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Continual measures that must be included to ensure that a test is working to the highest standard.
Internal QC programme: A programme in which your own laboratory runs an external QC sample in an assay and uses the analysed results to verify valid runs.
No assay should be performed without using the appropriate manufacturers (internal) controls
External QC programme: A programme in which a laboratory participates and receives QC samples from another laboratory (e.g. National Serology Reference Laboratory, Australia) and returns the data from all runs to the organising laboratory for analysis and reporting.
All HIV testing laboratories should run an internal QC programme as part of on-going Quality Assurance in their laboratory.
The monitoring of the QC results can herald problems.
Does not ensure that the results are accurate. QAP is used to assess this.