Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice

Area of Study Type of Course Level of Study
Health and Medical Award Graduate Certificate


Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice

Course Code


Course Abbreviation


Partner Faculty

Melbourne School of Heath Sciences at the University of Melbourne

Australian Red Cross Blood Service through the Blood Matters Program


The Blood Matters Program is a Victorian Government program run in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service that aims to support and enhance best practice in patient blood management (PBM), and the stewardship of blood and blood products, for improved patient outcomes in Victorian health services. This course was developed by an initial consortium including Blood Matters, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. It was initially developed to support and educate transfusion nurses in this consortium, and has expanded over the years to include other health care professionals working in the area of transfusion, both nationally and internationally.

In 2010 a national review of the course was undertaken and the course now has authors and content expert reviewers nationally. The course was reviewed again in 2015 and remodelled to commence with a Specialist Certificate in Blood Management Foundations. The Graduate Certificate course builds on those skills and knowledge gained in the Specialist Certificate to cultivate an understanding of advanced concepts in blood management.

The Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice  is endorsed by the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) Academy

Course Description

The Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice is a part-time, three subject online program of one year's duration administered by The University of Melbourne School of Nursing. It provides health care professionals, typically registered nurses and scientists with the professional and clinical knowledge and skills to act as a specialist resource in the area of Transfusion Practice.

The course aims to provide a framework for participants to effectively contribute to achieving best transfusion practice and patient blood management across health services.

Specialist Certificate in Blood Management (25 points)
A foundation training course for health care professionals who work in areas where blood or blood products are transfused, or for those staff members responsible for managing organisational compliance with National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standard 7 and associated activities. Delivered online, part time over 12 weeks, it is comprised of a 25 point subject (Foundations in Blood Management) and is a pathway into the Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice.

Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice (50 points)
The Graduate Certificate builds on skills and knowledge developed in the Specialist Certificate to cultivate an understanding of advanced concepts in blood management. Delivered online, part time over 13 weeks, it incorporates the Specialist Certificate plus a further two 12.5 point subjects.

Delivery Mode

The content for the three theory subjects will be delivered via:

- Text based Distance Learning Packages via a web-enabled learning platform called SOLE.

- The practical Transfusion Specialty Practice subject is delivered through the use of a clinical practice portfolio.

The online facilitator is available online and responds to emails, checks discussion postings and monitors progress on discussion threads. Appointments can be made for telephone discussions via email.

The course is typically delivered over 2 semesters spanning one calendar year. However, this course can also be done part-time following discussion with the Course Coordinator.

Who Should Apply

Healthcare professionals including nurses, midwives, and scientists currently working in or associated with the field of transfusion or working towards this. Staff responsible for managing organisational compliance with Standard 7 and associated activities, or working towards this should also apply.


The Graduate Certificate of Transfusion Practice requires completion of the following 1 x 25 point subject and 2 x 12.5 point subjects:

NURS90110 - Foundations in Blood Management (25 points)
This subject will serve as foundation training for students who work in areas where blood or blood products are delivered. It will introduce the student to the important foundation concepts of patient blood management (PBM) & the National Healthcare Standards relating to blood transfusion. The subject will provide the student with specific skills/information they require to participate in the accreditation process for blood and blood products.

NURS90061 - Advanced Concepts in Blood Management (12.5 points)
This subject builds on the knowledge and expertise gained in the Foundations in Blood Management subject to provide the student with advanced knowledge regarding relevant clinical guidelines and PBM strategies. It covers immunomodulation and the HLA system, transfusion in a specialised setting including critical bleeding and individual factor replacements, the importance of blood conservation and discussion around alternatives to blood transfusion.

NURS90064 - Quality Practice Portfolio (12.5 points)
This subject also builds on the knowledge and skills developed in Foundations in Blood Management subject. Students are given the opportunity to inform their practice by applying this knowledge in their specific clinical setting.


Each subject is formally assessed to meet the requirements of University accreditation. Assessment is designed to be practical and relevant to industry professionals.

Pathways to Further Study

Students that complete the Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice may be eligible to gain 50 points credit if they decide to enrol in one of the following courses:

Students that decide to enrol in one of the following Specialty Graduate Certificates will only receive 12.5 points credit, equivalent to an elective subject.

Available specialties include: anaesthetics; critical care; emergency; perioperative, rural critical care; paediatric critical care; cancer and palliative care; mental health; paediatrics; and primary care.

Additional Information

This is a distance education course taught entirely online. Students must have access to computer facilities and the internet. Students are required to be familiar with the internet and will need to have basic computer and word processing skills. Specifically, students need to be able to write, edit and save an essay on the computer.

Login details are provided once you are enrolled into the course.

Prospective students should note that they may not be able to undertake this online course from their place of employment due to network configurations at many workplaces (e.g. firewall / proxy server configurations to control internet traffic).

Academic and Teaching Team

The course is delivered in partnership with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service under the auspices of the Blood Matters Program and the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria. It is conducted by an experienced nurse educator with an extensive clinical background in haematology and transfusion and is the only online Graduate Certificate in Transfusion Practice course in the Southern Hemisphere.

Academic Course Coordinator - Dr Rebecca Disler

Online Facilitator - Ms Judy Forsyth, Clinical Nurse Educator

Entry Requirements

All applicants must demonstrate that they meet the following minimum entry requirements

An undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification in medicine, nursing, an allied health profession, science or social science which is recognised by The University of Melbourne as evidence of adequate preparation for the course,


At least five years of documented relevant work experience.

It is an advantage if students are employed in an appropriate clinical environment since support of their employer to facilitate completion of specialty clinical competencies is a requirement of the course.

Alternative arrangements will need to be made on a case by case basis for those not currently working in the clinical environment and this will be at the discretion of the Course Coordinator and the University of Melbourne.

Course Fees

2018 - $10,700 ($2,675* per 12.5 point subject, GST exempt).

*Scholarships for 2018 are now closed

*Applicants may be eligible for a partial scholarship through Blood Matters. The partial scholarships are available to Victorians only, and provided to encourage individuals interested in taking up a transfusion improvement role in the Victorian health system. The scholarship provides partial reimbursement of the course fees upon successful completion of each semester. Further information on the scholarship application process is available from the Blood Matters program secretariat 03 9694 0102 or

Fee Inclusions

As enrolled students of the University of Melbourne, students have access to a range of facilities and amenities provided by the University of Melbourne.


Fee-Help is a loan from the Australian Government to cover tuition fees and is available to Australian Citizens only.

Key Dates

Applications for 2018 are now closed.

Semester 1, 2018
Monday 12 March 2018 - Sunday 24 June 2018
1 week break: Sunday 1 April - Sunday 8th April 2018
2 week mid semester break: Monday 30 April - Sunday 13 May 2018

Semester 2, 2018
Monday 13 August 2018 - Sunday 25 November 2018
3 week mid semester break: Sunday 1 October - Sunday 21 October 2018

Related Courses and Subjects

Specialist Certificate in Blood Management Foundations

Contact Us

Ally Prowse
Program Coordinator
The University of Melbourne
T: +61 3 8344 1605