Home » About Us » 2018 Year in Review

AATB by the Numbers

In 2018, AATB had 1,875 individual members, 120 accredited banks, and 7 affiliate members.

Accreditation and Standards

To ensure the safety and quality of donated human tissue, AATB's Accreditation Program inspects and accredits tissue organizations to ensure that tissue banking activities are performed in a professional manner consistent with AATB Standards. Here are some 2018 highlights from the Accreditation and Standards Department:

  • 58 on-site inspections completed in 2018, with 51 banks accredited
    • 67% of these banks received a Level A rating by Accreditation Committee
  • New electronic inspection and accreditation management system was readied for launch in first half of 2019.
  • Several updates were made to the 14th edition of the AATB Standards for Tissue Banking. Read bulletins related to Standards updates.

Professional Development and Education

Professional development and education are two of AATB’s core values. In order to promote continued education among those in the tissue banking community, AATB hosts many learning opportunities throughout the year, including a webinar program, several meetings and workshops, and the Certified Tissue Bank Specialist program.


In 2018, AATB launched a monthly webinar program which highlighted various topics in tissue banking and donation. In 2018:

  • 2,400 individuals attended AATB webinars.
  • More than 400 domestic and international organizations participated in AATB webinars, including tissue banks, educational establishments, government agencies, eye banks, organ recovery organizations, medicolegal offices and funeral home facilities.
  • More than 17,000 CEUs were earned through AATB webinars, as well as hundreds of nursing credit hours and dozens of CMEs for Medical Directors.


In-person meetings and workshops not only provide opportunities for continued education, but are also an invaluable way to bring together those in the tissue banking community to promote collaboration, networking, and the sharing of ideas and best practices. In 2018, AATB hosted the following in-person educational events:

  • Quality & Donor Eligibility Workshop (QDEW) - nearly 300 tissue banking professionals gathered in Baltimore, Maryland to learn about and discuss issues and considerations surrounding quality and donor eligibility.
  • Annual Meeting - AATB hosted our 42nd Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas where 800 attendees participated in 28 breakout sessions, 4 interactive sessions, and 3 donor family/recipient stories, in addition to plenary sessions, networking opportunities and more.
  • The new AATB Auditor Training Program was introduced.
  • The third annual Emerging Leaders Program - 29 new Emerging Leaders graduated from the course in 2018.

Certified Tissue Bank Specialist Program

AATB offers the only available professional designation specifically for the tissue banking community. The Certified Tissue Bank Specialist (CTBS) designation signifies that the certified individual has successfully demonstrated an understanding of the basic principles, concepts and AATB Standards for Tissue Banking.

  • In 2018, 282 individuals passed the CTBS Exam.

In 2018, 78% of examinees passed the CTBS exam. In 2017, 62% of examinees passed the CTBS exam.


  • The significantly higher pass rate in 2018 is due in part to the high usage rate of the newly designed AATB CTBS Prep Course. 90% of all 2018 examinees used the prep course, compared to only 35% of examinees in 2017.


AATB strives to keep the tissue banking community connected and informed. Here are some of the ways that AATB has worked to improve our communications in 2018:

  • Launched the AATB News Brief, a weekly email with a curated selection of relevant industry and association news, and member updates. You can subscribe to the brief here.
  • Increased the publication of the AATB Tissue Times member e-newsletter from quarterly to bimonthly.
  • Conducted a website refresh to include new content and navigation changes for aatb.org. Read more about the changes and improvements.


The AATB Tissue Policy Group (TPG) works with U.S. coalitions, the international community and legislators to promote the safe use of donated human tissue. Here are some of the TPG’s accomplishments from 2018:

  • California legislation - The TPG worked to enact a law within the State of California to ensure that HCT/Ps were not inadvertently included as stem cell therapies.
  • PAHPA bill - Successfully altered provisions in S. 2852/H.R. 6378, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018 to recognize the value of tissue banks in assisting with certain disasters.
  • AAHRM LUC Workgroup report - For over a year, the TPG has been participating in the Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management (AAHRM) Learning UDI Community (LUC) Workgroup, focused on medical devices containing HCT/Ps. Recently, the workgroup finalized and posted its educational document. The final document does not clearly indicate that any of the three issuing agencies should be solely used for HCT/Ps, despite the initial conversations that were leaning in that direction.

Recognizing the Community

AATB recognizes outstanding individuals within the tissue banking community with three annual award categories; the Communication and Education Awards, Achievement Awards, and Abstract Awards. These awards are all presented at the AATB Annual Meeting each fall. Read more about the 2018 award winners.