Applies to UK clinical laboratories only
All UK NEQAS are required by their accrediting body, United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), to have in place a formal system whereby the performance of all of its UK based clinical laboratories are monitored. The service is required to notify the National Quality Assurance Advisory Panel (NQAAP) of any cases of persistent substandard (poor) performance in participating UK clinical laboratories. Poor performance monitoring mechanisms operated by UK NEQAS ICC & ISH are constantly under review, participants will be notified of any changes. They currently consist of the following procedure(s):
Warning Letters (Amber Rating)
2 biomarker module scores of less than 10/20 over 5 assessments runs on the UK NEQAS ICC & ISH material or 3 non-biomarker module scores of less than 10/20. The biomarker modules include the breast hormonal IHC, breast HER2 ISH, gastric HER2 IHC and ALK IHC modules. A letter will be sent out to the laboratory concerned, warning them of these 2/3 low score, and requesting them to contact the scheme Director to discuss the situation. The scheme Director will then provide advice and assistance on how the laboratory concerned might improve their results.
Poor performance (Red Rating)
Poor performance is defined as scores of less than 10/20 on 3 biomarker module scores, or 4 non- biomarker module scores over 5 assessment runs on the UK NEQAS ICC & ISH material. This will result in a poor performance letter being sent to the laboratory concerned informing them of these 3/4 low scores and requesting them to contact the service Director to discuss the situation. The Director will then provide advice and assistance on how the laboratory might improve. Please note though, that as a result of a lab attaining a status of Red, we are obliged to notify the chairman of the NQAAP for Histopathology and Cytology.
For full details of the UK NEQAS ICC & ISH Performance Monitoring procedures and criteria, please read the latest copy of the Participants Manual or for an extracted version NEQ MI13
Request for technical advice and opinion
UK NEQAS ICC & ISH is happy to offer advice and opinion on participants’ staining, whether as part of the performance monitoring procedure, or as a means to improving the quality of your staining. Please send your slides to the scheme Manager with a covering letter; please note though, this is not part of the reassessment process, so do not use the reassessment form(s).