You will gain a competitive advantage over other potential candidates by acquiring a histotechnology qualification through certifications.

In this guide, we’ll focus on histotechnologist certification, ASCP. A few things to learn are the attestation prerequisites, how to register for the test, renewal tips, and more.

But before we move on, let’s introduce you to the credential.

HTL Certification

Histotechnologists play significant roles in the clinical industry. They assist pathologists in diagnosing diseases in medical research lab roles.

One of their duties is preparing living tissue samples for evaluation using various lab instruments.

The biopsied tissue samples’ results will be used to develop appropriate treatments for specific patients and future medical research.

Recently, the demand for histotechnologists in the clinical industry has significantly increased.

This makes the field highly competitive among graduates. Most entry-level and advanced jobs require applicants to hold certifications and have an academic background.

Introduction to ASCP HT Certification

This credential is awarded to histotechnology graduates to prove their knowledge and skills in a competitive job market. You can acquire the attestation by passing a professional test set by ASCP.

This authorizing agency was established in 1928 to develop high professional competency standards. Since then, they have certified more than 600,000 lab experts.

  • Certification Prerequisites

Before acquiring this qualification, certain vital conditions must be met.

Firstly, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in histotechnology from a NAACLS-certified college. Next, you must present a valid HT credential with six months of full-time experience in the biotech lab.

Those with a baccalaureate qualification program are also eligible to apply. The application fee is around $250.

Histotech Certification Exams

Once the ASCP board accepts your application request, they will assign an eligibility period during which you can schedule your exam date.

The test is administered at a certified testing center or your respective colleges. However, you must bring your national ID to confirm your identity before writing the exams.

The histotechnologist qualification test is split into five distinctive areas.

These include fixation, processing, staining, embedding/microtomy, and laboratory operations. Each content area will test your knowledge of handling tissues, setting parameters, and using proper instruments.

Moreover, they’ll also assess your abilities in lab operations, safety protocols, and procedures. Your knowledge of reagents and dyes to use in the staining process will also be evaluated.

The qualification test is 100 multi-choice questions to be finished in under 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Areas where questions will be asked include basic immunology principles such as immunohistochemistry staining theory and antigen retrieval.

Additional locations include light microscopy, enzyme histochemistry, immunofluorescence, calcified and decalcified tissue, and quality control.

Signing Up for Histotechnologist Certification

The registration for this qualification is primarily completed online. You can start by creating an ASCP account via their official web page.

While opening the account, you must input your valid email address. The association will mail you any valuable details about your exams.

To proceed, submit your application request and pay the required fee via check or credit card, as processing will only occur once payment is received.

To ensure eligibility, you must submit documents such as training qualifications. Experience, reference letters, and official transcripts are other papers you may present.

All these supporting documents are required to be in PDF format. They must also contain original and handwritten signatures. The submission period is between 45 and 60 business days following your application.

You’ll be notified via email and can schedule a test appointment within the specified period to avoid rescheduling and paying a new application fee.

To prevent such scenarios, you have the right to reschedule your exams 24 hours in advance.

What About the Examination Day?

All candidates must arrive at the exam venue at least 30 minutes earlier. Before you move into the exam hall, a check-in will be conducted. They’ll collect your signature and photo.

Afterward, the person using VUE will use histotech to capture a palm-vein image. The aim is to ensure all candidates have a single record in the system. This will safeguard the integrity of the test.

What else? You will be required to present a legitimate government-issued ID, as mentioned. Your ID should contain your photo, signature, and names corresponding to those used to apply for the test.

Lastly, exam candidates will be asked to leave behind their personal belongings. A small locker will be provided outside the center to keep your valuables safe.

Only a non-programmable calculator will be allowed to be taken inside.

Preparing for the Histotechnologist Certification Exams

Before you can excellently pass the qualification test, you will need to study extensively. Studies can begin at any time you wish. But only let the sun set with adequate preparation.

You can learn by yourself by reviewing past questions and the study guide. You can also attend an accredited study program near you.

Regardless of your study option, you must dedicate specific parts of your day to staying focused. The NSH offers preparatory materials for all eligible candidates who are members.

Student members can sustain their status for up to two years at their level for just $40. They are also suitable for discounts on the provided learning materials.

Some exam-preparatory resources include a histology exam simulator.

It contains over 2,000 questions with images. The HT prep course is also designed for students preparing for the qualification exams while undergoing a job-training career pathway.

The system contains several hours of lectures, short knowledge check quizzes, and final test questions.

What if I Failed the Histo Certification Test?

You don’t have to lose hope if you fail the qualification exams. You can retake the test up to four times under one eligibility route.

However, you must pay the full application fee each time you want to take the attestation test. Moreover, you must have lab experience within the required time limit from the date of the application.

Renewing an ASCP Histotechnologist Certification

Once you’ve received your attestation, you must renew it every three years. The ASCP credential maintenance program will send you a notification for renewal.

When renewing your credential, certain conditions must be fulfilled. These include having at least one point in a laboratory, quality control, and patient safety.

Moreover, you must also have at least two points in histology. Then, the remaining points will be obtained from other lab-related areas.

The renewal fee is around $95, with a reduced price of $15 for multiple certification holders.

Histotechnologist certification is critical for experts desiring to benefit from the industry’s job opportunities. The credential will showcase your expertise in managing histotech equipment and other tasks.

While pursuing your certification, you must remember to satisfy all the necessary criteria.