The central purpose of external quality assessment is to ensure that laboratories are delivering a service of the highest possible quality. EMQN 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 EMQN Board and endorsed (where required) by the relevant national performance monitoring organisation (for example, the UK National Quality Assessment Advisory Panel (NQAAP) for Genetics for UK labs). Performance scores and relevant raw data may be shared with the relevant Advisory Panel (UK), FOPH (Switzerland), RCPAQAP (Australia) or relevant organisation (all countries) under defined circumstances.

Performance criteria for our Molecular Pathology Schemes can be found here.

Performance criteria for our disease specific and technical schemes can be found here.