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ASCP BOC International Advisory Board members at the 30th World Congress of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS) in Germany.

ASCP BOC Reaches Out to International Volunteers at IFBLS Conference in Berlin

Monday, September 10, 2012

What are ways to encourage medical laboratory professionals to take the ASCP International Certification exam? How do professionals in other countries perceive becoming ASCPi credentialed?

Those were some of the questions raised at a dinner that ASCP Board of Certification (BOC) hosted for members of its International Advisory Boards, who attended the 30th World Congress of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS), held Aug. 18–22 in Berlin, Germany.

“Our volunteers from Korea and Philippines served as our experts at the dinner. They shared ideas with volunteers on newer International Advisory Boards in Greece and India.”
— Jennifer Young, CT(ASCP)CM

“The members of the various Advisory Boards spoke about the importance of having an international certification, the details of the examination, future plans for specialties, and ways that every board promotes the ASCPi certification,” Dionysis Vourtsis, who serves on the ASCP BOC Advisory Board for Greece, said.

This event marked the first ASCP hosted dinner for International Advisory Board members during the IFBLS biennial conference, providing an opportunity for volunteers to meet and exchange ideas. In addition to Greece, this year’s participants represented India, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

“Our volunteers from Korea and Philippines served as our experts at the dinner,” said Jennifer Young, CT(ASCP)CMASCP Board of Certification’s Senior Manager for International Certification. “They shared ideas with volunteers on newer International Advisory Boards in Greece and India. Preparing for ASCP International certification examinations has been a challenge for some. The Advisory Boards for the Philippines and Korea have designed study sessions around preparing for the certification exam and they spoke about that. The Advisory Boards for Korea and the Philippines were established in 2006, and are the longest serving of the BOC Advisory Boards.

"IFBLS is also a good source of contacts of people who are excellent volunteers on these boards.”

In addition, it provides an opportunity to identify individuals who might like to serve on or establish a board in their own country. At the conference, Ms. Young met with an individual who inquired about establishing an advisory board in Croatia. 

Ms. Young attended the conference, along with ASCP President C. Bruce Alexander, MD, FASCP, and Patricia Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM, Executive Director of the ASCP BOC. Dr. Alexander spoke about the globalization of laboratory medicine as part of a panel discussion sponsored by Abbott Laboratories.

The BOC International Advisory Boards were first established in 2006 to help promote international certification in other countries. The ASCPi credential certifies professional competency among new and practicing laboratory professionals in an effort to strengthen standards of patient safety worldwide. Graduates of medical laboratory science programs outside the United States are challenged with content that mirrors the standards of excellence established by ASCP exams.

Leila Florento, MS, PhD, RMT (PRC), who represents the International Advisory Board for the Philippines, said her board performs all functions, such as providing advocacy to students in schools, holding seminars, answering queries, and certifying applicants. She asked how the role of the ASCP International Ambassadors differs from that of the Advisory Board members. 

Ms. Tanabe and Ms. Young explained that the International Ambassador's role is to help in the promotion and advocacy of ASCPi. Ms. Young noted that the role of the International Ambassador is being redefined.

Ms. Young noted that ASCP will have an opportunity to meet with more of its Advisory Board volunteers when it attends the ASEAN Conference of Clinical Laboratory Science (ACCLS), Nov. 27–30 in the Philippines.