ASCP BOC

Fall 2020

 

ASCP BOC Updates

Applications and Documentation

Program Completion

Ethics and the Appropriate Use of Social Media

PPR Information

Important Information for Students

Get Involved!

Program Director Resources

 

ASCP BOC Updates:

ASCP BOC COVID-19 Response

The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) takes the health and wellness of our constituents very seriously and understand that you and your students may be concerned about how this ongoing health crisis will impact program completion, exam application, exam eligibility, or exam scheduling. The ASCP BOC is working to ensure that appropriate processes are in place and has created a COVID-19 page that we update regularly with the most current information. Thank you for your patience as we work to best support all constituents throughout this time.

 

2021 Program Performance Report (PPR) Invoices available October 27*

Update: Emails will be sent out on November 10th

Emails with a link to access the 2021 Program Performance Report (PPR) invoices will be sent to all program directors of NAACLS, CAAHEP, and ABHES accredited/approved programs as well as BOC documented structured phlebotomy and MLA training programs on October 27, 2020. The invoice amount is $150 per program and covers the period of January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021. Payment instructions are included on the invoice. See PPR Information below for complete instructions.

 

Update from the Board of Governors Meeting

The ASCP Board of Certification Board of Governors met via Zoom on September 11. Editorial changes, to simplify and clarify language and for consistency, were made to many eligibility routes. In addition, ASCPi Specialist and Histotechnologist eligibilities were revised to allow for candidates with either ASCP or ASCPi certification to apply. Updated eligibility requirements can be found by November 1 on the website. www.ascp.org/certification

 

Revised Examination Content Guidelines

Examination Content Guidelines for the MB/SMB, SCYM, and QIHC exams administered beginning January 1, 2021, have been revised. The revised content guidelines are currently available on the Get Credentialed page of the BOC website.

 

Update for PBT and MLA Application Requirements

An applicant must be able to verify that they meet all eligibility requirements, including proof of high school graduation or equivalent. A percentage of applications are audited monthly.

Beginning July 1, 2020, any PBT, DPT, or MLA applications that are audited will require the applicant to submit official verification of high school graduation or equivalency in order to be eligible to sit for the examination.

Beginning January 1, 2021, all applicants will be required to submit official transcripts to verify high school graduation or equivalency in order to meet the eligibility requirements. Acceptance into a program or institution does not verify the meeting of this academic requirement.

Complete information is available on the ASCP BOC website at www.ascp.org/boc/transcript. If you have questions about verifying high school graduation or equivalency, please email us at PDInfo@ascp.org.

 

New eligibility routes available for the Qualification in Biorepository Science, QBRS

Additional eligibility routes have been added for the QBRS to allow for a wider audience of applicants. For complete information, visit http://www.ascp.org/boc/qbrs.

 

Certification in Donor Phlebotomy Transitioning to a Qualification in 2022

The current certification for Technologist in Donor Phlebotomy, DPT(ASCP) will be transitioning to the Qualification in Donor Phlebotomy, QDP, as of January 2022. Complete information is available here: www.ascp.org/boc/dpt and www.ascp.org/boc/qdp.

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Applications and Documentation

For complete information, see the ASCP BOC COVID-19 document.

 

Submitting Documentation*

The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) is temporarily requesting that all documentation, including official transcripts, be submitted electronically. Official transcripts for U.S. categories must be sent directly from a student's academic institution to Transcripts.boc@ascp.org. The ASCP BOC is working with both Parchment and National Student Clearinghouse to receive electronic transcripts more efficiently. The ASCP BOC COVID-19 document will be updated with more specific information and instructions as they become available.

If submitting electronic transcripts, please make sure your students are aware of the security features your institution implements. Official transcript must remain accessible for the processing of an application and maintained as part of an applicant's permanent record. If access to an electronic transcript expires, in order to complete their application, your students may be required to purchase and submit another official transcript to the ASCP BOC.

If your institution is unable to submit transcripts or documents electronically, please mail them to the address below. Please note that there will be an additional delay of 2 weeks in the processing of all documents submitted through the mail.

ASCP BOC
Attention: Jackie Sanders
33 W. Monroe St, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603

 

Timeline for Processing of Applications

We appreciate your patience throughout the application process. ASCP BOC staff receive a high volume of documents and transcripts daily. All documents, including transcripts, are continuously processed as received.

Please review the ASCP BOC COVID-19 document for the most current information.

 

Exam Results

Immediately after completing the certification examination, your students will see their preliminary results on the computer screen, indicated as "Pass" or "Fail." Within four business days, students will receive an email notification to log in to see their score report if their transcript has been fully processed by the ASCP BOC.

Any student who takes the certification examination without submitting a final academic transcript at the time of application will not receive access to their score report. As program director, encourage these students to submit their final transcripts verifying completion of the academic requirements within one year of their examination date. As a courtesy, monthly email reminders will be sent to these students reminding them to submit their official transcript to the BOC office. If their transcript is not received within one year of their examination date, their examination score will be invalidated and they will not be certified.

Students who have failed the exam are given subtest scores in order to help them focus their studying. Subtest scores are not provided to students who passed the exam because it does not serve a useful purpose, and we ask that you do not share this level of information with them.

*United States only

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Program Completion

Program Requirements

The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) understands there is a lot of uncertainty at this time concerning the impact of COVID-19 and the ability for students to finish the didactic and/or clinical requirements of their program. Unfortunately, many programs are faced with this challenge with no clear-cut resolution. We recommend you join the BOC Program Director's Facebook group as a place to share ideas with other program directors who are dealing with similar situations. For specific questions regarding programs, please reach out to your accrediting agency. (www.abhes.org; www.caahep.org; www.naacls.org)

The ASCP BOC is committed to upholding the standards of certification; no changes to eligibility requirements are being made during this time. The ASCP BOC will work with individuals on a case-by-case basis as needed to ensure that we are doing everything we can to manage this ongoing and rapidly evolving situation.

 

Review the Online Application

Before your students begin to apply, we encourage you to review the online application in order to better answer questions from your students. Log in to your ASCP account to apply without entering payment information. We encourage you to take screen shots to share with students and highlight any potential difficulties. Once saved, your application will remain in your account for six months. In addition, make sure to watch the video that walks applicants through the online application process at www.ascp.org/certification If you need assistance or have questions, email us at PDInfo@ascp.org.

 

Applying for an ASCP BOC Certification Exam – How and When Students Should Apply

Students should apply for an ASCP BOC certification exam no more than six weeks before program completion. If a student is uncertain about when they will be able to complete all components of the program, including clinical rotations, they should hold off on applying until they have a clearer timeframe.

Please make sure that your students know the correct date of their program completion, which is not necessarily the same as their graduation date. Students should enter their program completion date in the online application. Have students watch the application video, available here: www.ascp.org/certification

Applications are processed on a continual basis, as they are received in office. See the ASCP BOC COVID-19 document for the most up to date information regarding timelines.

 

Exam Eligibility Verification (EEV) Report*

Please remember to check your email for notifications of Examination Eligibility Verification (EEV) Reports to review. You may log in to your individual ASCP account from anywhere you have access to the Internet.

The ASCP BOC has always encouraged program directors to not sign off on a student's eligibility until they are certain they will meet all components of the program, including clinicals and final exams, by the date indicated on the student's application. This is even more vital during this time.

If you have already signed off on a student's eligibility, and have since learned they will not complete their program by the date indicated, please immediately email Angela Nunn, Assistant Manager of Application Processing, at angela.nunn@ascp.org.

Please note: If the program end date entered by the student is within a week after their actual program completion date, it does not need to be updated on the EEV. Updating a program end date can add up to a week to the processing time of the application, so please be sure your students are aware of their correct program end date.

Your students will not be able to schedule appointments to take the examination until you sign off on their eligibility through the EEV.

 

Scheduling Exams at a Pearson VUE Testing Location

The status of Pearson VUE test delivery may change due to the spread of COVID-19. Please be assured that the ASCP BOC is in constant communication with Pearson VUE. Students should check the Pearson COVID-19 page often for updates.

Please be aware that testing centers are following all federal, state, and local guidelines around COVID-19, which may also impact capacity limits. We understand that you'd like your students to test as soon as possible after program completion. As soon as they receive their Admission Notification, your students should go online to schedule their exam through the Pearson site. All available testing dates and locations will be found through the Pearson site.

As of May 12, 2020, all candidates are required to wear a face mask or facial covering for the duration of their time at a Pearson VUE testing location, including while taking the exam. It is the candidate's responsibility to bring a face mask or facial covering that fully covers the nose and mouth. If a candidate appears at the test center without a mask, they may be denied testing and will need to reapply and submit a new application fee to test at a later date. Review the latest health and safety requirements at Pearson VUE test centers regularly.

 

Valid Identification at Pearson VUE – short term exceptions

It is understood that candidates may have an expired ID as many facilities at which they would renew their government issued IDs have been, or remain, closed due to COVID-19. The ASCP BOC and Pearson VUE will accept expired IDs from candidates at this time and until further notice. Check the ASCP BOC COVID-19 page often for updates.

 

Use of Pass/Fail Grades*

We understand that some institutions are investigating the use of Pass/Fail grades during this time. Note that the ASCP BOC has always accepted the use of "Pass" on an official transcript in lieu of a passing grade, provided the quarter or semester hour credits assigned to the course are also indicated.

*United States only

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Ethics and the Appropriate Use of Social Media

ASCP BOC Examination Questions - Copyright and Ethics Violations

ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) examinations are protected by copyright law. When your students apply for certification, they agree to adhere to the following statement stating, in part:

"I understand that this examination and all test questions are the exclusive property of the Board of Certification and are protected by copyright law. Because of the confidential nature of these copyright materials, I agree not to retain, copy, disclose or reveal any part of these examination materials . . ."

The ASCP BOC monitors the web and social media sites regularly for individuals or groups who claim to have questions from ASCP BOC examinations. These are sometimes called recalls, remembrances or brain dumps. Individuals who contribute to these sites, or share examination items in any manner, are infringing on the ASCP BOC's exclusive copyrights.

Be aware that students who reveal specific information from the examination, such as recalling examination questions and responses, to their peers and instructors are committing copyright infringement. If certificants are found to be in violation, their certification will be revoked; all individuals found to be in violation will be barred permanently from taking any ASCP BOC examination.

 

Ethics Reminders

An ethics reminder has been added to all exams republished in 2020 as well as the MLT and MLS exams. Examinees must agree to a statement at the end of their examination that they will not share exam items and that they understand this is a violation of copyright. Also, beginning in January 2020, students will receive an email the day after their exam to remind them that they have signed multiple pledges stating that they will not share exam material. In both of these reminders it is clearly laid out that if examinees share this type of information, and are caught doing so, they may have their certification revoked and be permanently barred from taking an ASCP BOC examination in the future.

 

Posting of Certificates on Social Media

Please inform your students not to post images of their wall certificates or ASCP BOC documentation on social media. While we appreciate their enthusiasm and pride in becoming certified, these images can be used by unscrupulous individuals to misrepresent themselves as being certified. To protect the integrity of ASCP BOC credentials and records, and for patient safety and welfare, it is important for individuals to protect their certificates from misuse. Please share the following with your students:

  • Do not share your wall certificate, score report, or ASCP Member ID card (if applicable) with anyone.
  • Do not post a copy or image of your wall certificate, score report, or ASCP Member ID card (if applicable) on the Internet or social media.

For complete information, please visit our website.

 

Integrity Pledges

Please remind your students not to share information from the examination with anyone. Several program directors have instituted Integrity Pledges that students sign which explicitly state that sharing of exam content is an ethical violation. Please email us at PDInfo@ascp.org if you would like examples of these pledges.

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PPR Information

Program Performance Report (PPR)*

The 2021 PPR invoice amount is $150 per program and covers access to all current and previous data for the period of January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021. An email will be sent on October 27, 2020 with a link to the 2021 invoice. Payment instructions are included on the invoice.

Instructions for Electronic Payments
If your Accounts Payable Department will be submitting payment electronically, please work with your colleagues to ensure that the order number is included with the electronic payment. To help ensure that your payment is applied to the correct order, please email PDInfo@ascp.org and provide the date the electronic payment was sent, the name that appears as the sender, tracking details, and any other identifying information. Not following these procedures may result in significant processing delays, during which time you will not have access to PPR data.

If you would like a receipt to confirm payment, please send your request to PDInfo@ascp.org; a receipt will be emailed to you within 3-5 business days.

Please note that your PPR invoice must be paid by Jan. 1, 2021, to access data for previous years. If you believe your invoice has been paid, please log in to your account to ensure that you have access to PPR data. For complete information, see pages 30 - 34 of the Program Director's Guide.

If you have questions, please contact us at PDInfo@ascp.org.

 

Access to Program Performance Reports for Faculty*

If there is someone other than the program director who should also have access to the PPR information, please email PDInfo@ascp.org with the name of the institution, school code, and name and email address of the individual(s) who should have PPR access. Please note that the Program Director will remain the only person able to access the Exam Eligibility Verification (EEV) to verify students' completion of the program.

 

Do You Have Students Missing From Your PPR or EEV Reports?*

When your students complete the online application, please remind them to use the drop-down list of programs to select the program they completed. Some schools have programs in multiple cities or states. Please advise your students to make sure they choose the correct program in the correct location. Students should not enter the name of the program manually as the school name will not be recognized, and these students' names will not appear on your PPR or EEV reports. If your program is not listed, please let us know immediately by contacting us at PDInfo@ascp.org.

*United States only

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Important Information for Students

Important Information for Students in California and New York

Please ensure that your students become certified and complete the examination for state licensure by applying for certification and licensure on the online application. If students apply for licensure only, they will be required to reapply for certification and take the certification examination. By applying for and taking the certification examination, their examination scores are acceptable for licensure in California and New York. All other state licensure requirements must be met to obtain state licensure. For additional information, see the CA and NY NAACLS student information form. For complete information, please visit our website: State Licensure.

 

Applicants Requesting Modifications Due to a Disability

If any of your students require a modification due to a disability, your students must notify our office in writing before they apply. Complete information is available on our website.

 

Official Transcripts*

Students from NAACLS, CAAHEP, and ABHES accredited/approved programs are able to sit for their BOC exam one time prior to official transcripts being received and processed by the ASCP BOC.

If a degree is required to meet eligibility requirements, please remind your students to request an official college/university transcript be sent to the ASCP BOC. This official transcript is required before examination scores are made available. Please note that students are not certified until their transcript is received and processed by the ASCP BOC.

During this time, the ASCP BOC is requesting that all official transcripts be submitted electronically; Check the ASCP BOC COVID-19 document for the most up to date information. All transcripts must be sent directly from the institution. Please view complete official transcript requirements here: Official Transcript

If submitting electronic transcripts, please make sure your students are aware of the security features your institution implements. An applicant's official transcript must remain accessible for the processing of the application and maintained as part of the applicant's permanent record. If access to an electronic transcript expires, in order to complete their application, your students may be required to purchase and submit another official transcript to the ASCP BOC.

If your institution is unable to submit transcripts electronically paper copies should be mailed to the address below through regular mail. Please note that there will be an additional delay of 2 weeks in the processing of all documents submitted through the mail.

ASCP BOC
Attn: Jackie Sanders
33 West Monroe St., Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60603

 

Mailing Documentation Forms and Payment*

We understand that some programs pay the application fee for multiple students at one time. For complete information, see the Program Director's section of the website. Payment information, invoices, and checks, should be mailed to:

ASCP Board of Certification
3462 Eagle Way
Chicago, IL 60678

*United States only

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Get Involved!

Program Directors Group on Facebook

If you haven't already, please join the ASCP BOC Program Director's Group on Facebook. The group is for directors of NAACLS, CAAHEP, and ABHES-accredited or approved laboratory programs, as well as education and clinical coordinators and faculty, whose students seek ASCP BOC certification. Supported by volunteers with several years of program experience, the group aims to become the program director's resource for information and support.

 

BOC Facebook Page

In addition to the Program Director's Group, the ASCP BOC also has a Facebook page. You can follow the page to see the BOC Study Guide Question of the Week and to follow what is happening with the ASCP BOC.

 

Certification Exam Committees and Qualification Work Groups*

All ASCP BOC Examination Committees and Work Groups consist of laboratory professionals representing broad geographic regions of the United States and laboratory facilities of various types and sizes. They are responsible for the development, maintenance, and evaluation of exam items, as well as setting the standards for exams and performing job task analysis. To review the current Exam Committee and Work Group openings and submit an application, please visit the BOC Volunteer page.

*United States only

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Program Director Resources

Educational Resources Available Online*

The ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) has compiled a list of educational resources from a number of different social media channels. These resources are being brought to U.S. and Canadian program directors and educators to help support programs and students during the transition to distance education. This material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by the ASCP BOC. Check back often as this list is updated regularly; it can be found here: www.ascp.org/boc/pd/resources. If you have additions or corrections to this resource list, please contact us at PDInfo@ascp.org.

 

Annual Exam Statistics Available Online

2019 ASCP BOC examination statistics are available here: Annual Exam Statistics. See information about 2019 examinees, including NAACLS/CAAHEP/ABHES first-time pass rate, as well as the total number of certificants in all categories. Information is available for US and International certifications as well as qualifications.

 

Changes in Program Director or Program Information

Please be sure to notify the ASCP BOC office at PDInfo@ascp.org if there has been, or will soon be, a change in program director. Please also let us know if any of your program information changes such as email address, program status, name of institution, or mailing address.

For program directors from international countries, and for questions regarding ASCPi certification, please email Angela Sreckovic at Angela.Sreckovic@ascp.org.

 

Program Director's Guide to Certification*

The updated Program Director's Guide to Certification contains information about ASCP BOC exams, a useful Application Timeline, detailed information about how to best help your students before and after the examination, and complete information about the EEV and PPR. Find it here.

 

Understanding ASCP BOC Certification Examinations

Brief explanations on a variety of topics related to the ASCP BOC certification examinations are available here.

 

How to Locate Your Certification Number

If you need to locate your certification number, you may access it by logging in to your ASCP account and clicking on "Home Page" under "My BOC Activities." Then click on the "View Certifications" link.

If you require primary source verification of your certification, you can place an order through our website at Verification of Certification. There is a $16 charge for this service.

 

Structured Training Programs in Blood Banking, Chemistry, Hematology, and Microbiology

Do you have a NAACLS accredited Medical Laboratory Science training program? If so, have you ever considered offering a separate structured program in a single categorical area for students who may not have the time or money to complete a full MLS program? Individuals who complete structured training programs in a single area under the auspices of a NAACLS accredited MLS program, with the requisite academic education, qualify for a technologist examination in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, or microbiology under Route 3. See detailed information on the structured program requirements.

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ASCP Board of Certification Contacts:

Please contact the following individuals if you have questions or concerns regarding:

U.S. application processing

Angela Nunn at Angela.Nunn@ascp.org

Program Director inquiries (U.S. only)

PDInfo@ascp.org

International certification

Angela Sreckovic at Angela.Sreckovic@ascp.org

Share eLinks
Feel free to forward eLinks to Education Coordinators or other program officials who might benefit from the information included in this Newsletter.

Having Difficulty Receiving Emails?
Please add ascp@site02.ascpmail.org to your "safe" email list. This will ensure that emails regarding Program Performance Reports (PPRs), Examination Eligibility Verification (EEV) reports, and this newsletter will be delivered directly to you, and not to spam or junk mail.

Also, make sure that you have opted in to receiving BOC emails. Log in to your ASCP account and choose "Profile and Settings." From there, choose "Communications" to review your preferences. Please make sure that "Board of Certification" is not checked.

Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions or comments on the information contained in this issue, please email us at PDInfo@ascp.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

*UNITED STATES ONLY