Clinical Chemist

Education and Experience Standards for Clinical Chemist Certification

Applicants must meet at least one of the following education/experience requirements.

  • Earned doctoral degree with 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) of chemistry courses plus 8 semester hours (12 quarter hours) of additional natural science courses from an institution acceptable to the Board and a minimum of 3 years of clinical laboratory experience dealing with human specimens for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes.
  • Post-doctoral fellows enrolled in clinical chemistry programs approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Clinical Chemistry (ComACC) may sit for examination near the end of their first year of training upon recommendation of their Program Director and payment of an examination fee. Upon passing the examination and obtaining a second year of training/experience, fellows may apply for certification as Clinical Chemist.

Experience requirements must have been met within 6 years of the application date.

Acceptable institutions are institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada accredited by a regional accrediting association or whose pertinent program is accredited by a national accrediting agency.

Transcripts must be sent by institutions directly to NRCC.

Applicants with education obtained at institutions of higher education outside the United States and Canada must, at their expense, have credentials evaluated for equivalence by an acceptable evaluation agency for foreign transcript evaluations and such equivalency reports as to degrees and courses will be used to determine whether an applicant meets the NRCC standards for degrees and courses.Please see our FAQ page for a current list of acceptable evaluation agencies.

Reports must show course titles and equivalent hours and must be sent by evaluation agencies directly to NRCC.

Examination Standards

  • Clinical Chemist examinations consist of 150 multiple-choice questions covering both the theoretical, fundamental, and practical aspects of clinical chemistry.
  • The taxonomy method of Knowledge is used with Levels: recall or memory; interpretation or comprehension; problem solving or reasoning.
  • Questions are concerned with Basic Science, Methodology, and Laboratory Practice. Questions will emphasize (1) Analysis and (2) Evaluation. The examinations will also include questions concerned with (3) Patient Preparation, Specimen Collection and Handling, and, to a lesser extent, (4) Management and Administration.
  • Categories of questions may include: calculations and statistics; photometric techniques; immunoassays; separation techniques/mass spec; other techniques (centrifugation, extraction, AA, electrodes, osmolality, radioactivity); carbohydrates/diabetes; amino acids and proteins; lipids; enzymes; blood gases, acid-base and electrolyes; endocrinology; TDM/toxicology; liver/intestine functions; kidney functions/UA; nervous system; cardiac function; genetics/molecular/biochemical; nutrition/vitamins/trace elements; bone and mineral; heme/porphyria/ pregnancy/ tumor; other/interference/artifact/pure chemistry.
  • Examinations are developed by a Clinical Chemist Examination Committee, appointed by the President. The committee determines content areas and relative emphasis for each area. Questions may be solicited from practitioners from within and outside the Board. Questions are analyzed and edited periodically by each Examination Committee to ensure subject matter accuracy and relevancy. Questions are maintained in a database from which items are selected for each form of an examination.
  • Three hours are allowed for completion of an exam.
  • Exams may be scheduled on the applicant’s schedule with approved local proctors. We will be glad to help you locate one near you.
  • Answer sheets are scored in-house at NRCC. Reports of scores, along with normative data, are reviewed by the Board of Directors which sets the passing score for examinations. Candidates are identified in the scoring process by number, not by name. Pass-fail results are reported to candidates.

See the Fees page for information on testing fees and payments. Renewal fees are listed on the renewal application form.