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Home > Programmes > Main Scheme

U.K. NEQAS for Blood Coagulation
Main Scheme; Level 1 & Level 2

INTRODUCTION

By providing external quality assessment for blood coagulation tests, as a part of overall quality assurance, the programme aims to promote high standards of performance and practice, achieved with the UK NEQAS primary aim of education, by provision of independent, objective and impartial information.

WHO CAN TAKE PART?

Although primarily intended to meet the needs of clinical laboratories, participation by industrial and other laboratories is welcomed.  Most participating laboratories are sited within the UK, but registration is open to laboratories in Europe and further afield, whether government supported, private or commercial. UK NEQAS for Blood Coagulation is run on a not for profit basis, under the auspices of UK National External Quality Assessment Service and professional bodies.

REGISTRATION

Please contact UK NEQAS for Blood Coagulation neqas@coageqa.org.uk to request a registration form for the programme

The nominated participant, normally the person with overall responsibility for the laboratory, registers for all tests included in UK NEQAS for Blood Coagulation, which their laboratory offers as a service.  As part of registration, participants are requested to formally agree to adhere to the Joint Working Group's Conditions of Participation in UK EQA Schemes.  With the few exceptions indicated in these Conditions, the Director is obliged to observe strict confidentiality regarding individual performance.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The tests are divided into Level 1 (screening tests) and Level 2 (assays), comprising:  

Level 1

Level 2

Prothrombin Time (PT)/INR (Quick / capillary methods)

Factor II assay

Von Willebrand factor antigen assay

PT (diagnostic)

Factor V assay

VWF:RCo (activity) assay

Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT)

Factor VII assay

VWF:CB (collagen-binding) assay

Heparin Dosage Assessment (HDA)

Factor VIII:C assay

Antithrombin antigen assay

Heparin Assay (HA)

Factor IX:C assay

Antithrombin activity assay

Thrombin Time (TT)

Factor X assay

Protein C antigen assay

Fibrinogen evaluation  (Clauss method)

Factor XI assay

Protein C activity assay

D-Dimer

Factor XII assay

Protein S total and free antigen assay

Lupus anticoagulant*

Factor XIII screen/assay*

Protein S activity assay

 

Quantitative VIII inhibitor*

Plasminogen assay

 

 

Activated Protein C resistance assay

Six exercises are distributed each financial year, and the range of tests included within these surveys varies; each exercise includes samples for PT/INR and APTT, and 4 surveys include samples for FVIII assay.  Four surveys each year include samples for thrombophilia screening (Protein C, Protein S, Antithrombin, Activated Protein C resistance). Details of tests to be included in each survey are indicated in individual reports three months prior to survey distribution. All samples are of lyophilised plasma, from donors screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and for antibodies to hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (anti HIV-1+2). In the majority of cases, samples are from single donations. In addition to six main scheme distributions, relevant supplementary exercises (including those tests marked with an asterisk (*) in the above table) are distributed on an ad-hoc basis to address current issues in haemostasis.

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

Individual reports for each survey are available within two weeks after the closing date for the survey.  These may be downloaded from the online data entry system; and posted for centres wishing to retain paper copies. Survey newsletters provide additional information.  Additionally, some weeks after the individual results, an overall exercise report is made available to registered participants for electronic download from this website.  This report includes comprehensive analysis of test results by methodology, together with graphically presented data analysis for each test specimen.

PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS

Performance is determined by comparison of individual laboratory results with the target value for each test. Full details of how this is determined may be found in the Performance menu of this website.

REPEAT SAMPLES

Repeat samples may be requested (subject to availability) by participants during a survey if problems are encountered when performing the test/assay, and after a survey is closed to investigate performance issues.  Participants are requested to retain their survey instruction sheets for information on how to process the samples.