Strengthening Standards:
CWEA’s Laboratory Analyst Certification Program Update

New LAB Exam Launched July 1
By Norah Duffy, Director of Certification, CWEA Certifications

Norah Duffy, Director of Certification

The Laboratory Analyst (LAB) certification program has undergone a comprehensive update process, spearheaded by a dedicated team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). This meticulous examination of the certification program aimed to enhance the standards and ensure that the exams accurately reflect the practical skills required in the laboratory field.

The process, which spanned from July 2022 to June 2023, involved collaboration from professionals across the state of California. This article highlights the key outcomes and benefits of the Job Task Analysis (JTA) process for the CWEA LAB certification program.

Over the course of the JTA process, a panel of more than 30 Subject Matter Experts from various regions of California played a pivotal role in developing the Lab exams.

These experts participated in a comprehensive update process:

  • Job task analysis (JTA) establishing standards of practice for each Grade level
  • Draft new banks of exam questions ensuring questions directly relate to the real-world performance of the job
  • Technical reviews
  • Input on the establishment of passing scores

To validate the inclusion of exam content, a group of 268 laboratory analyst professionals contributed their expertise. Collectively, this group represented an impressive 3,800 years of experience in the laboratory field. By involving professionals with extensive knowledge and experience, CWEA ensured that the certification exams accurately assess the competence and proficiency required for laboratory analysts. This validation process further strengthens the credibility and relevance of the certification program.

About Minimum Qualifications

Download the new LAB certification handbook

As part of the JTA process, the CWEA LAB certification program has established new Minimum Qualifications to refine and enhance the exams’ focus and accuracy and ensuring a higher degree of competency among certified professionals.

Notably, the new minimum qualifications have reduced the number of years required to qualify for Grade 2, facilitating career progression for individuals with demonstrated experience.

Additionally, the degree requirement has been clarified and broadened to accommodate diverse educational backgrounds. It is important to note that there are still no education or experience requirements to qualify for Grade 1, ensuring accessibility for entry-level professionals.

Benefits of Certification

Certification holds significant advantages for both professionals and employers. For professionals, it can facilitate employment opportunities and job security, potentially lead to increased compensation, enhance professional skills, and ensure compliance with employer requirements. By becoming certified, professionals demonstrate their commitment to excellence and ongoing professional development.

Employers, on the other hand, benefit from certified staff, which can boost public confidence, limit liability, and contribute to informed employment and promotion decisions. CWEA’s certification program’s commitment to rigorous standards ensures that professionals and employers alike can reap these valuable benefits.

The completion of the Job Task Analysis process for the CWEA LAB certification program marks a significant milestone in enhancing the program’s standards and relevance.

Through the collective efforts of Subject Matter Experts, laboratory analysts, and the CWEA staff, the exams have been refined to better reflect performance of the job. The establishment of new Minimum Qualifications further ensures that the certification program aligns with evolving industry requirements. By pursuing professional certification through CWEA, laboratory analysts can unlock numerous career benefits, while employers gain access to highly competent and credible professionals.

To learn more, visit the Laboratory Analyst certification webpage >