Independent Phlebotomy

Who is an Independent Phlebotomist?
Independent phlebotomists are individuals or businesses (including long term care facilities) that are collecting blood specimens for laboratory testing in Nova Scotia and are not doing so in the scope of their employment with NSHA or the IWK.  This includes any healthcare professional who is an employee of NSHA or IWK and is collecting blood specimens as a business or as a convenience for co-workers, friends or family.  

What is required?
To ensure the integrity of specimens submitted for laboratory testing and that appropriate standards for collection and delivery are met, independent phlebotomists in Nova Scotia must establish a contractual agreement for specimen acceptance with NSHA and the IWK prior to collection of laboratory specimens.  This contract is known as the Agreement for Acceptance of Specimens Collected by Independent Phlebotomists for Laboratory Testing by Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

All Independent phlebotomists currently collecting in Nova Scotia who wish to continue to provide services and have not already applied to enter into a contract with NSHA and the IWK, must now apply to enter into a contract no later than end of business day Jan. 6, 2017. This submission timeline will prevent any disruption in service and provide a transition period for applicants until such time as the application is processed. Contracts must be in place no later than April 1, 2017.

Please complete the Independent Phlebotomy application form and email your completed application form to

Why do independent phlebotomists need a contract? 
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is responsible for the provision of diagnostic laboratory testing for physicians and patients. NSHA and IWK must ensure the integrity of specimens submitted for laboratory testing and make sure appropriate standards for collection and delivery are met.  This is why all Independent phlebotomists in Nova Scotia establish a contractual agreement for specimen acceptance. 

What is the responsibility of independent phlebotomists for equipment and supplies?

Independent phlebotomists are responsible to purchase equipment and supplies required for the collection, handling and transportation of blood and urine specimens.  The equipment and supplies used must meet the requirements of the specimen, test request and the laboratory doing the testing.

Supplies may be available for purchase through NSHA Supply Chain or direct from vendor. The independent phlebotomist is responsible to investigate and establish purchasing agreements for the required supplies. Pathology and Laboratory Medicine does not provide supplies (nor exchange when close to expiry).

The equipment and supplies required include, but are not limited to, blood specimen tubes, urine containers, needles, sharps containers, specimen labels, specimen racks, photocopiers and transport containers.

Independent Phlebotomy Application
Collection Information and Related Documents
Contractual agreements between NSHA/IWK and Independent Phlebotomists: Questions and Answers (.pdf)

Josh MacDonald
Client & Support Services Program Manager (Pathology & Laboratory Medicine)
Tel: 902-430-4441

Independent Phlebotomy Office