Certification Standards for Public Health Laboratory Director (PHLD)

To be eligible for certification as Public Health Laboratory Director (PHLD), an applicant must:

  1. Meet the qualifications as a laboratory director of a laboratory performing high complexity testing under the CLIA '88 regulations, Subpart M, Section 493.1443. OR
  1. Hold an earned doctoral degree* from an accredited institution (see rule 11 under General Regulations) with a chemical, physical, biological, or clinical laboratory science as the major subject and have successfully completed 32 semester hours (minimum) in chemistry or the biological sciences acceptable to the Board.


In addition, applicants for PHLD certification must:

  1. Have a minimum of four (4) years of clinical laboratory training or experience (within the ten [10] years immediately prior to the application date) on human testing or testing on non-human material for diagnosis and/or identification of diseases/pathogens related to human or human disease/pathogen outbreaks or both, including at least two (2) years of experience, (within the ten [10] years immediately prior to the application date) directing or supervising high complexity testing in a clinical setting. Of the four (4) years of clinical laboratory experience, at least one (1) year of experience must be in a Public Health Microbiology Laboratory or a Clinical Microbiology Laboratory doing testing on human or non-human material for diagnosis of diseases/pathogens; AND
  1. Pass an ABB examination in General Knowledge and in Public Health Microbiology.  

*Individuals with an M.D. or D.O. degree, or the equivalent, must also be licensed to practice medicine in at least one (1) state in the U.S.

PLEASE READ - Instructions for completing the Application for ABB Certification

Application for ABB Certification


Find details on ABB's CLIA-approved supervisor and director certifications and the application process.



Information on study materials and strategies to successfully challenge the ABB exams.


Continuing Education

Information on the ABB PEER continuing education program to maintain your certification.