How CDC Enhances Laboratory Quality

CDC Laboratory Quality

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 United States against dangerous health threats. High quality laboratory science is essential for CDC to meet its mission.

Scientific data 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, documented with appropriate rigor, and meet all applicable regulatory requirements.

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

Additionally, as part of CDC’s commitment to scientific excellence and quality, CDC is requiring all of its laboratories to achieve accreditation to competency-based technical standards by October 1, 2024. Implementing this directive will build upon the successes of those laboratories already accredited, and will help all CDC laboratories protect, support, and enhance the quality and rigor of the agency’s diverse public health science areas. Accreditation will assure that CDC laboratories have implemented laboratory quality management systems to reduce risk and improve science through quality planning, quality control, and continual improvement.

Learn how CDC is improving laboratory quality after issues with its original test for SARS-CoV-2.

Building Laboratory Quality Capacity

CDC 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 provides trainings for laboratory scientists at the agency, in domestic and international public health laboratories, and in clinical laboratories.

A CDC laboratory training facility prepares scientists for future work with infectious agents by training on required safety measures at all biosafety levels, including in two mock high-containment laboratory settings, Biosafety Levels 3 and 4.

CDC is committed to ensuring that Americans can rely on the agency to protect the public’s health and produce accurate, evidence-based science.

Page last reviewed: June 7, 2021