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Your home base for all NAACLS announcements, news and special features

by Dianne M. Cearlock, CEO

At the April 23, 2020 meeting of the NAACLS Board of Directors, in addition to accreditation and approval awards recommended by the Review Committee on Accredited Programs (RCAP) and the Program Approval Review Committee (PARC), the following items were addressed:

  • Elections for the review committees were held. Re-elected for a second term to the RCAP were Jeanne Isabel (MLS Educator), Andrea Gordon (MLT Educator), Eric Elsinghorst (DMS Educator), and Jun Gu (CG Educator). Elected for a first term on the RCAP were Elizabeth Gockel-Blessing (MLS Educator) and William F. Ahlfeld (Path A Practitioner). Re-elected for a second term on the PARC was Andrea Stone (Clinical Assistant Educator) and Marilyn McCain (Phlebotomy Practitioner). Elected for a first term on the PARC was Michelle Hill (Phlebotomy Educator). Re-elected for a second term on the Doctoral Review Committee (DRC) was S. Renee Hodgkins (Doctoral Level Educator) and elected for a first term was Nadine Lerret (Doctoral Level Educator). Congratulations to the elected review committee members
  • Elections for the Board of Directors were also held. Re-elected for a second term were Joel M. Shilling (ASCP Representative), Mark Bailey (NSH Representative), and Lynn Brodeur (Two Year Educator). Elected for a first term was Karen Brown (ASCP Representative). Congratulations to the elected Board of Directors members.
  • Proposed changes to Standards to II.B, IV. A. 1.d. and V.D. were adopted after all public comments were reviewed.
  • For Standard II.B –

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Dear Dr. NAACLS,

I have just been hired by my institution as program director. The previous program director told me I need to reach out to NAACLS for approval. What documents do I need to submit to NAACLS, and how long will the process take?


Mr. Jones


Mr. Jones,

First, allow NAACLS to congratulate you on your new position. To answer your question, a Program Director must be in place within 30 days of the previous Program Director’s departure. An email notification of the change in Program Director to NAACLS is sufficient, and NAACLS staff will provide you with the Program Official Approval Form. It is essential to review the checklist on page one, to ensure documents are submitted correctly, and within 30 days of contacting NAACLS. The materials that come from the applicant should be sent to Jessy Jasso, NAACLS Review liaison in one PDF e-file. The required supporting documents must come from a primary source (ASCP-BOC verification, transcripts, recommendation letters) and may be emailed separately to NAACLS. When all documentation is received, NAACLS will submit it to the reader pair (members of NAACLS review committees) for review. The reader pair will review the documentation and make a determination as to whether the candidate meets NAACLS’ requirements to serve as a program director. When a final determination has been made, NAACLS will notify you via email, which can take up to two (2) months.

We hope this helps you!


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NAACLS will conduct its annual fall workshop via webinar on November 13, 2020. We hope you save the date! Registration is expected to be open by the end of July

The workshop, titled, “The NAACLS Process and Standards – a Peek Behind the Curtain,” will be held from 7:30am-4:00pm and will be presented by  Dawn Tripolino, MBA, MT(ASCP), Vice Chair and Phlebotomy Educator of the Programs Approval Review Committee (PARC), and Dale Telgenhoff, PhD, HTL(ASCP)cm, Member and HT Educator on the Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP).

Upon completion of the workshop, and with the opportunity to discuss questions, the participant should be able to:

  • Review the NAACLS accreditation and approval processes
  • Related NAACLS process concepts to specific program challenges
  • Describe key elements of NAACLS Standards and Compliance Guide
  • Identify Standards that are often problematic
  • Related the Standards and Guide to specific program types.

NAACLS will announce when registration is open on the NAACLS News. We hope to see you at NAACLS’ first workshop webinar!



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The NAACLS Board of Directors is requesting public comment for proposed Standards changes. To view the potential Standards changes, as well as the process to submit your comments, please download the file linked below.

Public Comment for Standard Six

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In March, the NAACLS Board of Directors appointed a task force to develop a virtual site visit process for the canceled spring site visits due COVID 19. During the April 23rd Board of Directors meeting, the NAACLS Board approved this pilot process. The eligibility for these site visits are as follows: 

  • The program’s previous award must have no citations.
  • The program must be up to date with all applicable NAACLS responses and administrative issues (review materials, annual fees, surveys, etc.).
  • The previous three years of outcomes must meet all benchmarks.
  • Programs inactive during any part of their previous award are ineligible.
  •  Initial Site Visits are not eligible.

This is a pilot program will be voluntary for programs that qualify. It will only be an option for the cancelled site visits from Spring 2020. Once these canceled site visits have been completed, the Board of Directors will review the effectiveness and discuss possible long term virtual site visit policies at a later date.

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We invite you to view the NAACLS 2019 Annual Report on our website. The Annual Report includes a Message from the President, 2019 Program Data, 2019 Board of Directors’ Actions, 2019 Volunteers, Statements of Financial Position for FY ending June 30, 2019, and Rosters for the NAACLS Board, Review Committees and Staff.

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Marcia Armstrong, a member of the NAACLS Board of Directors, contributed an op-ed to the Honolulu Star Register, describing the essential role medical laboratory scientists are playing in the COVID-19 crisis.

You can find the column here.

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A number of program directors have contacted NAACLS regarding if “a student can be assigned a grade of “unsatisfactory/satisfactory” and/or “pass/fail.” It seems beneficial to address the issue on the NAACLS News for the convenience of all or NAACLS program directors.

NAACLS does not prescribe or deny specific methods of evaluations, such as “unsatisfactory/satisfactory” and/or “pass/fail.” It is within the program’s prerogative to select the method of “grading” to be utilized as long as the program continues to meet NAACLS standards.

Below is the NAACLS Standard VIII.C – Evaluations:

Evaluation systems must relate to course content and support program competencies. If there is evidence that competencies are not adequately achieved (through feedback mechanisms as described in Standard II.B) then course objectives will be examined in detail to assure that the objectives are behavioral, include all domains and relate directly to the evaluations used.

  1. These evaluation systems must be employed frequently enough to provide students and faculty with timely indications of the students’ academic standing and progress.
  2. The evaluation systems must serve as a reliable indicator of the effectiveness of instruction and course design.

Program Directors are encouraged to seek information directly from the Board of Certification, state licensure boards, and others if they have questions regarding the use of “pass/fail” or “satisfactory or unsatisfactory” in lieu of more traditional grading systems for credentialing eligibility.

We hope that you are staying safe and sane during these uncertain times. As always, staff is here to help when we can.

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Due to the State of Illinois “Stay at Home” executive order, the physical NAACLS office is closed for the foreseeable future. NAACLS Staff will still be working full time remotely and our goal is that no one will see any disruptions. 

Effective immediately, NAACLS will only be accepting electronic submissions of materials. Mailed in submissions of jump drives, or hard copies will not be accepted. Electronic submissions through cloud based services (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc) as well as email submissions will be accepted. 

We are aware that accreditation self-studies are due April 1st. If we have not acknowledged receipt of materials but your self-study was mailed in, please ask the appropriate staff person if they have been received. If not, we will accept documentation hosted in your/your institution’s accounts in the cloud.  NAACLS staff is researching other options for electronic submission of materials. We will have an update for you next week.

Payments can be sent to:


27321 Network Place

Chicago, IL  60673

Please note there will be a link to pay in your annual invoices. We will not be able to process checks sent to our office address.

If you have questions regarding this issue or others, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

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The NAACLS Staff has received many questions of a similar nature over the past thirty-six hours, so we felt it appropriate to share those answers with everyone. We know that in addition to the complexities COVID 19 has added to the instruction of your students, many of you are facing pressure from higher administration to provide answers to questions you usually do not face.

First, a general note. NAACLS is not relaxing our standards. We expect accredited and approved programs to remain compliant with the NAACLS Standards, and educate students to industry-established entry-level competencies. Now more than ever, we all should be diligent in ensuring the quality of laboratory scientists entering the workplace.

When NAACLS review committees and the Board of Directors developed the current standards, the goal was to provide as much flexibility as possible. Under the best of circumstances, programs regularly face unique challenges; what programs are facing now is unprecedented. Now, more than ever, nonprescriptive standards are essential.

Now, to address some common themes we have found in the questions we have been getting.

We are delaying, moving up, altering our graduation date. What do we need to send to NAACLS?

Programs do not need to notify NAACLS of these changes. NAACLS has no standard on when graduations should take place as long as the students have achieved the entry-level competencies.

Due to clinical sites closing/emergency higher administration policies/state mandates/etc. our students are unable to finish their clinical. What should we do?

If you can complete the rotations through simulation and stay compliant with the NAACLS Standards and entry-level competencies, your program can continue uninterrupted. If not, you may have to delay those essential parts of the rotation until clinical spots once again make themselves available.

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