The College of American Pathologists Biorepository Accreditation Program: Results from the First 5 Years

Shannon J. McCall*, Philip A. Branton, Victoria M. Blanc, Sarah M. Dry, Julie M. Gastier-Foster, James H. Harrison, Scott D. Jewell, Rajesh C. Dash, Rebecca C. Obeng, Joan Rose, Dawna L. Mateski, Albi Liubinskas, James A. Robb, Nilsa C. Ramirez, Kathi Shea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The College of American Pathologists (CAP) developed the Biorepository Accreditation Program (BAP) in 2012. This program integrates best practices from the International Society for Biological and Environmental Biorepositories, the National Cancer Institute, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program. The goal of this elective program is to provide requirements for standardization in biorepository processes that will result in high-quality specimens that can be used to support research, drug discovery, and personalized medicine. CAP uses a peer inspection model to ensure the inspectors have proper expertise and to promote educational efforts through information sharing. Lead inspectors are comprised of pathologists, PhDs, and managers of biorepositories and they are often supported by CAP staff inspectors. Accreditation is a 3-year continuous cycle of quality with a peer inspection occurring at the start of year 1 and a self-inspection and CAP desk assessment at the start of year 2 and 3. At this time 53 biorepositories are fully CAP BAP accredited and 13 are in the process of obtaining accreditation. There are currently 273 established standards with requirement lists customized based on the scope of activities performed by a biorepository. A total of 90 inspections were completed between May 2012 and December 2016. Sixty-one were initial inspections and 29 were reinspections. A total of 527 deficiencies were identified in the areas of Equipment/Instrumentation (22%), Information Technology (18%), Specimen Handling and QC (15%), Quality Management (16%), Personnel (11%), Safety (10%), Facilities (6%), and Regulatory (2%). Assessment of common deficiencies identifies areas of focus for continuous improvement and educational opportunities. Overall success of the program is high based on the current enrollment of 66 biorepositories, anecdotal participant feedback and increasing national recognition of the BAP in federal documents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalBiopreservation and Biobanking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • CAP accreditation
  • CLIA accreditation
  • biobank
  • biorepository
  • preanalytic variables
  • quality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology

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