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COVID-19 Notice

COVID-19 QCMD Notice to Our EQA/PT Participants and Interested Parties

Updated: 4th March 2021

To support your laboratories EQA needs for expanding COVID-19 testing capabilities, QCMD offers a range of SARS-CoV-2 related EQA schemes, incl. the newly announced SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing EQA Pilot Study for 2021:

QCMD 2021 SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing EQA Pilot Study (SCV2Ag)

The SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Testing EQA Pilot Study will consist of non-infectious panel members in a universal sample stabilisation buffer (virusPHIX-P9™, for more information visit, and will be distributed at ambient temperature. The pilot EQA will allow the performance assessment of applied antigen tests against international peer groups in line with agreed clinical and public health practice, and is aimed at both laboratory-based antigen assays as well as those used within the point-of-care setting such as rapid lateral flow antigen tests. Three distributions throughout 2021 are planned, with participants being able to choose from taking part in 1 or all through the distributions.

QCMD 2021 SARS-CoV-2 EQA Programme (SCV2)

The ISO 17043 accredited SARS-CoV-2 EQA Programme (SCV2) has been provided in response to demand from participants following the initial Coronavirus Outbreak Preparedness EQA pilot study (CVOP) from early April 2020 (Euro Surveill. 2020;25(27):pii=2001223., and is now offered quarterly to laboratories, which can register for each challenge in any combination. The primary objective is to assess the sensitivity of assays routinely used for molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 at clinically appropriate levels, near the limit of detection as well as the specificity of assays in the presence of other human coronaviruses.

QCMD 2021 Respiratory I Plus EQA Pilot Study (RESPIplus)

The Respiratory I Plus EQA Pilot Study (RESPIplus) is offered as a single challenge scheme, covering Influenza A and B, Respiratory Syncytial Virus strains, and SARS-CoV-2. This scheme is released to registered laboratories prior to the influenza season to allow the performance review of their multiplex and/or cartridge based molecular systems in the detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 in combination with other respiratory pathogen targets.

All EQA schemes will consist of double-inactivated whole pathogen SARS-CoV-2 material, which has been characterised using a broad range of respective testing assays. The EQA schemes may include currently circulating variants of concern (VOC).

Please be assured that QCMD continues to support you through the ongoing pandemic with proper proficiency testing options. For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via the online 'Contact Us' form in ITEMS or on our website.

We thank you for your collaboration.


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