Accreditation

Development and maintenance of standards and guidelines for pathology laboratories.

Page last updated: 09 April 2020

The National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) is responsible for the development and maintenance of standards and guidelines for pathology laboratories. Audits against these standards and guidelines are conducted by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA). NATA audit assessment reports are considered by the Department of Human Services in determining access to the Medicare Benefits Scheme.

Laboratories seeking eligibility for Medical Benefit rebates are expected to meet the specified quality standards as expressed in the accreditation material developed and maintained by NPAAC in the context of the Australian pathology accreditation framework.

To contact the NPAAC Secretariat please email the Department of Health or phone (02) 6289 4017.

Notification of the Pathology Accreditation Processes during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring patient access to quality pathology services during the response to COVID-19. As part of this, maintaining the continued operation of the National Pathology Accreditation Program is important. The impact of the extraordinary events on the operations of pathology laboratories is recognised and it is more important than ever to ensure the provision of quality pathology services that inform patient management decisions.

Further to consultation with the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) and in response to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the following measures are in operation until 30 September 2020:

Accredited pathology laboratories whose accreditation approval period should cease within the next 6 months, will be granted a continuation of their current accreditation for a period of 6 months from the date of the current end date of approval.

The accreditation status of accredited pathology laboratories will be maintained during the response phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. These arrangements will be monitored however, and may be subject to change in the recovery phase of the pandemic.

These measures are intended to support pathology laboratories in the provision of services, particularly during a high demand period, and for accreditation assessors and laboratory personnel participating in an accreditation process to meet the social distancing requirements.

It is recommended that you contact NATA to discuss how to request a continuation of accreditation. The contact details are provided below:

National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)
Website: National Association of Testing Authorities Australia
Phone: 1800 621 666
Alternatively, contact Services Australia to discuss queries relating to applications – Services Australia

Pathology Accreditation Processed during COVID-19 – Attachment A (PDF 207 KB)
Pathology Accreditation Processed during COVID-19 – Attachment A (Word 146 KB).