FAQs

Following are examples of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with their answers available by clicking on the Question Headers.

When can I register for the QCMD EQA Schemes?

If you have a QCMD username and password you can register for an EQA scheme directly through your participant profile area. The QCMD EQA calendar year runs from January to December and annual registration starts approximately 3 months prior to the EQA calendar year. You can also register at any time throughout the year for any of the active EQA schemes (subject to availability), by logging into your QCMD Participant Profile Area.

If you are new to QCMD and would like to register as a QCMD participant, please Click Here.

Who can participate in the QCMD EQA Schemes?

The QCMD EQA schemes are open to all laboratories engaged in molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases. If you have an interest, please Contact Us and we will see how we can best support you.

Why use QCMD as your molecular EQA provider?

QCMD specialises in the provision of molecular EQA for infectious diseases and the EQA schemes cover the vast majority of pathogen targets and challenges that a modern clinical microbiology laboratory would be expected to be interested in.

 

Additional benefits and features include:

  • General registration is FREE and this keeps laboratories informed on annual EQA schemes and allows access to historical EQA reports and publications.
  • Participants can enrol for any combination of EQA schemes annually or register for selected EQA schemes throughout the year.
  • The QCMD EQAs are provided internationally in over 120 countries thus offering a broad comparative foundation for EQA participants and allowing confidential result comparison across a large number of laboratories and technologies.
  • QCMD provides country specific reports to national EQA providers or national quality groups whenever possible and appropriate. This allows participating laboratories to compare their individual results both internationally and with the national consensus.
  • Full participant confidentiality is assured through all phases of the EQA scheme and QCMD’s participants’ EQA data is stored permanently and securely. This also allows laboratories to build a historical EQA repository as well as monitor and manage trends across EQA schemes.
  • QCMD provides EQA support to laboratories and works with national quality organisations by facilitating workshops, seminars and quality publications.
  • The QCMD EQA service is managed by dedicated professional molecular microbiologists and supported through an International Scientific Experts and Advisors network. This ensures that the design of the EQA schemes is appropriate and that wherever possible the EQA samples material used reflects current clinical significance and epidemiological importance. Therefore, participants receive practical EQA challenges and relevant educational and regulatory feedback.
  • All EQA materials are extensively characterised and EQA panels are manufactured to the ISO 13485 In Vitro Diagnostic industry standard .
  • QCMD’s unique IT EQA Management System (ITEMS) ensures that participating laboratories can manage their individual EQA requirements appropriately, report results and monitor EQA trends through a secure dedicated service. It also enables immediate feedback to participants on EQA related issues and provides the framework for rapid EQA reporting.
  • QCMD is accredited to ISO 17043.

Why should my laboratory participate in EQA?

EQA provides your laboratory with an independent performance appraisal. This supports your laboratory’s quality assurance requirements and helps your laboratory demonstrate the ability to perform tests reliably and reproducibly. Laboratories accredited to ISO 15189 or an equivalent regulatory standard shall monitor their performance of examination methods in External Quality Assessment by means of interlaboratory comparisons fulfilling ISO 17043 (see section 7.3.7.3 of the ISO 15189 standard). EQA is a mandatory requirement in many countries.