the applicant must have recieved the necessary qualifications to work as a medical laboratory technologist in Norway to be given authorisation in Norway with qualifications from a country outside EEA.
A license or work experience in an EU country is relevant when these applications are treated.

A case study

Anna Smith, Medical Laboratory Technologist from f.ex. Poland or the UK applies to SAFH for an authorisation as "boingeniør"

Enclosed with Anna's application there have to be documentation of:

  • Identification, eg passport
  • Documentation from the education (diploma)
  • Detailed description of the contents of the education
  • Documentation from the employers about her work experience
  • Certificate of Current Professional Status (CCPS)

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