The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is a professional association for pathologists and laboratory professionals providing education and advocacy in the field. The Board of Certification helps laboratory professionals further their careers by offering internationally recognized certifications and qualifications. To receive a certification or qualification, participants must meet specific educational, experiential and examination requirements.
The ASCP is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), an internationally recognized accreditation body. ANSI recognizes ASCP’s certifications and qualifications for medical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, phlebotomy technicians, cytotechnologists, histotechnicians, histotechnologists, technologists in molecular biology, pathologists’ assistants and specialists in cytotechnology. Receiving a certification or qualification from an accredited association legitimizes the work done in the field and enhances respect and clout among colleagues. Certified and qualified professionals also broaden career possibilities through recognized success.
ASCP certifications recognize a professional’s expertise and competence to perform tasks required in laboratory roles and responsibilities. Professionals can apply to become certified as a technician, technologist, specialist or diplomate if they meet the specific eligibility requirements for each category. Applicants are limited to applying for one category per each three-month period. Certifications are valid for three years, and the credential holder must maintain her certification through continuing education under the Certification Maintenance Program.
ASCP offers international certifications to provide mobility and recognition to laboratory professionals regardless of geographic boundaries. Professionals may apply to become internationally certified as medical technologists, medical laboratory technicians, phlebotomy technicians, technologists in molecular biology or technologists in gynecologic cytology. To be eligible for examination, all education, clinical training and laboratory experience must have been completed outside of the United States.
Professionals who are qualified in their fields may apply for a qualification credential. Qualified professionals are practiced experts in their subject matter, having worked and proved success in a field. Those who seek and are awarded qualifications broaden their job possibilities and professional growth. ASCP qualifies in four categories: cytometry, immunohistochemistry, laboratory informatics and laboratory safety. International applicants can also receive a qualification in laboratory operations. Those meeting the specific eligibility requirements for the selected category and who pass the exam receive a credential demonstrating proficiency in the field. All qualifications received after Jan. 1, 2012, must be revalidated every three years by documenting continuing education or professional development activities.
Amber Laxton has been working in higher education since 2003. Her work focuses on continuing and professional education and workforce development. She works with various professional associations in fields including human resources, project management, operations management, financial planning and marketing. She has a Master of Science in public service management from DePaul University.