Re: Attn. Educators/Interested Parties - Revision of HT Essential s/St andards

From:Lee & Peggy Wenk

The question is - do the proposed NAACLS Standards have
anything to do with ASCP certification?

The answer is - Yes and No.

These are the standards that NAACLS (accrediting agency for
histotech and med tech program) have set as what constitutes
a "competent tech". And what constitutes a program that is
doing a good job at teaching students to become
competent techs, and thus the program is worthy as
being accredited by NAACLS.

It is what we as program directors try to teach our
students - these skills, knowledge, and behaviors that will
make them a competent tech.

Now, if we as a program have done our jobs correctly, and
if the students have worked and studied hard, then if they
possess the skills, knowledge and behaviors of a competent tech,
then they SHOULD be able to pass the ASCP certification
exam, which is measuring the minimal level of competency
of a tech.

During NAACLS re-accreditation documentation and
site visits (think JCAHO for accredited lab science
programs), we have to show that our students ARE
achieving these competency standards (being taught
and learning them).

One way (but not the only way) that the program can
demonstrate this is by showing the pass rate of our students
on the ASCP exams. If the majority of our students ARE
passing the written portion, then they probably were taught
and learned the knowledge part. If they passed the practical
portion, then they probably were taught and learned the
skills part.

(Other ways to demonstrate - questionnaires to graduates,
their employers, interviewing current students, etc.)

The other part that programs have to do is provide
documentation about other aspects of the accreditation
process - things that don't influence the students directly
in their learning - brochures, EEO, credentials of the
program director and instructors, affiliation agreements
with other colleges or labs, and LOTS more. Plus other
things that have a more indirect influence on the students
- the goals and objectives of each teaching unit, the quality
of the written exams, the quality of the equipment, the
variety of the stains/tissues, accessibility to computers, etc.

So yes, there is a relationship with the NAACLS
Standards and the ASCP exams - both deal with
competency - NAACLS with creating the
competent student graduate, and ASCP for
measuring the competency of the people taking
their exams.

But no, they are not related. NAACLS can set
their own level of competency (which skills,
how high a level, etc.), and ASCP can set
their level of competency.

ASIDE - PLEASE, I don't want to get into
a discussion of levels of competency of
histotechs, training levels, education levels, etc.
If you have comments on this - please relate
them to NAACLS. NOW! This is the open
forum time to responding to the types and
levels of standards and competencies for
students, histotechs and accredited programs.
If you agree or don't agree, address it to

Addressing it to me will  accomplish nothing.
Addressing it to  Histotech will accomplish nothing.
You might feel better for venting, but you won't
influence or change anything.

And ANYONE can respond. It's not limited to
just officials and instructors at NAACLS
programs. ANY histotech, pathologist,
lab assistant, non-medical people - ANYONE
can respond. And PLEASE do. Remember,
you may be hiring a graduate of a NAACLS
program someday. Don't you want that person
to be a competent histotech coming out of the
program, ready to be a productive member of
your lab? Well - then you better let NAACLS
know what YOU need from a graduate. What
skills, knowledge, and attitude YOU expect.
And at what level.

Contact NAACLS at

Or the lead person on the Committee to rewrite
the NAACLS Standards - Dr. Norton German at

Or the NSH representative to NAACLS -
Robert Lott at:

Thank you.

Peggy A. Wenk, HTL(ASCP)SLS
Program Director
Schools of Histotechnology
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, MI 48073

----- Original Message -----
From: "Morken, Tim" 
To: "'Histonet'" 
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 7:19 AM
Subject: RE: Attn. Educators/Interested Parties - Revision of HT Essential
s/St andards

> Do these standards have any relation to ASCP certification?
> Tim Morken
> Atlanta

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