College of American Pathologists

  Qualifying for a
  System Inspection


Updated November 16, 2006

Laboratory Criteria
A system is defined as 2 or more full-service laboratories that have common administration and ownership. Additional satellite and/or special function labs may also fall under the same administration and ownership.

Integration Criteria
Existing systems will need to meet a total of 5 of the remaining 8 criteria to remain in system inspections. The goal is to show progressive integration. New systems will need to meet 6 of the remaining 8 criteria at the time of application to be considered for a system inspection. In addition, all labs within a single system must be within 3 hours ground travel from a centrally-located laboratory.

  • One set of administrative policies for the system
  • Single, central management team for the system
  • System-wide competency assessment program
  • System-wide quality improvement program
  • System-wide quality control program
  • Patient data managed using a common approach
  • System-wide safety program
  • System-wide specimen collection manual

Other Criteria
All systems are required to provide an inspection team for another System inspection at least once every two years. System inspections typically require teams to travel outside of their own geographic state, and almost always require at least one overnight stay.