» First UKAS accreditation for Point of Care Testing

18 November, 2009

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has awarded its first ever accreditation for an organisation that provides Point of Care Testing. Independent Point of Care Testing (iPOCT), a trading division of Unilabs Ltd, has been granted UKAS accreditation to ISO 15189 and ISO 22870 following a robust assessment process.

The assessment process was developed jointly by UKAS and Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA). The partnership was able to offer both technical expertise and an in-depth knowledge of how accreditation schedules can be developed and assessed in order to ensure that schemes are rigorous, transparent and accountable.

This award is a significant milestone in delivering confidence in Point of Care Testing providers. In 2006 the Coles Report into NHS Pathology Services recommended that providers become accredited. The introduction of ISO 22870:2006 (Point of Care Testing – Particular Requirements for Quality and Competence) applied in conjunction with ISO 15189:2007 (Medical Laboratories - Particular Requirements for Quality and Competence) meant that international standards could be used to do this.

Paula Connor, National Manager Clinical Laboratory Medicine UK at iPOCT said: “The journey has been interesting and at times very challenging. However, we have appreciated the close co-ordination and support from the UKAS Assessment Manager and team. Some of our processes have been improved to meet the requirements of the standards and the culture of the iPOCT Team is more quality driven with a heavy customer focus. We are pleased to be the first organisation in the UK to have an externally evaluated service model which will give our customers confidence in the safety of our service.”

Jane Beaumont, Director of Accreditation at UKAS said “Accreditation is the formal recognition that an organisation has demonstrated its competence through a demanding assessment process. I am delighted that we have been able to use international standards to assess a managed POCT service. In future, through accreditation, users of Point of Care Testing services can have confidence in the quality of the services they receive. UKAS congratulates iPOCT on being the first organisation to achieve UKAS accreditation for point of care testing services.”