College of American Pathologists
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cap today

June 2005
PAP/NGC Programs Review

Barbara DuBray-Benstein, SCT(ASCP), PhD

The ASCP Board of Registry now requires participation in a certification maintenance program for all entry-level technician and technologist categories including cytotechnologists, as reported in CAP TODAY in May 2004 ("What ASCP's Certification Maintenance Program means for you"). This requirement was effective Jan. 1, 2004 for all newly certified individuals. Maintenance of certification is voluntary for those certified before 2004.

The Board of Governors of the ASCP Board of Registry recently approved the certification maintenance program for specialists and diplomates in the following categories:

  • Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB)
  • Specialist in Chemistry (SC)
  • Specialist in Cytotechnology (SCT)
  • Specialist in Hematology (SH)
  • Specialist in Laboratory Safety (SLS)
  • Specialist in Microbiology (SM)
  • Specialist in Virology (SV)
  • Hemapheresis Practitioner (HP)
  • Diplomate in Laboratory Management (DLM)

Individuals certified in these categories beginning Jan. 1, 2006, will be required to complete the certification maintenance program to maintain certification. The program requires 36 points (credit hours) of documented continuing competency activities every three years as follows: one point in safety; 10 points in area of specialty; and remaining points in area(s) of laboratory specialty, management, education, or other related laboratory area of interest.

While this is not a requirement for those certified before Jan. 1, 2006, individuals are encouraged to participate in the program voluntarily. Those who complete the program successfully will receive a new certificate and an additional designation “CM” in superscript after their certification, as in CT (ASCP)CM.

To learn more about the certification maintenance program, obtain answers to commonly asked questions, and download an application form, please see Select Certification and then Board of Registry.

Dr. DuBray-Benstein, a cytotechnologist consultant to the CAP Cytopathology Committee, is a professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and program director for the cytotechnology program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis.