Newswise — Northfield, IL—The College of American Pathologists (CAP) released the 2020 edition of its Laboratory Accreditation Program checklists on June 4, 2020.  CAP inspectors use the checklists, with approximately 3,000 requirements, during inspections to ensure laboratories comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations and achieve accreditation.

The CMS regulates all laboratory testing, except research, performed on humans in the US through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). The CAP is a CMS-approved accreditation organization with deeming authority to inspect laboratories under CLIA.

The CAP’s program is based on rigorous accreditation standards that are translated into detailed checklist requirements organized into 21 discipline-specific checklists. CAP inspection teams use them as a guide to assess the laboratory's overall management and operation. The program, internationally recognized and the largest of its kind, utilizes teams of practicing laboratory professionals as inspectors.

In the 2020 edition, the CAP made additions and changes to checklists including Laboratory General, Microbiology, Immunology, Chemistry, Point of Care, Transfusion Medicine, and Reproductive Medicine. As related to COVID-19, the CAP enhanced, for example, Laboratory General safety requirements for viral exposure due to airborne transmission and Microbiology specimen collection and processing.

Annually, the CAP reviews all checklists to maintain program stringency and the highest standards of patient care while reflecting advancements in medicine, technology, and laboratory management.  The CAP Checklists Committee, made up of practicing pathologist members, leads the review, seeking input from experts in pathology and laboratory medicine.

"With the checklists, we strive to provide laboratories a clear roadmap to operate a high-quality laboratory, especially critical in times like these, and secure accreditation,” said Richard Scanlan, MD, FCAP, chair, CAP Council on Accreditation, which oversees the accreditation program and Checklists Committee. “Our inspectors, who are trained, practicing laboratory professionals, understand laboratory operations and challenges, and through the accreditation program we are able to provide expert guidance to peers.”

To further assist laboratories, the CAP will offer a webinar, “2020 CAP Accreditation Checklist Updates: Changes that Matter,” on June 17, 2020. Harris Goodman, MD, FCAP, chair, CAP Checklists Committee, and Stephen Sarewitz, MD, FCAP, vice chair, will lead the session. Visit to register.

About the College of American Pathologists

As the world’s largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. As a 501(c)(6) membership organization, the CAP is the only entity representing pathologists with unrestricted advocacy capability and a political action committee, PathPAC. For more information, visit to watch pathologists at work and see the stories of the patients who trust them with their care. Read the CAP Annual Report.