Following recent discussions between the National Pathology Accreditation Council (NPAAC), NATA and RCPA regarding issues of interpretation of the current supervision requirements for Category G laboratories, it is NPAAC’s intention to clarify the current requirements with pathology stakeholders that will also be reflected in the revised Requirements for the Supervision of Medical Pathology Laboratories (Fourth Edition 20XX). The NPAAC Secretariat has kindly supplied the following guidance as an interim measure.
“The current NPAAC Requirements for the Supervision of Pathology Laboratories (2007 Edition) states that there must be a full time supervisor in a Category GX and GY laboratory who is an expert in the group, or groups of tests being conducted. The intention of the standards was that every discipline (group) of testing should have the supervision of either a full-time and on-site pathologist or senior scientist as defined by NPAAC with expertise in that area of testing. In the event of the laboratory being supervised by a senior scientist, the clinical governance should be through an on-site pathologist of any discipline.
This interpretation is in view of clause 17(1) that describes the categories of laboratory premises and is aligned with clause 18(1) of the Health Insurance (Accredited Pathology Laboratories-Approval) Principles 2002 that states -
Arrangements for categories GX and GY
(1) For a category GX or GY pathology laboratory, a supervising pathologist or senior scientist, must usually be present during normal working hours and available for telephone (or other electronic) consultation at other times.
Supervision is critical for the operation of a laboratory and a key mitigating strategy to ensure patient safety. There is no change in the current requirements for a Category G laboratory in the revised Requirements document and it is expected that the approach to the accreditation assessments should continue to ensure compliance with the current Supervision Requirements as reflected in both the pathology accreditation standards and legislation, pending release of the revised Requirements.”