How CDC Enhances Laboratory Science & Quality

CDC Lab Workers

CDC laboratories follow our pledge to produce the highest quality scientific data, while ensuring the safety of its staff and the nation.

Supporting CDC Laboratories in Laboratory Quality Efforts

CDC laboratories conduct unique science and provide critical health information that protects the U.S. against dangerous health threats. High quality laboratory science is essential for CDC to meet its mission.

Science generated or supported by CDC’s laboratories forms the basis of critical public health decision making and policy. CDC has a responsibility to ensure that all CDC laboratory research and development activities, testing processes, and data are the highest quality possible and are traceable, reproducible, and documented with appropriate rigor.

To protect, support and enhance the quality and rigor of the diverse public health science areas covered by CDC, laboratory activities, including environmental health and worker safety, have achieved accreditation to international quality standards including ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17043. In 2017, laboratory accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 was expanded for inclusion of CDC infectious disease laboratories in support of regulatory compliance and other clinical accreditations.

In 2019, CDC enacted an agency-wide laboratory quality management policy. This policy formalizes CDC’s commitment to scientific excellence and safety by establishing requirements for all 200-plus CDC laboratories to be accredited, certified, or independently assessed based on quality standards and quality system requirements. Implementing this policy will help CDC laboratories prevent, detect, and remedy errors; increase efficiency; and create safer work environments for laboratory scientists and staff.

To highlight the agency’s commitment to laboratory quality and scientific excellence, CDC’s Office of Laboratory Science and Safety launched the Committed to Quality campaign. This internal awareness campaign was developed to support the laboratory quality management policy, and brings awareness to the importance of quality management systems as foundational elements for protecting and enhancing CDC’s scientific excellence. The campaign tagline, “It’s the CDC way,” is a reminder that quality is an integral part of CDC’s culture.

Building Laboratory Quality Capacity

CDC also has ongoing targeted activities to build capacity and advance laboratory quality management across the agency, including piloting electronic tools for the advancement of laboratory quality system management in CDC laboratories.

CDC also sponsors and hosts new initiatives and training to encourage laboratory scientist networking and promote cross-cutting concepts.

Page last reviewed: July 24, 2018