Roles within SNP


Pathologists are the interface between medical science and clinical practice and they frequently interact with both areas. Pathologists often find themselves applying the knowledge gained from recent developments in medical research to real-life situations. They have undertaken many years of training and have a medical degree followed by substantial post graduate specialist qualifications. They have high-level skills in investigating diseases and interpreting test results. Part of the job is to use their professional judgement to advise GPs and medical specialists about the test results and their implications for diagnosis and treatment. Many pathologists are clinicians and have their own consultancies treating patients; many are involved in research work.

Clinical testing generally follows a hierarchical system of review, with scientists and laboratory technicians conducting basic tests, abnormal results being put to a senior scientist for review, and ultimately to the pathologist for interpretation.

Laboratory Manager

The laboratory manager must have the right combination of people skills, business knowledge, and technical experience to coordinate the work of the various laboratory personnel. Their days are varied and challenging. They appoint employees, prepare budgets, organise work schedules, and order laboratory supplies and equipment. The laboratory manager ensures that quality control systems are effective and works with the pathologist to make sure that the quality of work conducted in the laboratory meets the highest standards.


The scientist and senior scientist have tertiary bachelor degrees in science and often post graduate qualifications in a particular specialist area. They need to be conversant with a wide body of knowledge relating to their area of specialty.

They are continually called upon to use their judgement in interpreting test results while performing tests and managing quality control programs.

Laboratory Technician

Like scientists, laboratory technicians have tertiary qualifications, usually an associate diploma. These are professionals who choose to work at "the bench" experiencing the "hands-on" technical work that is performed on a daily basis. They need to be natural enquirers and have a passion for science. Monitoring quality control programs in the laboratory is an important part of the job.


Based in the many suburban and hospital-based collection centres, these professionals are the shop front of SNP. A collector has to be technically competent and reliable but also be able to put patients at ease and be compassionate. Their job is to take blood from patients, take delivery of samples and process them ready to be picked up by couriers. All staff undertake comprehensive in-house training. 

The Patient Services Support Centre provides telephone support for collection staff. It also assists patients with information on opening hours, pre-collection preparation for certain tests, centre locations, patient account queries and general enquiries.

Laboratory Assistant

Laboratory assistants are job-trained to support the scientists and technicians. They prepare specimens for analysis and set up tests which the scientists and technicians later review and interpret. Because today's laboratories are highly computerised, the laboratory technician or assistant must be a trouble-shooter who knows how the equipment works. They need an up-to-date knowledge of a wide range of tests.


SNP runs a fleet of courier cars servicing doctors' rooms, hospitals and collection centres. They pick up specimens and deliver reports and supplies. Couriers can be either on the road driving the distinctive white, blue and red cars, or on foot delivering reports and collecting samples in a hospital or medical precinct.

The Transport Section coordinates the delivery of goods to and from the warehouses. This section also coordinates the commercial courier (air and road) network across the states and regions ensuring specimens from far away places reach the lab safely for testing.