Please note that this website is no longer being maintained. For all current information and registration please refer to GenQA.

Schemes

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G-TACT

Genetics Training and Competence Tool

Individuals working in genetic laboratories are increasingly becoming required to demonstrate training and competency for different roles they fulfil within the laboratory. Therefore UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics has developed an online training and competency tool to provide a source of external review and evidence continual professional development for the individual.

The G-TACT scheme involves entering a virtual genetics laboratory where the participant can navigate between four workstations; sample reception, duty scientist, data analysis and report authorisation. Each station will have tasks to complete appropriate to that role and a participation certificate will be issued once the station EQA module is complete.

Registration will enable annual access to all available workstations; sample reception, duty scientist, data analysis and report authorisation. Please see the scheme details for detailed costings.

Please register to participate in the G-TACT 2017 scheme and you will be contacted by the Scheme to determine which user option your laboratory would like to opt for.

Please be assured that the Scheme is aware of the financial constraints on laboratories and therefore has endeavoured to keep fees as low as possible to enable maximum participation across laboratories.

UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics along with PathXL have developed, an online tissue assessment EQA module to enable individuals to evidence their competency to select appropriate tissue areas for molecular testing.

UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics have launched an educational tool for BRCA variant classification. The aim of this EQA scheme is to provide an online competency assessment for the classification of BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene variants related to ovarian cancer and the predicted response to PARP inhibitor treatment. This EQA is open to individuals who classify the pathogenicity of variants and provides assurance of your competency to achieve this accurately and in the most up-to-date manner. Instructions about participations can be found here UKNEQAS-S-102 G-TACT BRCA Variants User Guide v1.0.pdf 

 

Tissue-i - Tissue-i flyer 2017.pdf

Molecular pathology testing of solid tumour relies on the pathological review of H&E stained tissue sections to annotate tumour regions for enrichment by macrodissection. This ensures sample quality, sufficiency of tumour DNA for analysis and ultimately the precision of the molecular test result. For the use of sensitive molecular techniques this is critical to deliver high quality testing and allow accurate interpretation of the sequence variants detected. It is known that the annotation of tumour and estimation of neoplastic nuclei can be highly variable thus there is a need to measure the degree of variation between laboratories and standardise approaches to tumour annotation and analysis to promote high quality molecular pathology testing.

This module covers a range of tissue types (breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer). Participants can select which tissue type they wish to assess. They will be required to mark the regions of tumour they deem appropriate for macrodissection for molecular testing, drawing the boundary using the online EQA module. An estimation of the cellularity and percentage of neoplastic nuclei across the slide image and within the annotated region will be requested.

This online competency tool has been designed to provide a source of external review, benchmarking with peers and evidence continual professional development in the field of molecular pathology tissue assessment for the individual.

Registration will enable access to all five tissue types to up to 3 users for an EQA run. This registration will cost £480. Additional users can be added at a reduced fee of £100 per user. Please contact the Scheme if you would like to include additional users.

Please be assured that the Scheme is aware of the financial constraints on laboratories and therefore has endeavoured to keep fees as low as possible to enable maximum participation across laboratories.

Laboratories linked to a NHS Genomic Medicine Centre do not need to register for participation in this assessment. You will be contacted by the Scheme regarding participation covered by NHS England.

 

DNA EXTRACTION EQA SCHEMES

The implementation of whole genome sequencing and next generation sequencing panels requires high quality DNA to allow good sequencing data to be obtained. UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics has been delivering bespoke EQA schemes for the UK 100,000 Genomes Project to assess the standard of DNA samples extracted by laboratories supplying samples for inclusion into the project.

 The Scheme is delighted to now offer participation in these EQAs to all interested laboratories. These EQAs provide laboratories with a measure of the quality of the DNA extracted in-house and enables benchmarking with other centres using similar extraction methods.

 Laboratories linked to a NHS Genomic Medicine Centre do not need to register for participation in the Blood or Tissue DNA extraction schemes. Registration is automatic and the participation fees with be covered by NHS England.

 

DNA EXTRACTION FROM BLOOD SAMPLES

There will be two EQA runs provided during 2016 to assess the quality and quantity of DNA extracted from blood samples. For each run, three peripheral blood samples anticoagulated in EDTA (ranging from 1ml to 5ml) will be distributed to participants. Laboratories will be required to extract DNA from the total volume of blood and return the DNA to the Scheme for quality assessment. Te DNA samples will be assessed for total volume, total amount of DNA, level of fragmentation and library preparations made which will be assessed using a bioanalyser. Each sample will be given a quality rating. Overall comparisons between methods will be provided.

 

DNA EXTRACTION FROM TISSUE SAMPLES

During 2016 there will be two EQA runs to assess the quality and quantity of DNA extracted from tissue samples. This will include formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue and fresh frozen tissue. Laboratories will be required to extract DNA from the total sample supplied and return the DNA to the Scheme for quality assessment. he DNA samples will be assessed for total volume, total amount of DNA, level of fragmentation using commercial kits. Each sample will be given a quality rating. Overall comparisons between methods will be provided.

 

DNA EXTRACTION FROM SALIVA SAMPLES

During 2016 there will be two EQA runs to assess the quality and quantity of DNA extracted from saliva samples. For each run, three saliva samples (ranging from 0.5ml to 2ml) will be distributed to participants. Laboratories will be required to extract DNA from the total sample supplied and return the DNA to the Scheme for quality assessment.  The DNA samples will be assessed for total volume, total amount of DNA, level of fragmentation and library preparations made which will be assessed using a bioanalyser. Each sample will be given a quality rating. Overall comparisons between methods will be provided.

 

DNA QUALITY MEASUREMENT EQA

 Whilst working with NHS England and Genomics England as part of the UK 100,000 Genomes Project during 2014 and 2015, the Scheme has become aware of the variation in the accuracy of measuring the quantity and quality of DNA between laboratories. Therefore to help standardise and promote accurate measurements an EQA run will be offered during 2016 to compare such measurements reported by laboratories. hree DNA samples will be distributed for participants to assess the quality and quantity of each sample and return the data to the Scheme for analysis. Overall comparisons between laboratories, approach followed and methods performed will be provided.

 

UK NEQAS for Molecular Genetics is constantly reviewing the EQA schemes provided and new pilots are in development. Therefore if you cannot find details of a particular EQA then please contact the Scheme. Also you wish for a partciular assessment to be offered then please contact the Scheme on  info@ukneqas-molgen.org.uk.