The NHLS Quality Assurance Division (QAD) is a Regional Center of Excellence for Quality for the South African Develop (SADC) Countries. In addition to other services, QAD also provides Proficiency Testing schemes (PTS) to laboratories. These PTS, are designed to be technically relevant and also under continuous review to improve the servers. The NHLS covers the following disciplines: Bacteriology, Chemical Pathology, Flow Cytometry (CD4), Haematology, Molecular Biology, Mycobacteriology (TB), Mycology, Parasitology, Serology (Syphilis Hepatitis, SARS-CoV-2 and HIV) and Virology.
NHLS QAD provides PTS to all NHLS laboratories, private laboratories in South Africa and both private and public laboratories in many countries throughout Africa and beyond. QAD also co-ordinates and advises on the use of international Quality Assessment Programmes for specialist assays, and has the responsibility for monitoring the quality of service provided by the NHLS laboratories.
Click here for NHLS Proficiency Testing Scheme 2023/24 Shipping Schedule
Click here for Chemical Pathology Instructions (QASC0008)
Click here for NHLS Proficiency Testing Scheme Web-based system
The PT Schemes complies with requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2010. The list of accredited schemes is available on the SANAS website under accreditation number PTS0005: –
The PT Schemes run by the NHLS have been designed, to measure laboratory performance against established (and best practice) criteria. In order to achieve the highest levels of objectivity, the management of these PT Schemes is carried out by the Quality Assurance Division, Sandringham, Johannesburg which is entirely independent of the core service functions of the NHLS with a line function that reports directly from the NHLS Academic Affairs Research and Quality Assurance (AARQA) Executive Manager to the NHLS Chief Executive Officer (CEO). As a consequence of this structure, the risk of collusion between participants is mitigated, and a level of objectivity is maintained.
Accreditation of the PT Schemes infers parity with similar international PT Schemes. In order to achieve this accreditation, many stringent technical requirements must be satisfied, which includes integrity of data, accuracy of results and preservation of the confidential nature of participant results.