All established UK NEQAS’s are supported by advice from an appropriate UK NEQAS Steering Committee, accountable to the UK NEQAS Board. The Chairperson is normally independent of UK NEQAS operational interests, and membership will include appropriate experts, participants and advisors. The Chairperson and members are appointed by the UK NEQAS Board, on the advice of appropriate professionals, and sit in their own right and normally not as representatives of any professional or other group, though some may fulfil an invaluable liaison function with such groups. Steering Committees do not consider the performance of individual participating laboratories, except in advising on performance criteria or where this may indicate a failure in the operation of the Scheme (and even in such cases the laboratories will not be identifiable).
To advise the Scheme Organiser(s) on the overall design and operation of the Scheme(s), including aspects such as:
- appropriateness of the investigations surveyed
- nature of the specimens distributed
- number and frequency of specimen distribution
- source of target values
- data analysis and performance assessment
- data presentation
- communication with participants, including meetings, newsletters, educational activities
- communication with the diagnostics industry
- research and development for the Scheme(s)
- In consultation with the Scheme Organiser, to liaise with the relevant National Quality Assurance Advisory Panel in setting performance criteria.
- To promote harmonisation, in scheme design and practice, with other UK NEQAS’s as appropriate.
- To consider, and advise the Scheme Organiser(s) on, the need for initiation or termination of EQA services for investigations in the area covered.
- To review Schemes’ annual reports.
- To receive any representations, to Chairman, members or Organiser, from participants concerning the Schemes.
- To advise the UK NEQAS Board, and where appropriate other relevant organisations (e.g. Department of Health, RCPath’s Quality Assurance in Pathology Committee, United Kingdom Accreditation Service, Medical Devices Agency, Royal College of Pathologists), on any aspect of EQA or quality assurance in the area covered.
The Reproductive Science Steering Committee meet twice a year and approve changes in scheme design, including the introduction of new services and the cessation of existing services. The Chair and Deputy Chair are elected by the Steering Committee from its Membership. Members are considered representatives of either Andrology or Embryology. Membership of the committee is as follows:
The Reproductive Science Steering Committee
|Chair||Professor Allan Pacey|
|Deputy Chair||Dr Rachel Gregoire|
|Deputy Andrology Chair||Trudy Johnson|
|Deputy Embryology Chair||Vacant|
|NQAAP liaison||Dr Rachel Gregoire|
|Clinician||Dr Raj Mathur|
|Andrology Representative||Janine Smith|
|Andrology Representative||Stephanie Brooks|
|Embryology Representative||Ella Mair|
|Embryology Representative||Dr Helen Clarke|
|Embryology Representative||Dr Bryan Woodward|
|Embryology Representative||Charlene Freeman|
|Embryology Representative||Dr Amy Barrie|
|Embryology Representative||Dr Lucy Richardson|
|Embryology Representative||Sophie Jacques|
|Statistical Advisor||Dr Jack Wilkinson|