NEQAS for Clinical Cytogenetics offers full web based EQA, from registration and EQA enrolment to disseminating EQA results. The process outlined below applies to all EQAs offered by the Scheme.
EQAs consist of two or three cases. New EQAs are initially started as pilots to see if they are feasible. Pilot EQAs typically consist of one case and are not scored for performance.
Enrolment: Participants are notified by email once enrolment is available online. Enrolment for 2013 EQAs closes on Tuesday, 2nd April 2013. A 10% surcharge will be applicable for any enrolment made after 13th March 2013.
EQA: Automatic reminders are sent once the EQAs are available online and all information relating to the EQAs is communicated by email or available for download. Participants are sent reminders of the impending closing date one week and one day prior to the deadline.
Assessment: Once the EQA is closed, submissions are assessed by a panel of expert assessors.
Draft individual laboratory reports (ILR): for each EQA will be made available to download and participants will be notified of their availability. The ILRs may contain educational comments and performance is scored (except for pilot EQAs).
Summary reports: These are published giving expected answers and other EQA related information as well as scores to allow laboratories to benchmark their performance.
Appeals: Participants have 15 days from the date of publication of the ILR to appeal any comments or penalties by completing and appeals form and uploading it onto the website. Appeals received after the deadline will not be considered. All appeals are considered by the Steering Committee, the decision of the Committee is final.
Final ILR: Once the outcome of the appeals has been agreed by the Steering Committee, the final ILR and summary letter will be published on the website. For laboratories whose appeal has been successful the ILR will change, for all other participants there will be no changes except in the summary letter scores. Participants will be notified by email once the final ILRs are available online.