External Quality Assessment (EQA) is an essential part of the wider quality assurance function. The fundamental purpose of the External Quality Assessment is to educate and enable individuals participating in the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) to demonstrate their competence in a uniform manner. It should reassure all staff working in the Cervical Screening Programme that individual performance is at the required standard and encourage continued working towards excellence.
The Cervical North East, Yorkshire and The Humber Quality Assurance Reference Centre (NEYHQARC) are responsible for the facilitation of two National EQA schemes in Gynaecological Cytology. These schemes include:
• National EQA Scheme for Gynaecological Cytopathology
• National EQA Scheme for the Evaluation of Papanicolaou Staining in Cervical Cytology
As well as organising EQAs related to the NHS Cervical Screening Programme, the Cervical NEYHQARC also facilitate the running of two pathology EQA schemes. These include:
• The Yorkshire General Histopathology External Quality Assessment
• The National Liver External Quality Assessment