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National Quality Assurance Advisory Panel (NQAAP) and Joint Working Group (JWG) for Reproductive Science



The NQAAPs are professional groups which have executive responsibility for maintaining satisfactory standards of analytical and interpretative work in laboratories in the UK, whether in the private or in the public sector, in which investigations are performed for the detection, diagnosis or management of disease in humans. The Royal College of Pathologists, the Institute of Biomedical Science and two or three other appropriate professional bodies each nominate one member, who normally serve for four years. The Chairperson of each of the Panels reports to the Joint Working Group on Quality Assurance.

The Panels work closely with the Organisers of the relevant UK NEQAS and other approved EQA schemes, who bring to their attention laboratories whose performance and/or frequency of returns are judged unsatisfactory by criteria agreed by the Panels with the appropriate Steering Committee. At this stage the Panels identify the laboratory only by code. A Panel reviews information provided by the Organiser and if it decides to intervene in the case of a particular laboratory, the Chairman writes a 'Dear Colleague' letter, which is forwarded to the laboratory by the Organiser. This asks about problems which have been identified and remedial action taken and offers to provide help and advice. Recipients are assured of the professional relationship which exists between the Panel and participants and are invited to disclose their identity when they reply. If a participant remains anonymous, choosing not to disclose their identity to the Panel Chairman, and the poor performance continues, the Panel Chairman will then ask the Organiser for the address of the laboratory. The Panel Chairman will then communicate directly with the Head of Department.


The NQAAP for Reproductive Science meets twice a year. Its membership is as follows:

Chair, Representative of the Royal College of Pathologists:
Dr Bryan Woodward
Chair Elect, Vacant
Representative of the Royal College of Pathologists
Dr Paul Bishop
Representative of the British Andrology Society:
Dr Jackson Kirkman Brown MBE
Representative of the Institute of Biomedical Science:
Kathryn Howarth
Representative of the Association Biomedical Andrologists:
Joanne Adams
Representative of Association of Clinical Embryologists:
Dr Rachel Gregoire
Representative Of British Fertility Soceity:
Mr Kevin McEleny

Joint Working Group for Quality Assurance (JWG)


The Joint Working Group for Quality Assessment in Pathology is a multidisciplinary group accountable to the Royal College of Pathologists for the oversight of performance in external quality assessment (EQA) schemes and monitoring of the EQA performance of clinical laboratories in the UK. This is achieved via discipline specific panels (NQAAP) which report to the Joint Working Group. In turn, the Joint Working Group will work with failing laboratories but is also bound to report persistent poor performance to the Care Quality Commission.


Webpages reviewed Dec 2017.