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Unsatisfactory Performance (UP)

Laboratories not meeting the ‘Satisfactory Performance’ criteria will receive written notification of their ‘Unsatisfactory Performance’ status, as soon as it occurs, offering advice and assistance.

A Corrective and Preventative Action (CAPA) form MUST be completed by the participant on the Participant’s Portal with a summary of the investigation into the reasons for their unacceptable performance together with any corrective actions. Further guidance on completing the form is available on the UK NEQAS for H&I website in the CAPA menu.

The CAPA must be returned to UK NEQAS for H&I within 20 working days of the date of the ‘Unsatisfactory Performance’ notification. Corrective action taken as a result of unsatisfactory performance can lead to an improvement in proficiency within an individual laboratory, and allows UK NEQAS for H&I to offer guidance and assistance to laboratories.

Note: this does not apply to Interpretive Schemes, e.g. Scheme 5B. 

Participants will be classified as a Persistent Poor Performer (PPP) if they are classed as poor performers within a scheme for two annual rounds of EQA within the last 3 years (either consecutive or non-consecutive).  The classification of being a PPP will be at the discretion of the NEQAS Director who will take into account if the error(s) are due to EQA specific reporting errors, for example.


UK Laboratory Unacceptable Performance

The National Quality Assurance Advisory Panels (NQAAPs) are responsible to the pathology professions for monitoring the maintenance of satisfactory standards of diagnostic work in clinical laboratories in the United Kingdom, whether in the public or private sector. They are accountable to the professions through the RCPath Quality Assurance in Pathology Committee (QAPC) and their relationship with participants is strictly professional and confidential. Members of the NQAAPs are nominated by the appropriate professional bodies and approved by the QAPC. The NQAAPs provide help, support and education to participants in UK NEQAS and other EQA programmes in a confidential setting.

The UK NEQAS for H&I schemes come under the UK NQAAP for Immunology for the monitoring and maintenance of satisfactory performance standards. The Director/Manager reports to UK NQAAP by written report prior to each UK NQAAP meeting (usually three times per year) and by attendance at each meeting.

All UK laboratories receiving ‘Unsatisfactory Performance’ notification are reported to UK NQAAP for Immunology. Failure to reply within 20 working days of the date of an ‘Unsatisfactory Performance’ notification or replies deemed unsatisfactory will be specifically reported to UK NQAAP for Immunology who may take further action.   Likewise those laboratories classed a Persistent Poor Performers will also be reported to UK NQAAP for Immunology.

The H&I professional representative on the UK NQAAP for Immunology is proposed by the British Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics.  This representative also sits, as an observer, on the Schemes’ Steering Committee.

In registering for participation in the UK NEQAS for H&I Scheme(s), UK participant laboratories agree to abide by/uphold the conditions of scheme participation of the QAPC on EQA.  These can be found in section 29 or at: