By Bill Hunt, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM
Greetings! Now that we are leaving winter behind and moving into spring it’s time for some updates of the activities at NAACLS. Of the 614 programs that are Approved and Accredited by NAACLS, there are 80 new program directors which equates to a 13% turnover. Welcome aboard!
This turnover is bringing multiple issues to the fore. As many program directors move into retirement, NAACLS is in need of volunteers as Self-Study Reviewers and Site Visitors. The recruitment of new volunteers is being led by Mark Spence, the Program Approval Coordinator and Volunteer Services Manager. If you are not currently a volunteer please go to the NAACLS website https://naacls.org/Volunteers/Sign-Up-(1).aspx and fill in the form. It is the goal of NAACLS to respond and try to utilize those who fill out the application. One of the benefits of volunteering is learning how others have created their top notch programs, which are accredited or approved by NAACLS.
NAACLS continues to offer timely workshops and to plan for new ones based on frequently asked questions including the recent workshop at the Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC), “The Secrets to a Super Self-Study.” The NAACLS booth at CLEC was a great success. Not only did it allow us to recruit new volunteers, the questions asked showed us of the need to support the new and current program directors. The next NAACLS workshop will be held on November 8, 2019 in Chicago. It is aimed at new program directors, experienced program directors with programs scheduled for review, and new volunteers to assist in their acclimation to the accreditation and approval processes. Information on this workshop will be featured on the NAACLS website (www.naacls.org) after May 15th.
The 2018 annual survey preliminary findings continue to show that NAACLS programs do well in meeting the required benchmarks of Certification Rate of 75%; Graduation Rate of 70%, and Graduation Placement Rate of 70%. Preliminary findings for 2018 show that the Certification Rate is 88%; Graduation Rate is 95%, and Graduation Placement Rate is 96%. For all those helping to mold the future generation of laboratory professionals, thank you for doing such a great job.
The expanded Doctoral Review Committee has taken on a yeoman role in 2018 by completing a Standards Revisions, which were adopted by the NAACLS board in September 2018. The changes implemented streamlined the initial accreditation process. In addition, the Doctoral Standards Compliance Guide, Doctoral Self-Study Template, and Doctoral Self-Study Review Form have all been adopted. The Doctoral Site Visit Review Form should be ready for adoption in September 2019. NAACLS is ready for the first doctoral programs to move through the accreditation process. This is an exciting new day for our profession!
NAACLS continues to work on the Accreditation Management System (AMS). The complexity of computerizing a program’s self-study and site visit and a myriad of other functions required to seamlessly keep programs accredited has caused multiple delays. Stay tuned. We are moving forward!