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Trace Elements EQA Scheme

Surrey EQA Scheme


The UK NEQAS for Trace Elements External Quality Assessment Scheme is part of Berkshire & Surrey Pathology Services (BSPS) and the legal entity for the scheme is Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. The scheme is located in the Surrey Research Park in Guildford. The schemes were formally recognized by the Joint Working Group for Quality Assurance according to the criteria developed for EQA providers in 1993.  These have been superseded by the EQA accreditation standards of Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd.  The schemes were fully accredited by CPA in 2000 and successfully re-assessed thereafter. The scheme was accredited to ISO 17043 in October 2015.

The schemes provide specimens that have been prepared using serum, whole blood, urine or dialysis fluids and drinking water as the base material, spiked with various concentrations of trace elements covering clinically relevant ranges. Details of the trace elements included and registration forms can be obtained by e-mailing the scheme at There are two samples per month requiring analysis; these are dispatched in six monthly batches. The UK NEQAS Birmingham results and reporting website allows participants to return results by the end of each month and view reports online within 5 working days. Further details can be found on our website


The Trace Elements External Quality Assessment Scheme is designed principally for laboratories serving clinicians and patients.  Whilst established initially for UK hospital laboratories there are many non-UK health care participants together with research laboratories and other establishments.


The fact of participation, raw data and performance scores are confidential between the individual laboratory and the Scheme staff.  Performance scores (and some relevant raw data) may be shared with the Advisory Panel under defined circumstances as part of the reporting of persistent poor performance.  These data may be shared with local management, regional QA officers, accrediting bodies and suppliers of equipment and reagents where appropriate and necessary, but only with the participant’s permission.

How to apply

Potential participants should contact the Scheme Organiser. Although the main scheme operates a succession of six-monthly cycles which commence in April and October each year it is possible for participation to begin at the first distribution after receipt of a completed registration form. Fees for participation are detailed in the registration document.

The charging period is 1st April to 31st March and charges for part-year will in general be pro rata.


Dr Andrew Taylor, PhD, FRCPath, FRSC, Consultant Clinical Scientist, Director.

Dr Chris Harrington PhD, MRSC, Principal Healthcare Scientist, Scheme Manager

Sarah-Jane Bainbridge, Quality Manager

Jonathan Dart, Medical Technical Officer



Telephone Number: 01483 689022

Fax Number: 01483 689979






Monday - Friday (excluding bank holidays) 09:00 – 17:30




UK NEQAS for Trace Elements

Surrey Research Park

15 Frederick Sanger Road