About Us

About Us

The Clinical Molecular Genetics Society (CMGS), formed in 1988 and was the first professional body to represent the discipline of diagnostic molecular genetics, quickly recognised the need for external quality assessment to maintain standards in this field. The CMGS set up quality assessment pilot schemes in 1991 and 1993 to include the most commonly tested conditions at the time.

In order for the EQA scheme to be recognised by the Department of Health it was necessary for the administration to be independent from the discipline's professional body. To this end the CMGS EQA sub-committee was re-born in 1994 as the 'Steering Committee for Molecular Genetics External Quality Assurance' (MGEQA). Funding was granted from the Department of Health for a two-year period to facilitate this transition.

Since 1996, UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics has been run as a not for profit, self funding organisation. In 1999 became a full member of the United Kingdom National External Quality Assessment Services (UK NEQAS). UK NEQAS is an 'umbrella' organisation that has developed to provide a multidisciplinary network of educational quality assessment schemes across the range of pathology disciplines. The UK NEQAS code of practicefor member schemes helps to ensure nationally agreed standards in quality assessment (UK NEQAS Code of Practice 2009.pdf).

The current scheme remains self financing and non-profit making, and is entirely independent of the CMGS, although close links are maintained also with the newly formed Association of Clinical Genetic Science (ACGS). Similarly, close ties are also held with the UK NEQAS for Clinical Cytogenetics, UK NEQAS for Immunocytochemistry and In Situ Hybridisation (ICC & ISH), the European Molecular Genetics Quality Network (EMQN) and the European Society of Pathology.

For more information on the UK NEQAS organisation see http://www.ukneqas.org.uk/content/Pageserver.asp