Global survey of laboratory quality standards and External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS)
Laboratories are an integral part of the health system. Several types of laboratories are involved in health care or in the detection or confirmation of public health events: human health (microbiology, biochemistry, haematology, toxicology, blood bank etc.), food safety, environmental health (water, air, soil, etc.) and animal health laboratories. It is essential that these laboratories are engaged in quality assurance programmes and participate successfully in inter-laboratory comparison programmes (i.e. External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) also known as Proficiency Testing Schemes).
To build better knowledge of how to help Member States, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) carried out an inventory of the existing written laboratory quality standards or guidelines and the national and international laboratory EQAS available worldwide. In order to achieve these goals, WHO, OIE, FAO and IAEA invited relevant government officials and professionals to fill in the questionnaire below. The results are now being processed and will allow WHO, OIE, FAO and IAEA to better identify the resources and/or needs for developing laboratory quality standards and EQAS, and guide the organizations in providing support to Member States where significant gaps are identified.
The questionnaire (available in Word or PDF files below) was targeted towards representatives of the following institutions: ministries of health, agriculture, environment, commerce and any other relevant ministries, national public health laboratories, national reference laboratories, national animal health laboratories, national standardization agencies, national accreditation bodies, non governmental organizations, or any other relevant organizations or institutions involved in quality systems (professional organizations, scientific or professional societies, etc.), and organizers/providers of External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) and Proficiency Testing Schemes.
If you have queries, please do not hesitate to contact:
WHO Lyon Office
58, avenue Debourg
69007 Lyon, France