Resources for the pathology standards

The resources below support clinicians, service providers and accrediting agencies by providing guidance on the requirements for pathology laboratories to be accredited.

Notice

From 1 July 2021, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is responsible for coordinating the National Pathology Accreditation (NPA) Scheme and managing the development of the pathology accreditation standards.

For enquiries about the NPA Scheme or the resources provided below, email pathology@safetyandquality.gov.au.

Testing for COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID‑19) pandemic, the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) has developed a number of resources relating to COVID‑19 to support the Australian healthcare system.

Guidance on point of care testing for COVID-19

NPAAC has developed guidance to support the increased demand in COVID‑19 testing in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, pathology laboratories and primary healthcare services.

This guidance complements NPAAC’s existing Guidelines for point of care testing.

2021
Guide, user guide or guidelines

Stage III pathology accreditation measures in response to COVID-19

In March 2021, the Australian Government Department of Health (the Department) published the Stage III pathology accreditation measures in response to COVID‑19.

This document was developed in consultation with NPAAC to support pathology laboratories directly impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic. The document outlines the accreditation requirements for pathology laboratories to maintain their accreditation under the National Pathology Accreditation Scheme from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021.

Accreditation requirements for testing for SARS-CoV-2

In November 2020, the Department notified service providers and accrediting agencies of the requirements to perform tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2).

Pathology laboratories must be accredited to perform SARS‑CoV‑2 testing and claim rebates under Medicare. Pathology laboratories performing these tests were expected to be accredited by 20 December 2020.

2020
Guide, user guide or guidelines

Guidelines for COVID-19 drive through and pop-up collection facilities

State and territory governments and service providers established temporary collection facilities such as drive throughs and pop‑ups to broaden specimen collection for COVID‑19 testing in the community.

In July 2020, NPAAC released guidelines to support temporary collection facilities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. The guidelines were developed to protect consumers and ensure consistency in pathology results.

National pathology accreditation standards

Notice

The standards section is currently under construction and will be updated shortly. Please check this section regularly.

To read the pathology accreditation standards, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

NPAAC is responsible for developing and maintaining the accreditation standards for Australian pathology laboratories. The standards are categorised into four main tiers as follows:

Errors and corrections

Advisories

Notice

This section is currently under construction and will be updated shortly.

Factsheets and FAQs

  • Recording – Understanding the NPAAC Requirements for supervision in the clinical governance of medical pathology laboratories seminar

Best practice guidelines

Notice

The best practice guidelines section is currently under construction and will be updated shortly. Please check this section regularly.

To read the best practice guidelines, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

  • Guidelines for point of care testing
  • Provision of direct to consumer genetic tests, guiding principles for providers (Second Edition 2014)

Feedback

The Commission values your opinion. You can provide comments and feedback about this section of the Commission’s website by emailing advicecentre@safetyandquality.gov.au or phone 1800 304 056.