It is widely acknowledged that the success of a laboratory’s operations is dependent on the competency and commitment of its human resource. During the EU-funded project “Strengthening of Medical Laboratory Services in the Caribbean (SMLS)” (2002-2007), significant focus was placed on stimulating a culture of ‘quality’ among private and public sector laboratory professionals and other support staff working in Caribbean institutions.
CHART-CCAS TrainingWorking towards this objective, the SMLS project trained and sensitised over one thousand laboratory technologists, support staff and stakeholders, to the requirements of a laboratory quality management system based on the ISO 15189 Standard; facilitated the development and publication of a ‘Caribbean Regional Competency Profile’ for regional laboratory staff and draft competency-based curriculum arising from the transformation and harmonization of curricula used by the major regional training institutions to prepare medical technologists; prepared several quality systems guidance documents and sought to assess and initiate a regional distance education capacity for medical technologists.
CMLF has continued to build on these achievements with renewed focus on the preparation of laboratory staff and stakeholders to develop and operate national and regional networks to support both communicable and chronic disease programmes. The annual Caribbean Cytometry and Analytical Society (CCAS) meetings have provided a forum for the joint sensitization and training of laboratory professionals and clinicians to issues related to laboratory quality and networks.
The provision of a forum on the CMLF website is intended to encourage the sharing of information and discussion of technical, quality and other issues relevant to the delivery of laboratory services and aimed at ongoing professional development.