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Accreditation Process

Options to Start Accreditation

If you are ready to apply, submit our accreditation program request form to initiate the accreditation process.

If you need more information about cost and next steps to become CAP accredited, submit a fee estimate form and we will contact you.

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Accreditation Process and Resources to Help You Prepare for Your Inspection

Be confident from application to accreditation as we provide the roadmap, tools, and support your laboratory needs to understand and successfully complete each step on your accreditation journey.

The CAP Guide to Accreditation highlights the accreditation process, director responsibilities, key documents and processes, plus more.

Download the CAP Guide to Accreditation (PDF)

Accreditation Process and Timelines

*International laboratories must be enrolled in CAP external quality assurance (EQA)/proficiency testing for a minimum of six (6) months before requesting an application.

**The initial inspection is announced for all CAP accreditation programs. Thereafter, all US inspections for the Laboratory Accreditation Program are unannounced (and performed within 90 days preceding the anniversary date) due to the CAP’s deemed status with the Joint Commission. Subsequent international and specialty accreditation program inspections are announced. All inspections are performed within the 90-day period preceding the anniversary date.

Tools and Resources to Help You Prepare

Once you apply for CAP accreditation, you’ll unlock the collection of accreditation resources in our customer portal, e-LAB Solutions Suite (e-LSS), including:

  • Online, modular Inspection Preparation Course: Getting Ready for Your First Inspection
  • Inspection preparation worksheet, guidelines, and other templates
  • Answers to our most common checklist questions
  • Recordings of Focus on Compliance Webinars

We have an extended team of specialists who can answer all your detailed questions—from your initial application to inspection logistics, specific inspection questions, or compliance advice. Additionally, we offer a complimentary onboarding call tailored to your specific questions and concerns.

For specific checklist and compliance questions, we have a team of highly trained medical technologists available to answer questions via phone or email at accred@cap.org. In addition, there are fully searchable checklist Q&A’s for our most common questions within our customer portal, e-LSS.

Application Fee and Accreditation Pricing

We require a one-time application fee which provides access to the online application, master checklists, and accreditation resources in e-LSS. Once we understand the breadth and complexity of your laboratory, we’ll provide the customized checklists to be used for your initial inspection. The application fee starts the application process and must be paid when submitting the Accreditation Program Application Request form.

The CAP’s annual accreditation fee is all inclusive and invoiced one month after your initial onsite inspection. Thereafter, the annual accreditation fee is invoiced one month prior to the laboratory’s anniversary date. There are no additional charges during inspection years, making it easier to budget your annual expenditures. The annual fee is determined based on the laboratory’s size and complexity.

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The CAP has a two-step application process:

  1. Submit the Accreditation Request for Application form with the application fee per the instructions on the form.
  2. Once your request form has been processed, you will receive an email with a link to the online Organizational Profile which is the accreditation application. You will be asked to provide information about your laboratory including demographic data, personnel, laboratory sections/departments and activities, test volumes, and other key information.

If you are applying for multiple accreditation programs, CLIA/CAP numbers, satellite laboratories, clinics, or special-function laboratories, please submit a separate Accreditation Program Application Request form and fee for each laboratory/facility or each accreditation program.