point of_care_testIn 2008 members from the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS) and the European Association for Professions in Biomedical Science (EPBS) took on the task to prepare guidelines for our members on Point of Care Testing.  

The Guidelines for Point of Care Testing and the EPBS Policy Statement approved at their annual meeting in October 2009 in Oslo were distributed as part of the Congress documents prior to Congress. Both documents serve an important purpose and were unanimously adopted by GAD 2010 NairobiKenya.


IFBLS Position Paper on Point of Care Testing was adopted by the IFBLS GAD 2018 in Florence, Italy

IFBLS Position Paper - Point of Care Testing

Point of Care Testing is diagnostic testing that is performed near or at the site of the patient, outside of the biomedical laboratory setting, and normally performed by non-biomedical laboratory professionals. Point of Care Testing may reduce timeframes between diagnosis and treatment, improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital lengths of stay.

It is the position of IFBLS that:

Point of Care Testing should be considered an adjunct to testing performed in biomedical laboratories and an important component of Biomedical Laboratory Science Scope of Practice.
Biomedical Laboratory Scientists must ensure that testing at the point of care meets the same accreditation and regulatory requirements as the central laboratory.
It is the responsibility of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists to ensure the quality of all Point of Care Testing that falls under the jurisdiction of their laboratory regardless of where testing is performed.
Only qualified, trained and fully competent personnel may perform point of care laboratory testing.
The test menu should include only those tests that are clinically relevant for point of care and those tests should be performed only when action is taken immediately as a result of data obtained. Tests on the Point of Care Testing menu should be reviewed periodically for clinical need and effectiveness.

Biomedical laboratory scientists have the responsibility for the management of Point of Care Testing Programs by providing leadership and expertise in:

  • selecting and approving instrumentation,
  • developing standard operating procedures for performing Point of Care Testing,
  • developing, maintaining and reviewing appropriate training programs to ensure competency of laboratory personnel,
  • establishing and monitoring internal and external quality assessment programs,
  • educating and training users on testing performance and quality assurance methodologies,
  • establishing instrument maintenance systems, incident reporting, risk management and record keeping of quality and patient data,
  • establishing and monitoring appropriate documentation of all aspect of the Point of Care Testing program,
  • communicating and educating patients, when relevant, on testing methodologies and interpretation of their results.

This position paper does not cover patient self-testing.


  • ISO 15189:2012 Medical laboratories – Requirements for quality and competence
  • ISO 22870:2006 Point-of-care testing (POCT) – Requirements for quality and competence.

View the IFBLS Position Paper on Point of Care Testing (2018)  

View the IFBLS Guidelines on Point of Care testing (2010)
View the EPBS and IFBLS Policy Statement on Point of Care Testing (2010)