CEQAS offers a number of different EQA types (see below). The EQA Timetable lists the EQA type corresponding to the different EQAs for the year. More information can also be found in the Participants' Manual.
Online EQAs involve the online analysis and interpretation of images and data. The online EQA enables you to select appropriate additional tests (e.g. FISH) if required for the reporting of the case (analytical and interpretive proficiency assessed). Full EQAs consists of at least two cases.
Sample distributions involve the distribution of DNA, cell suspension samples or fixed slides for analysis and interpretation of a minimum of two cases (technical, analytical and interpretive proficiency assessed).
Sequential EQA involves the online analysis and interpretation of two genetic counselling case scenarios. Each stage has to be completed before the next stage can be accessed. All results are entered online, there is no document upload. Currently this type of EQA is only used for Genetic Counselling. The full EQA will consists of at least two cases, the pilot EQAs currently offered consist of one case.
Pilot EQAs are new EQAs where the EQA process and Marking Criteria are trialled to ensure they are feasible and fit for purpose. Pilot EQAs are separated into two categories:
- Exploratory Pilot EQA - the first phase of a new EQA which will often include a survey of interested laboratories to determine the exact requirements for this EQA. Participation is restricted and by invitation only.
- Pilot EQA - the second phase where the methods and criteria determined during the exploratory pilot are tested on a larger number of participants. Participation may still be limited but is open to general enrolment
Both Pilot types typically consist of one case and are not scored for performance.
Educational Cases were first offered in 2013 across several EQAs. Analysis of these cases is voluntary, they are not marked but results and expected answers will be published. This gives interested laboratories the opportunity to test their skills on interesting cases without the pressure of EQA. These cases will be offered on an ad-hoc basis when there is a case of suitable educational value available.