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CAP Home > CAP Accreditation and Laboratory Improvement > What's New in LAP > Mandatory Inspector Training Frequently Asked Questions

  Mandatory Inspector Training
  Frequently Asked Questions

 

Updated July 1, 2013

How is the CAP strengthening its qualification requirements for inspectors?
How often is the inspector required to obtain this training?
How many hours of training are required?
How will the CAP assess inspector competency?
What are the general requirements/credentials for a team leader?
What are the general requirements/credentials for a team member?
What if an inspector refuses to participate in mandatory training requirements?
Is there a charge for this training?
What are the qualifications for the specialty disciplines (i.e., cytogenetics, histocompatibility, molecular pathology, flow cytometry)?
Will inspectors continue to receive CME/CE credit for conducting inspections?
Will CME and CE credits be available for all training options?

How is the CAP strengthening its qualification requirements
for inspectors?

Inspectors have always been strongly encouraged to take advantage of the CAP’s training options for participation in inspections. In order to ensure that all inspectors have the knowledge and skills required to conduct an effective inspection, the CAP requires both team leaders and team members to successfully complete training and demonstrate competency within two years prior to conducting an inspection.

As of March 2010 all inspector training will include a scored assessment. The scored assessments will evaluate if participants have acquired the knowledge and skills covered in the training to become qualified inspectors.
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How often is the inspector required to obtain this training?

Inspectors will be required to be current in their training, meaning that they will need to keep up-to-date on any changes that are made to the inspection process as well as any changes in the regulatory requirements. Consequently, it is expected that inspectors will need to complete some training at least every two years. Initially, all inspectors are required to complete the full curriculum. In subsequent years, the inspector needs only to participate in training update activities.
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How many hours of training are required?

There is no specified number of hours that must be completed for training. Instead, the focus is on training that addresses the required knowledge and skills for inspectors. Training time will vary by training option, but, typically, the amount of time required ranges from 1.5 to 4.5 hours.
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How will the CAP assess inspector competency?

Assessment components are integrated into the mandatory training in the form of practice activities, including corrective feedback when needed. Those completing the training will be considered trained and competent to inspect a laboratory. As of March 2010, all inspector training will include a scored assessment.
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What are the general requirements/credentials for a team leader?

Team leaders typically are experienced board-certified pathologists from institutions of similar size and scope to those they are inspecting. They are currently or recently affiliated with a CAP-accredited laboratory. Additionally, they will have participated in the CAP’s mandatory team leader training program. Team leaders are responsible for ensuring their team members are trained prior to conducting an inspection.

A pathologist board certified in anatomic pathology must inspect the anatomic pathology section, except in the case of a small laboratory doing only specimen accessioning and/or frozen sections. In this situation, a CAP staff inspector may inspect the laboratory. A CAP staff inspector is a staff medical technologist and performs inspections for certain limited service laboratories.
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What are the general requirements/credentials for a team member?

Team members are experienced laboratorians—often laboratory managers or medical technologist supervisors—and are skilled experts in the science of laboratory medicine and specifically trained in the area they’re inspecting. Team members should also have a working knowledge of the CAP checklist requirements by virtue of working in a CAP-accredited laboratory and must complete the CAP’s team member training program.
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What if an inspector refuses to participate in mandatory training requirements?

At an organizational level, the CAP’s unique inspection system requires that once every two years each laboratory, as a condition of accreditation, provide an inspection team of similar size and scope to that required for its own inspection. If an institution refuses or cannot provide a full team if asked, the laboratory’s participation in the CAP accreditation program may be in jeopardy.
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Is there a charge for this training?

No. The training is offered at no cost to the participant.
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WWhat are the qualifications for the specialty disciplines (i.e., cytogenetics, histocompatibility, molecular pathology, flow cytometry)?

To be considered qualified, the specialty inspector must be actively involved with or have extensive experience in the practice of the discipline and knowledgeable of the current applicable CAP checklist. If the laboratory being inspected requires a specialty inspector, a specialty inspector must be chosen from the list of specialty inspectors provided in the inspector’s packet.
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Will inspectors continue to receive CME/CE credit for conducting inspections?

The College of American Pathologists believes that the process of participation in laboratory inspections is of exceptional educational value to inspectors, to laboratories, and to laboratory personnel being inspected. However, due to changes in ACCME and AMA requirements for Continuing Medical Education (CME), the College of American Pathologists phased out awarding of CME or CE credit to inspectors participating in LAP inspections. As of December 31, 2009 CME or CE is discontinued for lab inspections. As an alternative to credit for inspections, the CAP will recognize for CME/CE credit learning activities focused on the education gained by inspectors through review of the Checklists and the Laboratory Accreditation Manual when preparing to conduct an inspection. These activities are available on the CAP website under Accreditation Education Activities.

These learning activities provide inspection Team Leaders and Team Members with the opportunity to learn techniques that will enhance the inspection process for both inspectors and those inspected, leading to smoother, more efficient and effective inspections. The courses incorporate inspection preparation activities that are routinely performed by inspectors as part of the inspection preparation process, such as reviewing the Laboratory Accreditation Manual, so that additional time commitments are kept to a minimum. The learning activities qualify for CME and CE credit commensurate with time spent on the education activity.
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Will CME and CE credits be available for all training options?

Yes, both CME and CE credits will be offered.
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