Training Courses

At the SickKids-UHN FCF, we are committed to implementing best practices in the field and ensuring that our clients have the requisite technical knowledge and tools to generate high quality, reproducible data.

We offer online and hands-on training courses for clients to broaden their flow cytometry knowledge and/or operate our instruments independently.

The WORK-FLOW educational program is an online, on-demand streamlined program. The courses are delivered as subtitled video-based micro-content and simulation and can be completed in 2-3 h (total).

  • Flow Cytometry Essentials (FCE) provides a comprehensive introduction to the basic principles and concepts of flow cytometry:
    • Section 1: Principles & Instrumentation
    • Section 2: Reagents & Panel Design
    • Section 3: Acquisition & Measurements
    • Section 4: Analysis (with Interactive Tools)
    • Section 5: Statistics
  • Cytometry Select (CS) covers speciality, advanced topics:
    • CS1: Cell Sorting

The FCE and CS1 courses are a pre-requisite for all new clients to use our cell sorting services.

The FCE course is a pre-requisite for clients who want to take our LSR Training Course to operate our analytical instruments independently.

To access the courses, submit a WORK-FLOW “Flow Cytometry Essentials” Online Course Request (listed under the Training Services category) in iLab.

  • WORK-FLOW offers life-time access to both courses, in addition to other educational resources in the Flow Hub.

Our LSR Training Course is an intensive course that provides clients with the expertise to operate our LSRII analytical instruments independently. We focus not only on teaching the basics of instrument start-up & shutdown, but also on equipping our clients with current best practice information and tools necessary to achieve optimal instrument set-up and ensure precision & accuracy in their data acquisition.

It is recommended that clients taking the LSR Training Course intend to use the analytical instruments at least twice per month:

  • Clients planning less frequent LSR usage may consider availing of our Operator Assisted Acquisition service.


  • WORK-FLOW FCE online training course

The LSR Training Course includes:

  • Two webinar lectures:
    • Webinar 1: Optimizing & Standardizing Instrument Set-up (2 h)
    • Webinar 2: Introduction to BD FACSDiva Acquisition Software (1.5 h)
  • Three hands-on instrument training sessions:
    • Day 1: Demo of Instrument Set-up: 3 colour experiment using stained compensation beads (3 h)
    • Day 2: Trainee practices optimizing instrument settings under guidance from Facility Trainer (3 h)
    • Day 3: Trainee brings their Experimental Samples to optimize and standardize Instrument Set-up for their own Application with Facility Trainer assistance (3 h)

The hands-on instrument training sessions cover the following topics:

  • Overview of key instrument components (optics, electronics & fluidics)
  • Instrument start-up & fluidics checks
  • Review of acquisition software
  • Optimization of instrument set-up (including flow & event rates, PMT voltages, threshold, area scaling, compensation & acquisition criteria)
  • Data acquisition & recording
  • Cleaning & shutdown procedures

To request training, submit an LSR Training Course Request (listed under the Training Services category) in iLab.


The SH800 is a user-friendly, bench-top cell sorter that can be operated independently by trained clients who have extensive analytical experience. Operating this cell sorter independently offers a more affordable option for long and/or frequent sorts, in addition to the flexibility to sort samples outside regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), which is ideal for patient samples, for example.


  • WORK-FLOW FCE and CS1 online training courses
  • LSR Training Course
  • Extensive experience operating the LSRs independently

The SH800 hands-on training course consists of one ~3 h session with an FCF staff member and covers the following topics:

  • Instrument & biosafety cabinet start-up
  • Fluidics checks
  • Auto calibration and alignment
  • Overview of software
  • Sort set-up: tube & plate sorting
  • Cleaning & shutdown procedures

To schedule training, submit a Sony SH800 Training Request (listed under the Training Services category) in iLab.


The AutoMACS Pro is a user-friendly, bench-top, automated column-based magnetic cell separation instrument.  There are 10 pre-loaded separation programs that allow positive or negative selection of labelled target cells based on subset frequency & antigen expression, as well as desired yield and purity.


  • It is recommended that you consult with FCF staff and/or local Miltenyi Biotec reps for advice about reagents and separation programs in advance.

The AutoMACS hands-on training course consists of one ~30 min training session with an FCF staff member and covers the following topics:

  • Brief intro to magnetic cell separation principles
  • Overview of instrument key components
  • Instrument start-up & fluidics checks
  • Overview of software
  • Separation program set-up
  • Cleaning & shutdown procedures

To request training, submit an AutoMACS Training Request (listed under the Training Services category) in iLab.