All of these programmes use a stable whole blood material. The samples you will receive are stabilised using a patented procedure and will remain stable up to 1 year at between +2 and +8 degrees C. Please store any samples at this temperature until testing but allow the samples to reach ambient temperature before staining.
Because the material is stabilised some minor adjustments may be required to the Forward Scatter (FSc) and Side Scatter (SSc) Photo Multiplier Tube (PMT) voltages. This is normal and does not affect the staining characteristics. Owing to the stabilisation process, the cells are not viable. UK NEQAS LI therefore recommends that viability dyes are either not used or, if used, all cells are included in the viable cells gate. In addition, the stabilisation process allows for haemoglobin to leach out of the red blood cells. As a result of this the samples may have a haemolysed appearance. This is normal and the samples can be tested.
Do not be concerned if the haematology profile on these samples does not give a valid differential. This is due to the stabilisation process. These samples have been developed to give the optimum performance using “flow cytometric” assays and have been used in these EQA programmes for over fifteen years.
****NEW FOR 2022-2023***
As part of the continuous development of our EQA/PT provision we will be introducing several updates to our flow cytometry programmes in 2022-2023.
As of April 1st, 2022, we will be launching the UK NEQAS LI Competency Assessment and Instrument Validation Panel for Immune Monitoring. This is a multi-purpose tool consisting of six samples (comprising of singlets and/or duplicates and/or triplicates) of predefined CD3+, CD3+/CD4+ and CD3+/CD8+ counts which can be tailored to the individual parameter testing needs of the participant (absolute values, percentages, or both). Performance monitoring via the use of z scores will be shown immediately following result entry providing immediate feedback to the participant. This panel can be used for continual professional development, competency assessment within a laboratory and as trouble shooting assistance for poor performance or as part of instrument validation.
The Minimal Residual Disease Programmes have been renamed in line with current naming conventions and will now be called Measurable Residual Disease Programmes. All other aspects of the programme operation will remain unchanged.
Educational Electronic Trials will continue to operate as educational exercises alongside existing flow EQA/PT programmes to determine interpersonal differences between laboratory scientists when analysing standardised anonymised data files to help develop and support individual competencies in the analysis of acquired data. The programmes which will offer an Educational Electronic trial are as follows:
CD34+ Stem Cell Enumeration Programme (Accredited)
Measurable Residual Disease for ALL by Flow Cytometry Programme (Accredited)
Measurable Residual Disease for AML by Flow Cytometry Programme (Pilot Not Accredited)
Measurable Residual Disease for CLL by Flow Cytometry Programme (Pilot Not Accredited)
Measurable Residual Disease for Plasma Cell Myeloma by Flow Cytometry Programme Pilot Not Accredited)
Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (Accredited)
* denotes changes to the programme in 2022/2023
Please see programme specific pages on our website for further details.