External Quality Assessment (EQA) for Laboratories

About EQA:

EQA is one component of quality assurance (QA), which ensures that tests are performed accurately, results are comparable and reproducible, and errors are detected and corrected to avoid adverse outcomes or wrong diagnosis.

    EQA consists of:

  • On-site evaluation of laboratories by standardized techniques
  • Panel testing (also called proficiency testing)
  • Rechecking of pathological material or slides

About proficiency testing:

Participation in a proficiency testing will provide your laboratory with valuable data and information. It will allow you to compare performance and test results in different sites and/or performance at international or regional level. It will provide you with warning signals for systematic problems, objective evidence of testing quality. Areas to be improved and training needs will be clearly identified.

Upon request, we develop the policies and procedures, manage the sample’s selection, the parcel and create online application for entering results and program management.

IQLS currently organizes and manages schemes for 4 different types of pathogens:

For Tuberculosis :

  • Microscopy (ZN-light, fluorescence-auramine)
  • Identification (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex)
  • Drug sensitivity testing (first line, second line including MDRTB)
  • Molecular biology (PCR, Line Probe Assay – LPA)
  • GeneXpert dedicated scheme
  • Specific and unique program for identification of Non-tuberculosis Mycobacteria (NTM)

For Malaria:

  • Microscopy (routine light microscopy for Malaria and species diagnosis)
  • Speciation
  • Parasitemia determination (WHO-recommended method)

For Arboviruses (Dengue and Chikungunya):

  • Molecular diagnosis of Chikungunya (dried blood spot) by PCR
  • Molecular diagnosis of Dengue (dried blood spot) by PCR, with possible typing
  • Typing of dengue by PCR (DEN-1; DEN-2; DEN-3; DEN-4) is also available using dried blood spot

For Leptospira

  • Program currently under development

About our programs and schemes:

  • Many different customization available upon request
  • Various type of sample available upon request
  • Various specimens available: simulated sputum, stained or unstained slides, original specimen, decontaminated or inactivated, lyophilized…etc
  • Broad and various pattern of resistance (TB): first and second line drugs resistance (mono resistance or multi resistance)
  • Adaptable number of samples depending on the goals and expectations
  • Customization of surveys
  • Proficiency testing at different levels:
    • Laboratory level (usually to assess the best capacities of a laboratory)
    • Individual technician level (to assess staff)
  • Dedicated and secured online multi language interface
  • Reporting at individual level (technician or laboratory) and general (whole laboratory or group of laboratories who participated in the survey)
  • Personalized follow-up: technical assistance, recommendation

Our surveys are:

  • Prepared and developed upon request (a lot of flexibility)
  • Customizable and personalizable according to our technical expertise
  • Personalized depending on number of laboratories, expectations
  • Supported by documentation (Policies and Procedures, Safety Procedures, Reports, certificate of participation and good performance)
  • Associated with an online web-interface for entering results and program management

We take care of:

  • Documentation development
  • Sample selection
  • Organization of parcel shipment
  • Results summary with statistics
  • Reports (individual and general)
  • Follow-up in case of limitations or problems
  • Certificates (participation and good performance)

Whatever the survey or pathogen, we strongly recommend to perform at least 2 surveys per year, according to international guidelines, certification and accreditation agencies.


Personalized Surveys/ Request:

IQLS can organize customized and dedicated schemes for any number of participating laboratories (or technicians), especially in the field of infectious disease.

Dedicated online interface for EQA programmes:

Online External Quality Assessment (EQA/PT) interface for program management (for participants data entry and organizers program management, including statistics and reports).


IQLS is organizing his EQA schemes according to ISO17043 standard, and can train any EQA organizer to reach ISO17043 standard. A training has been organized by DAkkS and IQLS in 2011 for all Indian EQA organizers, under the umbrella of NABL, Indian accreditation body for laboratories.