Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA)

Need multiple seats for your university or lab? Get a quote
The page below is a sample from the LabCE course An Introduction to the Medical Laboratory, Part 2. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about An Introduction to the Medical Laboratory, Part 2 (online CE course)
Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA)

The Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA) is a private, non-profit accreditation organization that helps laboratories meet CLIA and other regulatory requirements. COLA accredits more than 7,000 healthcare organizations.
COLA prepares laboratories to meet both federal and state regulatory requirements. This involves recording laboratory self-assessments, performing on-site surveys, documenting corrective action plans for non-compliant incidents, and monitoring proficiency testing. COLA accreditation must be renewed every 2 years.
COLA's five step accreditation plan is as follows:
  1. COLA Enrollment
    • Manuals instruct how to prepare the laboratory for inspection
  2. Self-Assessment
    • Information is sent to COLA and preliminary corrections are made
  3. COLA On-Site Survey
    • Surveyor examines laboratory and offers educational guidance
  4. Post-Survey
    • COLA examines data and issues official report
  5. Accreditation