|The aim of External Quality Assessment programmes is to help monitor and improve quality within the clinical laboratory by assessing a laboratory's ability to use molecular diagnostic technologies within the routine clinical setting. The QCMD EQA programmes support the clinical laboratory's regulatory requirements and are also educational in application. The reports and practical feedback QCMD provides participants allows them to identify and resolve potential problems whilst monitoring the effectiveness of their laboratory quality assurance processes.|
|How the QCMD EQA programmes work|
|A registered laboratory is provided with a series of samples that are designed to resemble clinically significant specimens and/or assess specific analytical assay characteristics. The laboratory is required to test these samples using its routine assay and standard procedures as well as complete a technical questionnaire which includes questions regarding the laboratory set-up, assay method and procedures. The results from the laboratory testing and answers to the technical questionnaire are reported back to QCMD on-line. Following closure of the EQA participant testing period participating laboratories are provided with the EQA intended results. A full EQA report and an individual performance report is provided shortly after and this provides further details of overall performance for all participants in the EQA and the technology type and methodology. Group specific regional reports are also provided to participating national quality organisations where appropriate.|
|Quality is important|
|As an International EQA organisation quality is extremely important and QCMD is committed to providing a professional participant focused EQA service. QCMD is accredited to ILAC-G13:08/2007 / ISO/IEC Guide 43-01:1997 (ISO17043:2010) and is also ISO9001: 2008 certified. Further, the EQA schemes that QCMD provides are conducted in accordance with a strict Code of Practice. QCMD's quality systems further ensure that it is compliant with the key elements of ISO17025:2005. In addition, the materials used within the EQA programmes are also manufactured to ISO13485:2012.
All QCMD EQA programmes are UKAS accredited and support laboratory regulatory requirements under ISO15189:2007 or equivalent. New EQA schemes are introduced annually as EQA Pilot studies. Successful pilots are recommended for UKAS accreditation on completion and become full EQA programmes on achieving UKAS accreditation requirements under ISO17043:2010.
|Read more about the History of QCMD|