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NRL EQAS are designed to assess the integrity of testing and meet the requirements of diagnostic and blood screening laboratories focused on quality testing.

NRL sets the standard for providing External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) for Serology and Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) for blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections. NRL’s comprehensive EQAS are designed to assess the integrity of a laboratory’s entire testing process by:

  • allowing participants to monitor the performance of tests and laboratory processes;
  • comparing the performance of tests with others used around the world;
  • identifying and correcting sources of error;
  • facilitating information exchange between participants.

NRL EQAS Advantage

Real patient samples representing a wide variety of genotypes and serotypes

Truly global programme that enables laboratories to connect to a network of over 400 participants in more than 55 countries

Tailored for both diagnostic and blood screening laboratories

NRL's 25 years experience and scientific methodology applied to the design and analysis of every EQAS, including assessment of testing strategies and test interpretations

The use of Oneworld Accuracy to facilitate electronic results collection, analysis and reporting (www.oneworldaccuracy.com)

Scientific and technical support to resolve problems associated with laboratory testing

Implementation and coordination of national programs

A fully accredited provider*

NRL EQAS are available for:

  • HIV Serology
  • HIV Viral Load
  • HIV Drug Resistance Genotyping
  • HCV Serology
  • HCV Viral Load
  • HCV Qualitative NAT
  • HCV Genotyping
  • HBV Serology
  • HBV Viral Load
  • CMV Serology
  • CMV Viral Load
  • CMV Qualitative NAT
  • HTLV Serology
  • Syphilis Serology
  • C. trachomatis/N. gonorrhoeae Qualitative NAT
  • HSV-1/2 Qualitative NAT
  • NRL EQAS specifically designed for blood screening laboratories:
  • HIV-1/HCV/HBV Qualitative NAT
  • HAV Viral Load & Qualitative NAT
  • Parvovirus B19 Viral Load & Qualitative NAT


Participants receive panels of ten samples for serology EQAS, five samples for NAT EQAS and 15 samples for blood screening NAT EQAS. Where appropriate, the panels consist of a combination of positive and negative samples that would typically be received in a testing laboratory. They may also include low positive samples or samples of varying genotypes or subtypes to challenge assay sensitivity. Programmes include three panel distributions per year (excluding HIV-1 drug resistance and serology programmes supported by WHO, which have two panel distributions). Panels are shipped in accordance with IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations and include instructions stating that the samples should be processed according to normal procedures. Serology panels are transported at ambient temperature and NAT panels are transported on dry ice.

Participants report their results and information about the test run such as reagent batch used. On completion of testing, the data submitted online via an internet-based application called DigitalPT. Once the deadline date for reporting results has been reached, data are compiled in a final report. Data are statistically analysed to assist with inter-laboratory comparisons. The final report is distributed directly to participants using DigitalPT. The final report allows participants to compare their results with other participants using the same assays, identify any problems that may exist and receive suggestions as to how the source of the problems may be overcome.

NRL EQAS Catalogue and Order Form

Further information regarding NRL EQAS can be found in the current

NRL EQAS Catalogue

To order NRL EQAS, complete and return the

NRL EQAS Order Form