Quality Matters









October 2017

annette circle

I am currently at the IFCC Wordlab in Durban: http://durban2017.org/

Just listened to a fantastic presentation from Prof Delanghe from The  University of Ghent on Non invasive glycation testing. This is a fantastic achievement especially for accessibility of diagnostic testing in the developing countries in sub Saharan Africa. Ideal for those countries that don’t have the resource or accessibility for HbA1c.  See the slides here

Presented our Weqas poster on our Serum indices programme at the poster session, it was a bit chaotic as they had run out of adhesive strips, we improvised and used sellotape!  The poster is an overview report of performance over the last 2 years, main learning point – there is little harmonisation of reporting even within a specific platform. The poster can be downloaded here

Great POCT meeting on Saturday, and the following poster by Kost highlights the pitfalls of trying to monitor environmental factors for POCT.

POCT Poster by KOST






Rebecca Davies, Business and Marketing Lead 


Annual Conference 2016









The annual conference for 2016 took place on the 13th & 14th December at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester.  There were more than 130 participants in attendance over the two days – thank you to everyone that attended!

A warm thank you to all of our excellent speakers who provided topical, informative and interesting presentations.

I hope you all had as great a time as we did in Manchester!

To view the presentations please click below;


Day one

Day two











Please email the marketing department: contact@weqas.com  with any feedback regarding the conference or suggestions for future events.

If you did not collect your CPD certificate from the registration desk then you can request one by clicking the relevant email link below entering either IBMS/RCPATH in the subject title. Don’t forget to include your name and address!



The programme and venue for this year’s conference is currently being sourced and details of this will be published on the “events” page of our website shortly.


*New for 2017*

Our marketing team are currently looking at organising regional EQA workshops which will cover EQA interpretation for basic level through to advanced level for both Lab and PoCT.

Possible locations for 2017 are: Dublin, Edinburgh and Oxford. To register your interest in a regional workshop in your area please email contact@weqas.com






David Ducroq,  Deputy Director 


eqalm-logo-2EQALM Barcelona 2016





                           Casa Milà                                                              La Boqueria Market









                              Montjuic                                               La Sagrada Familia

Our lab manager, Samantha Jones and myself attended this important European meeting set in the vibrant city of Barcelona. The meeting is the annual forum for EQA providers to exchange ideas (sometimes argue) but generally just to meet up with like minded colleagues. Weqas presented posters on the traceability of glucose methods, analytical sensitivity of troponin assays and Weqas’ experience with the FOB/FIT programme (see hyperlinks below).-

Early rise on day 1 for the working groups. Sam and I attended a lively discussion regarding frequency of distribution of EQA samples and the impact on analytical quality. A number of studies have already been undertaken by the Group to look at the evidence base. The studies to date suggests that the EQA schemes distributing samples on a more frequent basis result in better analytical quality, Weqas being a prime example.

The first day of the main conference opened with a session on Traceability and the change in focus of the next revision of ISO 17511 to include traceability to patient samples. The scope of this document will include measures taken to assure traceability in calibrators and patient samples. A questionnaire circulated by Eqalm looking at the Reference Measurement target values used in the various EQA schemes provided some interesting data. Of the returned data, only 10% of the EQA organisations use Reference Measurement values as their target value.

The evening social dinner event allowed an excellent opportunity for networking amongst the attendees. Unfortunately due to an unexpected lengthy thunderstorm, this meant we had to undertake a bus tour of Barcelona rather than the planned walk along the Ramblas pre conference dinner.


Day two started with a view of ”the perfect EQA” – is there another one ??

The requirements of ISO17043, traceability of the target value – the 6 pillars of traceability and 6-sigma principles for scoring of laboratories were covered.

An area of concern for most EQA providers (and often not communicated to participants) is the commutability of EQA material. Many issues can influence the commutability of both EQA and reference materials. The way in which the material is manipulated can affect the various measurands within the sample e.g. pH of the material may influence the isoforms of proteins and peptides in a sample. The best sample is the endogenous patient sample but EQA providers often have to compromise to ensure stability. An IFCC working group has been established to look at commutability issues.

With the continued focus on traceability the work of the RELA surveys for monitoring the performance of Reference Laboratories was discussed. Where no reference measurement procedures are available demonstration of traceability is more difficult. In these situations , the manufacturer selected procedure may be used to define the kit targets (Cat 5), and Internationally agreed conventional calibrators (Cat 4). The hierarchy for the categories for a reference system are listed in ISO17511.

Categories for Reference Systems (ISO17511)






Other areas of discussion included Reagent lot recording to monitor Batch to batch variability.  The more information participants provide to the EQA provider, the easier it is to identify trends.

Overall this was a great meeting, with lively discussions and an opportunity to catch up with colleagues.  And next year in Ireland – what’s next on the horizon??



annette circle Annette Thomas, Weqas Director

September’s Post:

Earlier on this month, David and I attended an excellent meeting in Cardiff, on Traceability and Uncertainty organised by the All Wales Clinical Biochemistry Audit Group.  Although no audits were presented, the organisers provided a forum for identifying best practice through a mix of formal presentations (including a UKAS Assessment manager and Technical assesor) and lessons learnt from Laboratories that had already achieved ISO 15189: 2012 accreditation.  Dave and I , obviously had to have our say on our favourite subjects – Dave on Traceability  and myself on setting your Quality Control specifications.


Here are our presentations from the meeting… I hope you find them useful.

Quality-Control and Traceability & Uncertainty


August’s Post:

As many of you are currently working towards compliance to ISO15189, Annette has written a post/blog on calculating your bias and imprecision for your uncertainty calculation, we hope you find this useful!

How to calculate your long term bias for your uncertainty calculation?