ASCPI vs ASCP

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ASCP Certification for International Candidates

The American Society for Clinical Pathology offers many credentials for laboratory technicians, technologists and other professionals at all stages of their careers. Certification is earned through a combination of education, practical work experience and a passing score on a credentialing exam. Earning an ASCP credential is a great way to demonstrate to your employers and peers that you are competent, knowledgeable and dedicated to your career. Although the ASCP is based in the United States, you do not have to be a United States citizen to be eligible for certification.

If you were educated outside the country, you can earn an international ASCP credential, or ASCPi. ASCPi certifications mirror the standards set by the ASCP and carry the same credential maintenance requirements as ASCP certifications. Also, the contents on corresponding ASCP and ASCPi exams are identical, and most ASCP credentials have an ASCPi equivalent, save for the following exceptions:

No international equivalent available (ASCP only)

  • Donor Phlebotomy Technician, DPT
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant, MLA
  • Pathologist's Assistant, PA
  • Diplomate in Laboratory Management, DLM

Not for practice in the United States (ASCPi only)

  • International Cytotechnologist, CT
  • International Cytotechnologist in Gynecologic Cytology, CTgyn
  • International Specialist in Cytotechnology, SCT

ASCP and ASCPi Eligibility Requirements

ASCPi credentials will have slightly different (but equivalent) requirements for eligibility. Let's take a closer look at how eligibility requirements for a specific ASCPi credential can differ from those for an equivalent ASCP credential.

Requirements Histotechnician, HT(ASCP) International Histotechnician, HT(ASCPi)
Option 1: Histotechnician program accredited by the NAACLS (completed within the last five years) Accredited training program and internship in histotechnology
Option 2: Education An associate degree or at least 60 semester hours (12 of which must include biology and chemistry) from an accredited college or university A two-year, accredited diploma program
Option 2: Work Experience One year of full-time experience in an accredited histopathology laboratory (within the last five years) One year of experience in an accredited histopathology laboratory

One of the key differences is that ASCPi certification tends to eliminate specific time and credit hour requirements as these may vary from country to country. Also, different countries have different accreditation boards, which the ASCP's Board of Certification will take into account when determining eligibility. Generally speaking, programs must be accredited by your country's governing regulatory board or approved by an ASCP-appointed International Advisory Board. Otherwise, ASCP may determine eligibility via transcripts.

Applying to Take an ASCPi Credential Exam

The application process for an ASCPi credentialing exam is, for the most part, the same as for the ASCP. First, you should determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for your desired credential. Visit the official ASCP website at ascp.org and locate the ASCPi credential that you want to earn. Each credential usually has a couple different routes for eligibility that combine education and practical work experience.

Note that even if you meet the requirements, ASCP will still have to verify your work documentation and academic transcripts. The ASCP website contains information about the forms you must submit to ASCP as well as where to send them. To minimize delays, it's best to gather these documents before beginning the application.

Registration Steps

When you're ready, complete the online application form. During this process you will create an online ASCP account (if you do not already have one) from which you may schedule your exam and access your final scores. After you finish the form, you will then be instructed to pay the application fee and submit the necessary documentation.

After ASCP reviews and approves your application and documentation, you will receive a notification by email that will confirm your admission. You may now schedule your ASCPi exam at any Pearson Professional Center, which may be found many countries all over the world.

Studying for the ASCP/ASCPi

Study.com is here to help you prepare for your ASCP or ASCPi exam with our online ASCP Study Guides. Each study guide contains a comprehensive prep course, featuring quizzes and practice tests to help you master the material. You'll review real exam contents through fast and fun video lessons that make it easy to schedule study time. Our selection includes complete exam guides for:

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