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Transitioning Approval Programs to Accreditation

In 2020, the NAACLS Board of Directors called for public comment on transitioning Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant (previously called Clinical Assistant) programs from an “Approval” quality assurance process to an “Accreditation” quality assurance process. In April of 2021, after reviewing the public comments, the NAACLS Board of Directors approved the transition. The Board appointed a task force made up of members of both the Program Approval Review Committee (PARC) and the Review Committee for Accredited Programs to recommend implementation details of the transition. After extensive discussion, the task force made the following recommendations, which the Board of Directors approved at the April 2022 Board of Directors’ meeting.

Effective April 22nd, 2022 Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs are considered accredited. Moving forward, all Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs must adhere to the same policies and procedures as all other accredited programs. NAACLS Staff is currently updating internal documents and the website to reflect this change. Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs will receive updated program awards to reflect the change in designation by August 1st.

A site visit is now required.

After completing their current accreditation awards, all Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs are required to submit a self-study and host a site visit. Programs should note that as a result of a required site visit, the time it takes to review a program shifts from six months to a full year. Due to this shift, Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs will now have a different self-study due date than identified in previous award letters. The new self-study due date will be part of the updated awards that NAACLS Staff will email to programs.

March 2023

Starting with programs submitting self-studies in March 2023, all Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant will be required to host a site visit.

Ten Year Award maximum.

Like the other NAACLS Accredited programs, Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs are now eligible for a maximum continuing accreditation award of ten years (with an interim report due approximately five years into the award).

Award Notes

Since NAACLS will begin posting full board awards publicly this summer, for Phlebotomy and Medical Laboratory Assistant programs that received a maximum of five years of continuing approval, NAACLS Staff will add an explanation to your award. This note will confirm that the program reached the maximum award under discontinued policies.

Joint Review Policy

The NAACLS Joint Review and Cycle Alignment policy has not changed. Any two programs hosted by the same sponsor can request a joint review. For further eligibility details, please see our Guide to Accreditation.

A full board report will be coming to the NAACLS News later this month. If you have any questions about this transition, please contact the NAACLS Staff.

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