Oneworld Accuracy, a Vancouver-based proficiency testing provider, recently contacted A2LA with a request to expand their scope of accreditation to cover their newly developed COVID-19 proficiency testing program under ISO/IEC 17043. Due to the severity of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, A2LA and Oneworld Accuracy immediately began working together to complete the scope expansion on an accelerated timeline, and the new scope was issued on April 17th. Proficiency testing (commonly called external quality assessment or EQA in the clinical realm) evaluates the analytical performance of participants by comparing it to pre-established clinical criteria via interlaboratory comparison. This process is critical to ensuring accurate laboratory testing methods and reliable test results. Oneworld Accuracy’s COVID-19 program is uniquely positioned to play a key role in the global effort to control the spread of coronavirus.
Responding to a pandemic is a massive and multi-faceted challenge. Laboratories around the world are now working rapidly to answer the need for coronavirus testing, and many new types of tests are being developed in a very short timeframe. Proficiency testing helps to ensure that the tests to detect coronavirus are being administered, processed, and interpreted correctly, leading to greater accuracy and more confidence in results. Proficiency testing is indispensable in all regions affected by the pandemic, but it has perhaps the greatest public health impact in less affluent countries, where resources are more limited and the risk of mortality from COVID-19 is greater.
Oneworld Accuracy has developed a collaborative approach for designing and delivering proficiency testing programs. Their strategy provides governments and public health organizations globally with a turnkey solution to enable them to commence operations quickly as providers of proficiency testing programs that are cost-effective, clinically effective and support their own accreditation under ISO/IEC 17043. The benefits of this collaborative approach are particularly evident with proficiency testing needed to support accurate and reliable COVID-19 testing. Oneworld Accuracy, in partnership with Microbix, is among the first to create a proficiency testing program specific to COVID-19 and perhaps the first such program accredited to ISO/IEC 17043. What is truly unique is that this program is scalable and fast to deploy. Governments globally can adopt this program as part their national strategy to manage the quality of their COVID-19 testing and be operational in days.
Recognizing the importance of the work Oneworld Accuracy has been conducting, A2LA immediately prioritized their requested scope expansion and dedicated additional resources to ensuring that their documentation was reviewed with the necessary attention and rigor. “I can certainly say firsthand that A2LA’s customer service promises are not idle talk.” Said Daniel Taylor, CEO of Oneworld Accuracy. “I emailed our contacts at A2LA on a holiday weekend, not expecting a response until at least Monday but they clearly understood the importance of our request. They replied almost instantly and dedicated their full attention to every step of the process. Thanks to A2LA’s support we achieved a very impressive turnaround time.”
In these trying times, A2LA is proud to contribute in any way possible to the work of Oneworld Accuracy and so many others in the testing and medical fields. For more information on Oneworld Accuracy and their COVID-19 EQA program, visit 1WA.org. For more information about A2LA, including information on ISO/IEC 17043 accreditation for proficiency testing providers, visit A2LA.org.
A2LA is a non-profit, non-governmental, third-party accreditation body, offering internationally-recognized accreditation services and training to testing and calibration laboratories, sampling organizations, inspection bodies, proficiency testing providers, reference material producers and product certifiers. For more information about A2LA, please visit www.A2LA.org.
About Oneworld Accuracy
Oneworld Accuracy is an independent, social enterprise group headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Oneworld Accuracy provides a comprehensive set of more than 200 accredited EQA programs spanning all clinical disciplines. 1WA is also a coordinator of collaborative EQA which seeks to create cost-effective, sustainable, networked EQA in all countries using their OASYS informatics system as a shared resource. Government stakeholders including public health institutes, ministries of health, and national reference laboratories become national EQA providers on a pathway to attain their own ISO accreditation. Upwards of 60 government stakeholders have participated in collaborative EQA to date. Oneworld Accuracy and its CMS credentialled U.S. affiliate are accredited to ISO/IEC 17043 by A2LA. For further information, please contact Daniel Taylor, Oneworld Accuracy CEO and Cofounder, at dtaylor@1WA.org.