CEQAS is educational and operates on the principle of accepted professional standards (see section 'User Manuals' for more information). The Scheme's aim is to improve standards by peer review and constructive comments, not by penalties. Performance criteria allow comparison of laboratories to the European Cytogenetic and/or National Guidelines. Satisfactory performance (= Pass) is a good way to reassure patients as well as colleagues and clinicians of the consistent standard of work in your laboratory.
The CEQAS scoring system allows identification of unsatisfactory performance (= Fail) by converting comments into numerical scores. This allows objective comparisons between laboratories and against set standards determined by the profession.
The following aspects of EQA submisisons are scored:
- Analysis: Scoring of the quality of submitted analysis and written description including ISCN
- Interpretation: Scoring of submitted reports for interpretation of the karyotype, including clinical advice and follow-up studies.
- Clerical Accuracy: Scoring the report contents and clerical accuracy of submitted reports. The Clerical Accuracy is not included when determining a laboratory's performance.
Laboratories performing below the expected standards (designated as Fail) will be contacted and the CEQAS Office will support the laboratory where possible in making the necessary changes to improve performance.
The overall marking criteria for the different EQAs have been agreed by the relevant Specialist Advisory Group (SAG) and are tailored to the specific EQAs by the Scheme Director and the assessors prior to each assessment round. The marking criteria are given in the EQA specific Summary Report.