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Standards Update: Continuing education

by Dennis Ernst • January 11, 2018

The newly revised venipuncture standard released by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute in April, 2017 is the most comprehensive revision in the document's history. With over 140 new mandates, facilities have a lot of changes to implement. This series discusses one or more substantive changes each month.

GP41_cover_400w Do you participate in continuing education (CE) exercises in phlebotomy? If not, it's no longer optional. 

As of April, 2017 when the revised venipuncture standard was released, those who do not complete continuing education exercises and engage in professional development are not in compliance with the standard. The standard does not require employers to provide CE credit, but requires CE exercises to be documented for employees who performs venipunctures.

Because continuing education is associated with competence, attorneys representing patients who claim to be injured during venipuncture procedures invariably check employment records for indications the facility is ensuring competency among its personnel. Now that CE is a standards requirement, failing to meet this requirement not only suggest incompetence, but falls beneath the standard of care.


  1. CLSI. Collection of Diagnostic Venous Blood Specimens---Approved Standard, GP41-A7. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, Wayne, Pennsylvania. 2017.

Editor's note: Readers are urged to obtain their own copy of the standard as soon as possible and begin implementing all new provisions. The document, Collection of Diagnostic Venous Blood Specimens (GP41-A7), is the standard to which all facilities will be held if a patient is injured during the procedure or suffers from the consequences of an improperly performed venipuncture.

Read an interview by CLP Magazine with Dennis J. Ernst MT(ASCP), NCPT(NCCT) about the revised standard.

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