It has been a pleasure to collaborate with GenQA to support the provision of external quality assessments for BRCA testing in ovarian cancer. GenQA provides a consistently high quality service and a strong educational focus to ensure that laboratories are able to deliver appropriate testing and accurate interpretation of variants for their patients.
Global Diagnostics Director, DNA Damage Response (DDR) Franchise, AstraZeneca
LGC SeraCare has been supporting GenQA with custom reference materials to address a wide range of EQA schemes over the past few years. GenQA is a forward-looking and customer oriented organization that has developed proficiency materials in areas such as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), ctDNA for liquid biopsy applications and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). These materials consist of clinically actionable variants that are critically needed to determine assay variability across a wide range of clinical genomics laboratories.
Sr. Director of Product Management, LGC Clinical Diagnostics Business Unit
Just completed the Care Home COVID-19 swabbing competency assessment set up by GenQA (Genomics Quality Assessment). The knowledge that I have obtained from this online assessment will be extremely useful when carrying out swab tests within the home.
Keelie Armstrong, working at Charles Court Care Home
I have had the chance to closely work with GenQA for more than 12 years. Being a member of the ESHRE PGT consortium, we started a collaboration on development of EQA schemes for preimplantation genetic testing back in 2007. Single cell genetic testing is not straightforward, but the GenQA team made it happen, setting up assessments for PGT in 2 stages, closely resembling clinical laboratory practice. From this first pilot scheme onward, the practical schemes have been successful and the number of participating PGT labs has increased year after year. The GenQA team continuously reviews and improves the PGT schemes, taking into account performances and feedback of the labs. I appreciate the team and their work very much: they are a bunch of enthusiastic professionals that stand out in problem-solving and have a constructive attitude. This must be the reason why it is always so great to work with them.
Martine De Rycke
PGT Laboratory Supervisor at the University Hospital Brussels
Past-chair of the ESHRE PGT consortium and chair of the BeSHG PGT working group
I joined the GenQA (previously known as CEQA/CEQAS) in 2005 as part of a workpackage to harmonise EQA provision in Cytogenetics within the FP6 framework Eurogentest project. At an inaugural meeting of National External Quality Assessment (EQA) providers we could see how much there was in common between the different countries involved, and consequently a pan European EQA, CEQA was established in 2006.
At first we were a few “crazy people”, coming from different laboratories from all around Europe, convinced that a common framework could be set in place with the only purpose of giving patients the best cytogenetics service possible and assisting laboratories to improve their diagnostic service through EQA.
Being one of the first members of this now “worldwide organisation” didn’t mean our laboratory was performing perfectly; there was still much room to learn and improve. Throughout the years we have seen how much we have learnt from the way other laboratories were performing, how our reports were improving and how “disappointed” we were if we lost marks, because we really wanted to work towards perfection.
There was so much need from the laboratories to have a reference body/standard, such that we have seen CEQAS grow through adolescence, to reach the adult life and marry another EQA provider (UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics) with the same ethos. This marriage “GenQA” has made a difference in the sense that we are now stronger together. If at any point in the very beginning there was any doubt about how long the different quality bodies would last, now there is no doubt that they are essential of a laboratories quality management system.
GenQA is not only about the people working for it, it is mainly about those people trusting it, taking part in the different quality EQAs and believing that it will help them to improve. This is at the heart of GenQA.
Marta Rodríguez de Alba, PhD
Assistant to Head of Department, Genetics Department, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain
I have worked with GenQA on a number of national projects and it has always been a pleasure. Good communication throughout and high quality outputs (as you’d expect from a quality focused organisation!) mean they are always my first thought for new projects.
Lee Welch BSc MSc FIBMS
Genomics England have valued tremendously working and collaborating with GenQA over the last few years to ensure the best quality of our ISO accredited whole genome sequencing analytical pipeline for the NHS. In our view GenQA continually strive for excellence and they have been at the forefront of making Whole Genome Sequencing a comparable method of testing in EQA schemes. Our work together has meant we are in the best place possible to launch an accredited NHS Genomic Medicine Service.
Professor Sir Mark Caulfield MD FRCP FESC FBHS FMedSci,
Chief Scientist for Genomics England, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London
It has been my pleasure and privilege to work closely with GenQA both in their role as a provider of molecular genetic/cytogenetic External Quality Assessment (EQA) and as a member of the UK NEQAS Consortium.
GenQA is operated by a dedicated team consisting of expert scientists with specialist administrative support and is an established resource for laboratories worldwide. Evidence of the high quality of their work, frequently behind the scenes, to improving laboratory performance is clearly visible in the posters, presentations, or publications they regularly produce and also in their support of scientific initiatives; such as the 100,000 genome project for which GenQA introduced several dedicated EQA programmes. Their approach to EQA offers several unique and valuable solutions, enabling monitoring and improvement of laboratory performance on an international scale for the benefit of patients everywhere.
The GenQA organisational commitment to the continual development of existing EQA tools and the creation of new ones is exemplary and they embody the values and dedication of the UK NEQAS organisation.
Mr Liam Whitby
President UK NEQAS
The implementation of the NHS Genomic Medicine Centres to support the delivery of the 100,000 Genomes Project required an evidenced based study of the quality of service delivered by the NHS genomic laboratories. As Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Responsible Officer for Genomics in NHS England, I relied upon UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics to provide an independent assessment of laboratory services and to support the improvement in delivery across laboratories.
The commissioning of the NHS Genomic Medicine Service in England to deliver the tests outlined in the National Genomic Test Directory involved the tendering of EQA services for the full remit of the Test Directory and was awarded to the UK NEQAS consortium and is predominantly delivered by GenQA. This Scheme has been responsive to deliver new assessments and to meet the requirements of NHS England. I fully support their high level of service and will continue to hold UK NEQAS in high regard.
Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE
Chief Scientific Officer, NHS England
GenQA has supported the ongoing delivery, improvement, and delivery of new, clinical diagnostic services for many years. They continue to provide relevant and timely schemes, rapidly responding to the needs of the genomic diagnostic community. The GenQA team are well-organised and responsive, and the really excellent network of scientific advisors provide informative advice. I feel very fortunate that our genomic laboratories are backed by this first-rate service.
Prof Rachel Butler MB
Operation Director, South West Genomic Laboratory Hub
GenQA is a leader in driving up the quality standards of genomic testing to improve the service we offer to patients. They offer invaluable support and advice to labs by running EQA schemes which accurately reflect the challenges encountered in the clinical diagnostic setting. I have been impressed how the content and breadth of the EQA scheme provision has been updated rapidly over the years to reflect the massive changes in our field, particularly with regards to testing methodologies. The scheme reports and participant meetings are highly informative with great educational value. The team are very approachable and helpful, with excellent communication with their users and a easy to use website for management of the schemes.
The team have responded superbly to the current COVID-19 situation by adapting the scheme formats promptly and reducing the burden on testing laboratories whilst still maintaining this crucial service.
Professor Sian Ellard OBE PhD FRCPath
Scientific Director, South West Genomic Laboratory Hub