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Laboratory Improvement: Laboratory Improvement Training Workshops

**UPDATED FOR 2022**

Laboratory Improvement Training Workshops

For future announcements regarding workshops or continuing education opportunities, continue to check this page and/or email us and provide your name, facility and preferred email address.

2022 Trainings

  • Workshop Locations: All workshops are held at the State Lab of Public Health unless otherwise stated.
  • Workshop Registration: Workshop applications are available from each workshop description below.

Please click on the headings below for workshop dates and additional information, including registration forms.

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 2022 Packaging and Shipping Regulations

Workshop Director: Kristi Jenkins, Barbie Page
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.0 (subject to change)
Fee: $0

We are currently offering both virtual and in-person options around the state. To register for virtual workshops, please email with the preferred date of attendance. To register for the in-person events, contact

Program Description: The packaging and shipping of clinical laboratory specimens is regulated by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as a Class 6 hazardous material. The primary goal of these regulations is to ensure the safety of individuals, animals and the environment against risks associated with transporting hazardous materials.

Federal law requires specific training and testing of all individuals "…who affect the transport of hazardous materials in commerce.” The North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health is sponsoring this program to assist employers in certifying their employees to safely collect, package and ship Category A, Category B, Exempt Human and specimens that result from the possible exposure to a chemical terrorism or chemical threat agent. Attendance will assist in maintaining compliance with the College of American pathologists (CAP), JACHO, and DOT regulations in effect as of March 2011.

Plan: This intermediate level course integrates lectures and discussions with “hands-on” function specific training so that participants can demonstrate their understanding of the fundamentals necessary for proper classification, marking, labeling, packing, and documenting of Division 6.2 hazardous materials for transport by land, air and U.S. mail.  

Who Should Attend: Healthcare professionals and those persons actively involved in packing diagnostic and infectious specimens for shipment to the state lab and other reference labs, as well as diagnostic specimens that result from exposure to a chemical threat agent.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB) - Applications must be received by deadline dates! Late applications will not be accepted.

Workshop Dates: Hours: Application Deadline Dates: Location:
March 30, 2022 9 am – 3 pm February 28, 2022 Virtual
April 12, 2022 9 am – 4 pm March 14, 2022 State Laboratory, Raleigh
May 11, 2022 9 am – 4 pm April 11, 2022 Clay County Health Department, Hayesville
June 8, 2022 9 am – 3 pm May 9, 2022 Virtual
June 29, 2022 9 am – 4 pm May 30, 2022 Vidant, Greenville
July 20, 2022 9 am – 3 pm June 20, 2022 Virtual
August 9, 2022 9 am – 4 pm July 11, 2022 High Point Medical Center
September 13, 2022 Cancelled
October 25, 2022 9 am – 4 pm September 26, 2022 Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory
November 16, 2022 9 am – 3 pm October 17, 2022 Virtual
December 6, 2022 9 am – 4 pm November 7, 2022 State Laboratory, Raleigh


 Bacteriological Methods for the Analysis of Drinking Water (Abbreviated Version)

Workshop Director: Michele Sartin
PACE Contact Hours: 12.0
NCWOA Professional Growth Hours: 12.0
FEE: $120.00 

Program Description: This basic level workshop provides participants with the technical skills and knowledge to perform approved bacteriological laboratory procedures for the analysis of drinking water. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to describe qualitative and quantitative tests for total coliform and E. coli contamination, and heterotrophic plate counts for enumeration of general bacterial populations. Information will be presented in lectures and laboratory exercises. Students will gain technical skills using selected chromogenic/fluorogenic and plate count methodologies in order to perform laboratory analysis of drinking water samples.

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

TBD TBD Submit with application

**Trainings for 2022 and 2023 are currently on hold due to construction. Please contact the Certification Office at (919) 807-8879 for updates, guidance, and assistance.


 Bioterrorism Preparedness for Clinical Laboratories

Workshop Director: Barbie Page, Kristi Jenkins
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 6.5
Fee: $0.00

Program Description: This intermediate level one-day program focuses on practical microbiological methods clinical laboratorians should use to recognize, rule out, and refer agents of bioterrorism.  Laboratory presentations and demonstrations will provide the participants with up-to-date information on gram, stain, culture, and biochemical characteristics of these organisms that they can use to help with initial identification of these agents.  Emphasis will be on identification and biosafety procedures to allow the laboratorian to safely work with clinical isolates of these suspected organisms.  Participants will also learn briefly about the confirmatory procedures that are performed at the State Lab which serves as an LRN reference laboratory. Other topics covered include Biosecurity, Biosafety, and Chemical Terrorism.

Registration: Registration links will be provided as they become available.

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Registration link:

April 14, 2022 April 1, 2022 Coming soon
September 15, 2022 September 2, 2022 CANCELLED
December 8, 2022 November 21, 2022 Coming soon


  Evaluation of a Stat Male Smear

Workshop Director: Karen Wall
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.5
Fee: $20.00

Participants attending this workshop will learn how to collect, Gram stain, and correctly read a male urethral smear for the detection of gonorrhea. Laboratory quality assurance and quality control will be discussed as it pertains to the Gram stain procedure. Participants must correctly identify intracellular Gram-negative diplococci. Participants will learn how to quantify white blood cells/oif in the absence of intra-cellular Gram-negative diplococci in patients with suspected non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU).

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

March 17, 2022 February 17, 2022 March 10, 2022
July 20, 2022 June 20, 2022 July 13, 2022
November 10, 2022 October 10, 2022 November 3, 2022


 Microscopy Viewing and Reviewing, Examination of a Vaginal Wet Mount

Workshop Director: Tracey Shives, Karen Wall
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 5.5
Fee: $40.00 

Program Description: This one-day workshop combines both the content of our Microscopy and Wet Mount workshops. In this basic level course, participants learn the principles of the brightfield microscope and the practical use of the precision instrument. Participants will develop skills in microscopy covering the following areas:

  • Identify all parts of a microscope and understand the function of each.
  • Clean and maintain the microscope.
  • Properly align the light to improve contrast and resolution using the Koehler Illumination technique.
  • List features to consider when purchasing a microscope.

The participants also learn techniques that are used in the identification and reporting of elements found in vaginal wet mount preparations. The course incorporates lectures and laboratory exercises including preparing wet mounts and identifying Trichomonas, yeast, clue cells, and bacteria in clinical specimens. A laboratory practical exam will be given at the end of the course.

The intended audiences are nurses and other nonlaboratory trained professionals whose responsibilities include microscopic work.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

January 19, 2022 January 12, 2022 January 12, 2022
May 18, 2022 April 18, 2022 May 11, 2022
August 17, 2022 July 18, 2022 August 10, 2022
August 18, 2022 July 18, 2022 August 10, 2022


 Lab Methods in the Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Workshop Director: Tracey Shives
P.A.C.E. Contact Hours: 11
Fee: $40.00

Program Description: This basic level workshop provides participants with technical skills and knowledge to perform laboratory procedures used in the isolation and identification of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This two-day workshop will include hands-on experience with specimens and is designed for staff that perform laboratory tests for gonorrhea from cultures in a health department setting. This workshop will focus on basic bacteriology, quality assessment, and microbiological techniques used in the presumptive diagnosis of gonorrhea.

Registration: Workshop Application (PDF, 25 KB)

Workshop Dates:

Application Deadline Dates:

Payment Due By:

February 23-24, 2022 January 24, 2022 February 16, 2022
June 15-16, 2022 May 16, 2022 June 8, 2022
October 19-20, 2022 September 19, 2022 October 12, 2022


Free Online Training Resources

** Please note, the following resources are free and may require an account setup. Additional resources can be found on our Biosafety page.


A survey to identify training needs is conducted periodically and used to guide the development of workshops and training activities. In addition, training activities may be developed in response to specific requests from individuals and groups. Workshops are presented on clinical, environmental and management topics; they are designed to give hands-on experience with methods and techniques. Instructors are selected on the basis of competency, experience, and the ability to communicate with participants. Additions to the workshop calendar are announced as they are scheduled; periodic updates from Laboratory Improvement include all training activities.

Laboratory Improvement also works with the NLTN to provide training. The NLTN is a cooperative training agreement between the Association of Public Health Laboratories(APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of the network is to address the need for effective laboratory information and management systems and to assist state health agencies to develop, promote, and deliver quality laboratory training. The network functions as a training service delivery program that utilizes available resources and conducts regionalized training based on documented needs.

Bench training can be arranged by contacting the appropriate technical Branch in the State Laboratory, i.e. Microbiology, Virology/Serology, and Environmental Sciences.

Lab Improvement Information