Performance monitoring

The central purpose of external quality assessment is to ensure that laboratories are delivering a service of the highest possible quality. GenQA maintains the principle of assessment by professional consensus and attempts to improve standards by education and peer group review rather than by censure or penalty. Performance criteria are necessary to allow an individual laboratory's performance to be measured against national/international standards and to identify any laboratory which is failing to meet these criteria. Participants who fall below the standards detailed in the following documents are deemed to be performing poorly.

The performance criteria for poor performance and persistent poor performance are ratified by the appropriate GenQA Specialist Advisory Group and endorsed by the UK National Quality Assessment Advisory Panel (NQAAP) for Genetics. Performance scores and relevant raw data may be shared with the relevant Advisory Panel (UK), FOPH (Switzerland) or relevant SAG (all countries) under defined circumstances.

Poor performance is incurred for the following reasons and applies to all laboratories (See performance criteria below).

  • Non-submission of results with no acceptable prior notification to the Scheme;
  • Critical analytical/genotyping error (incorrect result for the patient);
  • Critical interpretation error which adversely affects patient management;
  • No interpretation of the results;
  • Incorrect/inappropriate advice.

All poor performance is ratified by the relevant SAG without disclosing the identity of the laboratory. Laboratories that have received a poor performance will be asked to perform a root cause analysis and provide a summary of corrective and preventative actions to GenQA.

Laboratories who perform poorly in two out of any three consecutive EQA rounds or incur a poor performance within one year following a previous persistent poor performance designation will be classed as “red” whilst the persistent poor performance status stands.

Laboratories performing poorly on analysis/genotyping in one round of EQA and interpretation in the next round will have the same consequences as performing poorly on analysis/genotyping for two rounds of EQA. A participant who has performed poorly for more than one disease/tissue in more than one EQA round may, at the discretion of the Scheme Directors, be referred to the relevant SAG or GenQA Advisory Board for Persistent Poor Performance even if they have not met the criteria for Persistent Poor Performance in any individual EQA.

Once a Swiss or UK laboratory meets the criteria for a persistent poor performance, the Scheme is obliged to notify FOPH (Swiss) or NQAAP for Genetics (UK) respectively.

 GenQA Constitutional CNV performance criteria
GenQA Constitutional performance criteria
GenQA Haematological performance criteria
 GenQA Molecular Blood Spot performance criteria
 GenQA Molecular Genetics performance criteria
 GenQA Molecular Pathology performance criteria
 GenQA Preimplantation Genetic Testing-M and Preimplantation Genetic Testing-SR performance criteria
 GenQA PGT array NGS criteria
 GenQA PGT Sperm FISH criteria
 GenQA Rapid Prenatal criteria 
GenQA DNA extraction and DNA Quantification EQA Performance Criteria


Last updated: Thursday, 02 July 2020
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