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Important Changes to Accreditation Inspection Cycles

Important Accreditation Inspection Update

Inspections are the cornerstone of the CAP’s Laboratory Accreditation Program and are essential to confirm that your laboratory is compliant with regulatory requirements and best practices of laboratory medicine. On time inspections are critical for maintaining an environment of continuous quality improvement to ensure your laboratory is providing the highest level of quality service and standard of care for the patients you serve. As the world continues to move past the challenges of COVID-19, the CAP is returning to the practice of completing inspections within the 90-day inspection window. 

On-time inspections require: 

  • The inspection team to select a date in the 90-day inspection window. 
    • Inspections will not occur on established holidays or blackout dates. 
  • The inspection team will notify the CAP and laboratory of the scheduled date(s) of the inspection prior to the day of inspection. 
  • Laboratories to pre-determine delegation of inspection responsibilities during their window in case an individual is not available the day of inspection. 
  • Laboratories to notify LAPAssignments@cap.org if a system upgrade will be occurring in their inspection window, so the inspection team may incorporate this into the inspection plan for an on-time inspection.
  • Laboratories to indicate to the inspection team if they are experiencing staffing shortages. The inspection team may incorporate this into the plan by having fewer inspectors or shorter days of inspection to help reduce the impact of inspection. 

Overdue inspections require: 

  • The inspection team to select an inspection date that will occur within 30-60 days of receiving the scheduling email from the CAP. It is critical the inspection be completed without further delay. 
  • The laboratory to provide blackout dates within one week of the scheduling email to the Inspection team and to the CAP. (A maximum of eight blackout dates that are in sets of at least two consecutive days may be selected). 
  • The inspection team will notify the CAP and laboratory of the scheduled date(s) of the inspection prior to the day of inspection.

Overdue Inspections

Date: October 14, 2021

Please note: Many CAP-accredited laboratories are being inspected on-time and will not be impacted by the following:

The COVID-19 public health emergency has impacted the inspection cycles of many CAP-accredited laboratories, delaying inspections and shortening the time to the next inspection or self-inspection.

We know the pandemic continues to place stress on you and your laboratory. We have been listening to your concerns regarding delayed inspections being followed too soon by the next inspection. To address these concerns, the CAP is:

  • Adjusting inspection cycles to maintain our established inspection interval of two years.
  • Contacting impacted laboratories, over the next few weeks, with specific information. Laboratories are in different stages of their inspection cycle and may be affected in different ways (eg, receiving a new Certificate of Accreditation with a new anniversary date, or having an upcoming self-inspection cancelled).

If you have any questions, please call an accreditation representative at 800-323-4040, +001-847-832-7000 option 1, or email accred@cap.org.