This month, we celebrate achieving AABB accreditation – a globally renowned certification that recognises standards, practices and quality management in the collection, processing and storage of cord blood.

This is just the latest quality standard that we’ve attained. Most importantly we are licenced by the UK regulator the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and have been since its formation. We are also authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and approved by the National Association of Phlebotomists.

What does AABB stand for?

AABB stands for the American Association of Blood Banks, an international not-for-profit organisation based in the USA. Founded in 1947, the AABB has long been the global leader in developing standards, accreditation and implementation of quality systems for transfusion medicine and cellular therapies.

The Association particularly emphasises donor and patient safety. Currently, the Association accredits almost 2,000 institutions around the world and its membership includes 8,000 people working within transfusion medicine and cellular therapies.

What are the core values of the AABB?

The AABB has four core principles. Receiving accreditation means that Cells4Life consistently demonstrates these values in all we do:

  • Respect – we respect other AABB members, as well as our clients, cord blood donors and patients
  • Integrity – Cells4Life is dedicated to the highest ethical standards of practice
  • Transparency – we maintain open, honest communication with our customers
  • Excellence – we strive to promote and implement best practices to help our customers make the most of their samples.

What are the AABB’s standards?

The AABB outlines a comprehensive set of standards for its accredited members. These cover everything from maternal screening and testing to processing, blood storage to patient outcomes.

Every two years, these standards are reviewed and revised by a special committee made up of cord blood experts, ethicists, and stem cell transplant physicians. Accredited institutions must then reapply for certification.

Why does an American accreditation matter in the UK?

Although the AABB is based in the USA, it accredits institutions in more than 50 countries. The AABB logo has become a globally recognised hallmark of quality and safety, so accreditation serves as an extra validation for our procedures and practices.

What other licenses and accreditations does Cells4Life have?

In the UK, cord blood banks are overseen by the HTA, which enforces the EU Tissue and Cells Directive. The HTA is a public body under the Department of Health and Social Care and inspects our facilities every two years.  This is the most important licence that a cord blood bank in the UK can hold.  Not only is an HTA licence the minimum requirement in order to be permitted to operate, the Human Tissue Authority is recognised globally as the world leader in ensuring the quality and safety of tissues and cells for human application.

We also meet the UK NEQAS standard for serology, which means that our machines operate to the highest level in the industry and provide accurate results.

Our phlebotomists also receive the only National Association of Phlebotomists (NAP) approved training course, ensuring our cord blood collections are in the safest and most skilled hands possible.

Find out more about our accreditations here.

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