As of January 1, 2023, Certified Point-of-Care Professionals (CPP diplomates) are required to renew their certification every three years by submitting documentation for 36 hours of continuing education and paying a $75 USD processing fee.
Certification renewal is the process of providing evidence of this continuing education and submitting processing fee payment at the end of each three-year certification period. Certification renewal ensures that certified practitioners undergo continuous learning and periodic evaluation through participation in continuing education. This participation also demonstrates CPP diplomates’ ability to stay up to date with advances and changes in the field.
CPP diplomates have a three-year certification period that begins on January 1, of the year immediately following their initial certification and ends on December 31, of the third year of certification period.
For example, an individual that passed the exam in the November 2019 exam period would have an initial certification period that starts on January 1, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2022. Certification renewal documentation and payment must be completed by the end of this certification period. Future certification periods would continue as three-year periods.
Certification Period Example
- Initial Certification: November 2022
- Initial Certification Period Start: January 1, 2023
- Initial Certification Period End: December 31, 2025
(documentation and payment due)
- Next Certification Period: January 1, 2026 – December 31, 2028
(documentation and payment due)
The CPP diplomate is responsible for being aware of the start and end of their current certification period. Consider setting calendar reminders and/or alerts prior to the end of your current certification period to ensure you do not miss key deadlines. Please contact [email protected] with questions regarding your certification period.
Diplomates Certified Prior to January 1, 2023
All CPP diplomates certified prior to January 1, 2023, begin their initial certification period on January 1, 2023, and end their initial certification period will be on December 31, 2025.
Continuing Education Requirements
At the end of the certification period, CPP diplomates are required to document 36 hours of continuing education during their current certification period. The 36 hours will include POCT specific education (Category 1; 24 hours minimum) and may also include general laboratory medicine education (Category 2; 12 hours maximum).
Continuing education hours generally equate to an equivalent number of contact hours or CE credit. AACC’s ACCENT credit and ACCME’s CME credit are commonly accepted types of CE credit.
There may be other acceptable accreditation programs and CE credits. Any accreditation program being considered should be well-established and well-recognized in the field. This can be determined by history, breadth, and acceptance by other organizations or bureaus as valid education currency. The program should also have established processes to prevent bias, ensure scientific integrity, and relevancy to clinical laboratory practice. The accreditation statement and mission statement are especially important to determining whether the CE credit is relevant to diplomate audiences. Contact [email protected] if you have questions about a specific accreditation program or corresponding CE credits.
Required Continuing education
|Category 1: 24 credit minimum
POCT specific CE from an accredited provider.
|Category 2: 12 credits maximum
General laboratory CE from professional activities OR an accredited provider.
At a minimum, diplomates must submit evidence of participating in CE that is specific to the POCT field. Diplomates may submit more than the minimum required. Excess category 1 credits may be applied to category 2 requirements.
Category 1 credits must be from education activities that are specific to the POCT field such as education on POCT method validation, quality control, detection of analytes, testing reports, competency assessment, device training, instrument maintenance, or leadership and management.
Any category 1 credits submitted beyond the 24 credit minimum may be applied to the category 2 requirements.
Category 2 credits may be from professional activities or from accredited providers that cover the wider range of laboratory medicine. Category 2 credits recognize the broader integration of POCT in laboratory medicine and the need to stay up to date in general laboratory practice. Activities may cover general or specific topics throughout laboratory medicine.
The following are examples of common accredited activities. This list is not fully inclusive.
- Grand rounds
- Journal clubs
- National of international meetings
- Scientific conferences and/or workshops
- Seminar series
- Online certificate programs
- Online courses
The following are examples of non-common accredited professional activities. This list is not fully inclusive.
- Non-accredited journal clubs, conferences, online courses, webinars, or seminars
- Non-accredit seminars or teaching delivered by the diplomate
- Publication authored by the diplomate (4 hours for primary author; 2 hours for co-author)
- Technical exhibit of scientific content such as a poster or session presented at a conference (2 hours for primary presenter)
Required Information for Documentation
Is it required that any activity submitted for certification renewal be certified for CE credit by an accredited provider or be within the list of acceptable professional activities. Documentation of participation can be represented by many forms of verification that includes certificate of completion, transcripts, registration / participation email, or event materials. Documentation should contain at a minimum:
- Diplomate’s name
- Activity title
- Name of the organizing entity delivering the activity
- Date(s) of the activity
- Date(s) of diplomate participation
- Number of actual hours attended or CE credits claiming for the activity
- Attestation that the diplomate attended (this can be the provider or organizer statement of participation on a certificate of completion)
For non-accredited professional activities, the following are examples of documentation that diplomates may provide as evidence of participation.
- Syllabus of the seminar or course with the diplomate name and date delivered.
- Publication and/or citation with the diplomate name and publication date.
- Program or meeting guide with title of presentation and diplomate name with date presented.
At present, it is the responsibility of the CPP diplomate to maintain records and evidence of participation in continuing education during their current certification period.
We are actively working to finalize partnership with a tracking platform that diplomates would be able to use to upload documentation. Diplomates are responsible for maintaining their records and evidence of participation in continuing education until such a platform is available. As a reminder, regardless of the CE tracking platform, diplomates are required to have these records available for upload and/or audit purposes.
Submitting Processing Fee
Diplomates are required to submit an online payment of $75 USD for certification renewal processing. A link to the online payment will be made available to diplomates approximately one month prior to the end of each certification period. Payment is not available throughout the year to prevent unintentional advance payment and ensure certification periods are maintained accurately.
An order receipt is automatically sent to the diplomate’s account email. Diplomate’s may also view and download the receipt by signing into your AACC account. Once signed in, go to “My Profile” and then “Order History.” Select the appropriate item and then “Print Invoice.” As a reminder, orders are processed by AACC (the administrative support of transactions).
At the end of each certification period, a portion of diplomates are chosen at random to assess the documentation submitted to ensure it meets the requirements for continuing education in certification renewal.
The audit process is not meant to alarm any diplomate selected. It can be thought of as a quality control check among the many diplomates. Members of the POCT Professional Certification Credentials Subcommittee oversee the audit process. These individuals will review the individual documentation submitted. If there are any questions or additional information needed, they will contact the diplomate directly. The diplomate may be requested to submit additional documentation, clarify the activity or participation details, or provide corrections to incorrectly submitted materials. If the audit process reveals errors or issues that are not readily resolved, the reviewer(s) will work to develop a mitigation plan if possible.
As a certifying body, the audit process helps us to describe and define to external groups how the specialty ensures appropriate and required continuing education takes place.
Lapsed Diplomates and Missed Renewals
There are many reasons a diplomate may miss the deadline for certification renewal. Our goal is to facilitate a return to active status as soon as possible.
A diplomate will become “LAPSED” if they do not fulfill all the requirements of certification renewal within 30 days of the end of the current certification period. Lapsed diplomates will remain listed in the directory of diplomates but cannot receive a letter of verification of active status and may not be eligible to serve roles that require CPP certification. Lapsed diplomates may remain lapsed for up to three years (i.e., an entire certification period) following the conclusion of the diplomate’s most recent certification period.
As an example, a diplomate whose certification renewal ends on December 31, 2025, will be considered lapsed on February 1, 2026, if the CE documentation and/or payment of processing fee are not submitted. The diplomate will remain lapsed until these steps are completed. The deadline to complete these steps and reinstate active status would be December 31, 2028.
To reinstate active diplomate status, the individual must submit all outstanding CE documentation and pay all outstanding processing fees. This may require contacting the administrator by email at [email protected] to ensure CE documentation can be submitted and that they receive the appropriate payment form.