The list below includes the most common abbreviations, acronyms, and definitions used by GenQA.
Persistent poor performance
Participants are designated Persistant Poor Performers if they:
1) perform poorly in two out of any three consecutive EQA rounds OR
2) incur a poor performance within one year following a previous persistent poor performance designation.
For more information go to https://genqa.org/performance-monitoring.
GenQA continually implements new EQAs in response to the advancement of genomic testing. These new EQAs are initially offered in pilot phase. Participants will receive an ILR for a pilot EQA, but performance status will not be provided as performance criteria are not yet defined. See www.genqa.org/pilot-eqa for more information www.genqa.org/pilot-eqa
Participants are designated a Poor Performer if they receive a Critical error for either analysis/genotyping or interpretation in any EQA.
Poor performance investigation
This is an investigation into the reasons (root causes) of poor performance in order to prevent recurrence.
Poor performance Investigation form
A form completed by a participant to document their investigation into their poor performance.
This is the designated person who is the main contact for a laboratory/centre. The Primary Contact can enrol in EQAs, submit results and amend laboratory contacts, receive information regarding appeals and poor performance. Unless a separate Bill Payer is stipulated, the Primary Contact will also receive all GenQA invoices.
Proficiency testing provider
An organisation offering external quality assessments e.g. GenQA or UK NEQAS. May also be known as an EQA provider.
A continuous process for the identification and implementation of best practice and the determination of effective governance and sharing of information.
The process by which an individual or laboratory/centre becomes a member of GenQA.
The performance feedback (EQA results) provided by GenQA after marking of EQA submissions. This may include scores and comments which are documented in the ILR/ICR.
Most GenQA EQAs have a single distribution (round) per year. However, some EQAs have multiple rounds whereby participants receive multiple samples/cases throughout the year. Each round is independent and requires a separate submission.
A Sample EQA is an EQA that requires the laboratory to test GenQA provided samples in the laboratory in order to create a submission report, or complete form submission activities.
These are currently presented across both the Scheme activities (as the traditional way these were run), and within TACT/Axiom Online.
Scientific advisory board
GenQA Scientific Advisory Board consists of the Chairs of the different Specialist Advisory Groups, invited experts, the GenQA Director, Deputy Directors and the Quality Manager. For more information go to https://genqa.org/governance
The performance scores/deductions awarded during assessment are provided in the ILR/ICR for each case of an EQA.
Secondary contact or employees
Each laboratory/centre can have multiple laboratory staff registered within their GenQA account. These staff cannot enrol in EQAs or submit EQA results, however these additional roles can be assigned by the Primary Contact.
A staged EQA e.g. Clinical genetics. One part must be completed before next part is released.
Specialist Advisory Group or SAG
Every EQA specialty is overseen by a group composed of experts in the relevant field and GenQA staff. Each SAG agrees the EQAs to be offered and ratifies Appeals and Poor Performance. For more information go to https://genqa.org/governance
A group of scientifically related EQAs e.g. Molecular Pathology, Preimplantation Genetic Testing.
Each line represents the itemised information used when preparing invoices and may cover multiple orders.
The results submitted for an EQA by a laboratory/centre for assessment by GenQA. These can be in the form of clinical/diagnostic laboratory reports, NGS data files, proformas or online data submissions.
A broad technology e.g. NGS.
Terms and Conditions
The document governing the contractual relationship between GenQA and its members. Members must agree to the Terms and Conditions annually before being able to access to GenQA members website.
UK National External Quality Assessment Service (UK NEQAS) is a consortium of EQA providers across different laboratory disciplines, of which GenQA is a member.
United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the national accreditation body for the UK, appointed by government to assess and accredit organisations that provide services including EQA providers (ISO 17043).
This is a unique number (Gxxxxx) provided to laboratories/centres at the point of registration with GenQA to maintain their anonymity. The unique number should be used in all correspondence with GenQA.
This is the process by which GenQA confirms the results of EQA samples/cases prior to using them in an EQA. This is usually performed by at least two independent laboratories/centres using different methodologies (where appropriate).
Website user guide
The document providing instructions on how to use the GenQA members website.
Withdrawal is defined as a laboratory/centre no longer wishing to participate in an EQA. A laboratory can elect to withdraw at any time. GenQA must be informed of the withdrawal. Any participant wishing to withdraw from an EQA must complete the GenQA EQA Withdrawal Request form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the EQA opening. For more information refer to GenQA Withdrawal Policy.