The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laws and Rules of the Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Definitions

Statutes: Laws passed by the State Legislature that deal with specific situations.
Regulations: Laws that have been adopted by a state regulatory agency. For example, in the Florida Administrative Code you will find Department 64, which is the Department of Health. Under the Dept. of Health is Division 64B3, which has to do with the Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel. This Division has 13 chapters setting forth requirements or regulations concerning clinical laboratory personnel. Likewise, Department 59 is the Agency for Healthcare Administration. Division 59A under this Agency has to do with health facility and agency licensing. Chapter 59A-7 specifically addresses the licensing of clinical laboratories. There are 19 rules under this chapter.
Note-- The purpose of a regulation is to make a statute more specific and hopefully more workable. The Legislature empowers state agencies to adopt regulations because statutes are usually very general in their wording. Do not be of the mistaken opinion that agency regulations are less worthy of attention than legislative statutes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Regulations carry the same force and effect as statutes and the violation of a regulation could be just as serious as the violation of a statute.
It has become popular in the vernacular to refer to statutes as "laws" and regulations as "rules."