Dr. NAACLS – Phlebotomy and MLS Accreditation

(Last Updated On: August 25, 2014)

Dear Dr. NAACLS,

I was reviewing the 2012 Standards for my MLS program. I could not find any phlebotomy requirements with the rest of the curriculum in Standard VII. Am I missing something?


 Needle in a Haystack.

Dear Needle,

You are not missing anything. As of the 2012 standards, NAACLS Accredited MLS programs are no longer required to teach Phlebotomy.

In the beginning of the standard revisions process, a task force was charged to identify the core curriculum for MLS practice. They noted that for many clinical affiliates, phlebotomy has been moved out of the laboratory. As such, phlebotomy (and the teaching of phlebotomy) is not under the supervision or responsibility of the laboratory – making practical experiences difficult to coordinate.

The job market has also evolved. Often Medical Laboratory Scientists are no longer asked to perform these services. When it is required, many employment sites teach the employees after hire.

However, we advocate that NAACLS accredited programs serve their community. If you are in an area that employs MLS professionals that are asked to do a lot of phlebotomy, we encourage you to incorporate it into your curriculum. While Phlebotomy was removed from the MLS Curriculum Requirements (as of the 2012 standards), there is no penalty to the program if it is their decision to teach it.

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