Friday, August 6, 2010


What's a blog for?

While I am pretty much a neophyte at this, it has become abundantly clear that blogging is a bit of a self-indulgent vehicle for folks that are driven by ideas and the desire to communicate. If you accept that as true, then I am pretty much the poster-child for the blog. But there is still a lot of value in creating and sharing and reading blogs, and that is the quality and relevance of the information.

Take for example, that through this blog, I can notify you that starting today we have opened up the registration period for the 2011 version of the UBC Certificate Course for Laboratory Quality Management.

The course will start in early January 2011, is fully on-line, runs for 20 weeks. Certification is by an objective scale from discussion, assignments, quizzes, and a final examination. The cost for the 20 weeks (and all the textbooks) is $1700 CAN.

Each year we limit the number of students to 25-30 so that everyone gets to know everyone, and that the discussion groups are manageable, and the group tends to fill in fairly quickly. We one year we asked to expand to accomodate a larger group from one country, but we found that it was more detrimental than positive.

At one time the course was intended only to develop a group of medical laboratory quality managers for Canadian laboratories, but over the last several years, the participants have expanded to being pretty much world-wide. It was a good thing that the structure that we set up from the beginning required on-line asynchronicity. To address the needs of Canadians we needed to accommodate 5 time zones. Now we are pretty much at 12 hour spread in both directions.

We find that there are some characteristics that are associated with successful (or by inverse unsuccessful) certification.

• Since the course is largely intended to provide a pool for medical laboratories, people with medical laboratory experience tend to do better. We require 5 years of work experience.

• People with strong English communication skills, in our case with reading and writing, tend to be able to participate better.

• People who are so busy at work or other activities that they can not put in the time to take a course tend to fall away.

• People who by their nature are passive and are uncomfortable with discussion tend to struggle.

So we provide a course for people who are interested in quality, motivated and capable to spend time reading and participating, and a reasonable cost. Folks seems to enjoy the course and give us excellent reviews each year. You can read their reviews at

So, if you are interested in quality, and you see personal value in an established course that provides certification, I suggest that you contact us sooner rather than later. The course does tend to fill up fairly quickly.

Comments are welcome.

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