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Tag Archives: 2012 Standards

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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By Fred H. Rodriguez, Jr., M.D.

President, NAACLS Board of Directors

“The only constant in life is change.” This is an aphorism that I coined many years ago, and its truth is verified for me almost every day.

Hopefully when change occurs, the change results in improving a situation (i.e., in some way makes things better). Very often, however, we do not (or cannot) appreciate or understand why change is necessary. Hence, it is a consistent characteristic of human nature to prefer the “status quo” rather than to actively pursue or embrace change.

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By Megan Eggert, Meetings and Events Planner

NAACLS held its workshop, “Taking a Step Forward – An Examination of the New Standards and Improved Accreditation/Approval Processes,” for a second time on February 20, 2014, in concurrence with the ASCLS CLEC Meeting in San Jose, California. The workshop was very successful with 125 participants!

This workshop will again be held on Friday, May 30, 2014, from 7:30am-4:00pm in Philadelphia, PA. This is a full-day workshop that will include a continental breakfast and lunch. The workshop will be presented by DeAnne S. Maxwell, MLS(ASCP)CM, Program Director of the CLS Program at Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, and an MLS Educator on the NAACLS Review Committee for Accredited Programs (RCAP), and Edward Rotchford, BA, Accreditation Specialist and Volunteer Services Manager at NAACLS.

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

1)      Identify the process of developing the new Standards.

2)      Differentiate between the focus of the old Standards and the new, revised Standards.

3)      Make use of the Standards Compliance Guide in conjunction with the new Standards to ensure program effectiveness.

4)      Utilize the Standards Compliance Guide to assist in development of a Self-Study Report.

5)      Identify strategies to help document compliance with the Standards.

6)      List and locate resources available to help the program director through the accreditation/approval processes.

7)      Identify the improvements and changes in the accreditation/approval processes, including policy changes and basic navigation of the Accreditation Management System (AMS).

The workshop fee is $300 by 4/15/14 (early registration deadline) and $325 by 5/15/14 (final registration deadline). Please visit the NAACLS website at for more information and to register for the workshop.

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By Fred Rodriguez, MD

President, NAACLS Board of Directors

 “inertia: indisposition to motion, exertion, or change”

(Merriam-Webster Dictionary,

Many individuals seek comfort in the “status quo.” They seek to be “inert.” They work to develop an understanding of the existing situation and “rules” in order to achieve a “comfort zone” in the here and now. There is resistance to change because change alters the “status quo.” Change forces individuals to learn new behaviors, or, at a minimum, to modify existing behaviors.

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by Dianne M. Cearlock, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

A great assessment plan is the program director’s best marketing tool. Assessment may seem like just another responsibility of meeting NAACLS Standards, and that is true, but the savvy program director uses the assessment plan for so much more. The intended use of assessment is continuous quality improvement of the program but a great assessment plan also feeds directly into a successful marketing strategy for the program.

The 2012 NAACLS Standards require all programs to have a systematic assessment plan that measures the effectiveness of the program and uses the findings for continuous refinement of the program’s curriculum, education delivery methods, and other processes. Several quantitative outcome measures must be included in the assessment plan including certification/licensure pass rates, attrition, graduation, and pass rates. The use of other measures such as the results of capstone projects, faculty feedback, exit or final examinations, exit interviews with graduates, student and graduate professional leadership, impact of the program on local and regional healthcare, etc., are optional (Standard 2, I, a-c). Programs should align the assessment plan and outcomes measures used with the institutional and program missions. In other words, the assessment plan should be an ongoing process to document that programs are fulfilling their missions and that of the sponsoring institution and, if not, to make changes to the program consistent with achieving program and institutional missions.

NAACLS established benchmarks for several quantitative outcome measures including certification pass rates of ≥75% on BOC examinations, and graduate and placement rates of ≥70%. All of these are reported annually using a rolling 3-year average and, when that does not occur, further analyses of the program may be required (Standards Compliance Guide). But it is vitally important not to let these quantitative measures control the “story” of a program. A program, its students, and its faculty are so much more than the sum of its numbers. And as important and compelling as certification/licensure pass rates are to those of us in the field, is recitation of those statistics, no matter how wonderful a program’s graduates and pass rates are, really “sexy” to Chairs, Deans, Presidents, and CEOs? It’s doubtful. And that is how a great assessment program, linked to the institution and program missions, and open to innovation by program officials, connects with marketing.

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By: Edward Rotchford, Accreditation Specialist and Volunteer Services Manager

Since the passage of the 2012 Standards nearly one year ago, NAACLS has been working feverishly to complete the rest of the work needed for the transition to these new Standards.  Two task forces were created and appointed by the NAACLS Board of Directors to create the new documents and policies.  This past September, after much revision and refinement, the Board of Directors approved and adopted two new documents:  The Guide to Accreditation and Approval, and the Standards Compliance Guide.  These new documents can now be found on the NAACLS Website.

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