CEQA (Cytogenetic European Quality Assessment) was set up in 2005 by a Forum of European EQA Providers as part of the Eurogentest Network of Excellence in Genetics to address the lack of a pan European EQA Scheme and to help harmonise existing National schemes.
Since then the Scheme has grown from offering one Constitutional Pilot EQA (consisting of one prenatal and one postnatal case) to a limited number of laboratories into an internationally recognised Scheme offering a growing repertoire of full EQAs as well as a pilot EQA.
CEQA operates through a password-protected website containing clinical cytogenetic and preimplantation diagnosis cases for analysis. Participating laboratories are provided with clinical information, technical details, metaphase and/or FISH images as well as DNA samples (for some EQAs) from selected diagnostic cases to analyse and report. Results can be submitted in severalEuropean languages (Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish). CEQA is a fully interpretative EQA Scheme and participants are expected to analyse and interpret their findings.
Submissions are assessed by a panel of expert assessors and laboratories are issued with Individual Laboratory Reports (ILRs) giving the expected result and educational comments from the assessors. In addition, a summary letter for each EQA is published online. This document includes additional information about the EQA and allows the laboratory to benchmark their performance against the other participants.
Laboratories can submit an appeal within 15 days of the publication of the ILR. All appeals are reviewed by the Steering Committee and the appealing laboratory will be informed of the Committee’s decision.
CEQA is due to be accredited against ISO17043 during 2013.