Free Educational Materials for Public Health and Clinical Laboratories

CDC’s Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS) has collaborated with public health and clinical laboratory partners to develop online educational materials on a variety of laboratory topics. These materials—training courses, tools, and other resources—are designed to help laboratory professionals and healthcare providers learn and use recommended practices for quality laboratory services. All training courses and other materials are free, and continuing education (CE) credits are available for many courses. See what DLS has to offer and find out how the division can help meet training and professional development needs.

Browse DLS training courses at www.cdc.gov/labtraining.

Waived Tests

Waived tests include test systems cleared by FDA for home use and tests approved for waiver under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) criteria. DLS offers a variety of educational resources for performing waived testing.

  • Self-Assessment ChecklistCdc-pdf
    Focuses on recommended practices for physicians, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, and others who perform patient testing under a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. It is a tool to help assure good testing practices and reliable, high-quality test results.
  • To Test or Not to Test? BookletCdc-pdf
    Spanish versionCdc-pdf
    Prepares laboratory professionals who implement and oversee waived testing, or offer a new test under a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. The booklet contains tips, reminders, resources, and forms with examples for use at the testing site.
  • Ready? Set? Test! BookletCdc-pdf
    Spanish VersionCdc-pdf
    Describes recommended practices for physicians, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, and others who perform patient testing under a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. The booklet contains tips, reminders, resources, along with forms and examples for use at the testing site.
  • Ready? Set? Test! Online Course
    Encourages reliable, high-quality testing and enhances patient safety by outlining the waived testing process step-by-step.

In 2005, CDC’s Division of Laboratory Systems (previously known as the Division of Laboratory Science and Standards), published the MMWR Recommendations and Reports on “Good Laboratory Practices for Waived Testing Sites.” The recommendations in this report are intended to be a resource for physicians, nurses, and others who perform waived tests in sites holding a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) Certificate of Waiver. The recommendations were published to promote quality testing, reduce testing errors, and enhance patient safety.

Certain moderate complexity microscopic tests that do not meet the criteria for waiver can be performed as provider-performed microscopy (PPM) procedures by physicians and other trained healthcare providers during a patient visit. The educational booklet Provider-Performed Microscopy Procedures: A Focus on Quality Practices reviews the regulatory requirements, provides sample forms, and shows images of common findings for the nine specific microscopic examinations that may be performed under a CLIA Certificate of PPM procedures.

The IQCP approach allows laboratories to customize a quality control plan for their unique testing environment that meets CLIA regulatory requirements. DLS offers Developing an IQCP: A Step-by-Step Guide to help laboratory professionals create and implement an IQCP. This workbook assists in developing an IQCP for one or more test systems. It includes a step-by-step process, using examples, for developing an IQCP that can be sustained and modified over time. It shows how to evaluate current quality activities and create a worksheet that can be used to complete IQCP documentation. The approach outlined in the workbook is neither mandatory nor the only format for documentation, but it is a useful example.

Clinical Laboratory Integration into Healthcare Collaborative (CLIHC) Podcast

The CLIHC podcast “Communicating and Collaborating For the Right Lab Test and Diagnosis” aims to help healthcare providers and laboratory professionals make informed decisions about appropriate laboratory testing. At the end of the podcast, listeners should be able to

  • Describe at least one diagnostic error related to coagulation testing
  • Identify at least two clinical laboratory challenges experienced by physicians
  • List two ways to improve team-based care among laboratory professionals and physicians

Read a flyer about the podcast. Cdc-pdf[PDF – 325 KB]

Page last reviewed: November 15, 2018