Latest News & Updates

  • New HIV Pilot Program!
    NRL EQAS is aware that with the discontinuation of BioRad Genscreen HIV Bio-Rad Genscreen HIV-1 Ag EIA in the Australian market, and the release of NPAAC Fourth Edition of “Requirements for laboratory testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)”, many laboratories are currently implementing HIV qualitative molecular assays as part of confirmatory testing for HIV.
    To continue supporting the quality of infectious disease testing, NRL EQAS decided to launch a pilot program for HIV qualitative molecular testing in Jun-Jul 2024 aligned with Test Event 2 window. 
    The pilot program for HIV qualitative molecular will include low titre HIV-1 RNA and HIV-2 RNA to assist your laboratory to monitor the performance of newly implemented HIV qualitative molecular assays.
    If you are interested in participating in this pilot program, please contact NRL EQAS [email protected] for details.
    2024 Test Event Date Changes

    The following is an important update regarding the 2024 Test Event (TE) calendar.

    Due to factors out of our control, the decision has been made to change opening and closing dates for Test Event 1 & 2 of 2024. The revised 2024 is shown below, with the new dates for TE1 highlighted:

    TE1: The opening date is April 10th 2024, and the closing date is May 22nd 2024. 

    TE2: The opening date is 26 June 2024, and the closing date is 17 July 2024.

    These changes are now reflected in the EQAS 2024 Catalogue 

    We acknowledge and apologise for any inconvenience this change may cause and thank you for your understanding.

    If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch via [email protected]

    TE1 Shipment Dispatch: AU Customers

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, the shipments for Test Event 1 were delayed in dispatch, but we are pleased to advise all panels have now left NRL on Tuesday 09 Apr. If you do not receive your shipment by the end of the week or if you require an extension on the result submission deadline, please reach out via [email protected] or 03 9418 1111.

The importance of NRL EQAS

NRL External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) assess the integrity of the entire testing process for infectious disease markers – from sample receipt through to final interpretation of patient test result.

The design and analysis of NRL’s EQAS draw upon NRL’s extensive experience and scientific methods to ensure maximum scope for error detection.

NRL EQAS provide a combination of positive and negative samples, representative of what would typically be received by a testing laboratory/point-of-care site. On completion of EQAS testing, laboratories/sites report their results online via OASYS, an internet-based informatics application.

This data is statistically analysed and a final report compiled; laboratories/sites can assess their results and compare their performance with peer laboratories using the same IVDs.

NRL is a fully accredited ISO 17043 provider and our EQAS service includes:

  • Genuine and diverse patient samples
  • Scientific and technical support to resolve problems in laboratory testing
  • A global network of laboratories in more than 50 countries
  • Programs designed specifically for clinical and/or blood screening institutions; and point of care testing sites

A range of proficiency programs can be found in the current NRL EQAS Catalogue


Why EQAS? 

External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) provide integrity assessment for the entire infectious disease testing process – identifying and resolving any potential sources of error, and ultimately preventing misdiagnosis.

Compulsory in many jurisdictions, EQAS schemes are implemented only periodically each year and are an integral solution to the external quality assurance that a testing laboratory can undertake.

NRL is the leader in EQAS programs for infectious disease, offering serology and nucleic acid testing panels. NRL’s programs are syndromic and typically reflect a range of analytes as requested by physicians, such as respiratory viruses (including COVID-19), hepatitis, and HIV.



How does EQAS work? 

NRL EQAS panels are run periodically by participating laboratories, with results recorded. NRL uses these results to provide detailed and sophisticated reports of each laboratory’s performance in external QA. All reports are compiled and reviewed by NRL scientists, and all analysis is performed using our and our partners’ sophisticated informatics platforms.

Panels are comprised of sample types representative of specimens normally received by a laboratory (such as plasma), as well as alternatives (such as dried tube samples (DTS) for use by those working in remote communities or low- and middle-income countries). NRL is able to provide undiluted and diverse samples through our material transfer agreements with collaborating blood transfusion services (e.g. plasma packs screened as positive for infectious diseases are provided to NRL for use in our QA programs).

NRL EQAS is accredited to ISO 17043 and includes specifically designed single and multianalyte programs for Blood Screening, Clinical NAT, Clinical Serology and Point-of-Care (POC) testing.

NRL’s EQA programs are provided in partnership with Oneworld Accuracy (1WA) Vancouver, Canada. EQAS laboratories/sites submit testing results online via OASYS, developed by 1WA and used globally as a collection and analysis tool for external QA data aggregation and analysis.


Quality Programs for Quality Science

2024 EQAS Catalogue

2024 EQAS Order Form

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Our Partners