Terms & Conditions

The EMQN is supported financially by subscription fees. By joining us, and/or registering for an EQA scheme, you are agreeing to abide by our terms and conditions as listed below.

Membership of EMQN (v7, reviewed January 2017)

An annual fee is charged to register as a member of the network. The membership period runs from 01 January to 31 December each year and the membership fee is payable every year. As a member of EMQN, you can participate in our EQA schemes and best practice meetings. Registered members of EMQN will receive a username and password which will allow them to access the member-only services (such as EQA, best practice etc.).

Terms & conditions are:

  1. There is an EMQN membership fee payable annually this must be paid every year to ensure lab membership remains valid. The registration fee to join the network is 55 GBP. There is a discount for any additional staff member registrations from the same laboratory 50 GBP.
  2. To participate in our EQA schemes and best practice meetings, you must be a registered member of EMQN.
  3. You must keep your password secure and confidential.
  4. Your registration will only be processed when you have completed the registration and payment forms correctly.
  5. Payments cannot be processed without correct billing information. Failure to provide this information accurately may result in delays to your participation. EMQN cannot accept responsibility for you not receiving our services if we do not get the correct information.
  6. Payments should be made within 14 days of receipt of an invoice from EMQN (invoices will be sent by our host institution, Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s NHS Trust). After this date we the host institution will send a reminder to you to pay but EMQN reserves the right to withdraw services after an appropriate time limit.
  7. Payments by invoice or credit card are the only-options. Personal cheques are NOT accepted.
  8. In order to use the EMQN services in the members only area you must have email which allows receipt of attachments and have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC (if you do not yet have it, go to http:// www.adobe.com/ to download a free copy).
  9. Registered members of EMQN who have not paid their membership fees will have their accounts suspended until the outstanding fees have been paid. Account suspension will result in accessing being blocked to their EMQN website member’s area.

The following additional terms and conditions apply to the evolving economies discount scheme available to labs who meet our application criteria :

  1. The laboratory wishes to apply for a discount in the cost of fees for EQA scheme participation.
  2. The laboratory agrees to pay the minimum annual EMQN registration fee each year.
  3. The laboratory agrees to participate for 5 consecutive years in each EQA scheme that they register for. The laboratory agrees to pay the full EQA scheme fees for the fifth year of participation.
  4. If the laboratory fails to participate in any of the five years without first notifying EMQN, then the full cost of participation for those years is payable.
  5. The laboratory must notify EMQN immediately of any changes to their contact information.

EQA Scheme Participation (v7, reviewed January 2017)

Participation in the EMQN external quality assessment (EQA) schemes is on a voluntary, confidential basis. All laboratories are actively encouraged to participate in all relevant schemes.  Participation in our EQA schemes is open also to commercial manufacturers of relevant instruments and reagents, and to pharmaceutical, veterinary and other laboratories. Participation is anonymous laboratories are identified by a code number known only to the EMQN office staff.

Terms and conditions are:

  1. The Head of the Laboratory will be responsible for registering the laboratory with the EMQN as a participant in the appropriate EQA Schemes. Any changes in the laboratory’s requirements in this respect must be notified in writing to the EMQN Director.
  2. Samples, reports and routine correspondence may be addressed to a named deputy, but correspondence from EMQN concerning poor performance or unsatisfactory return rates, will be sent directly to the Head of the Laboratory.
  3. EQA samples must be treated in the same way as clinical samples.
  4. EQA materials are supplied under the strict condition that they are used by the registered participant laboratory for external quality assessment tests only. The materials supplied must not be used as internal controls in molecular genetic tests or for any other purpose. Participant laboratories undertake to destroy EQA materials (please contact us and request a DOC2918 Materials Certificate of Destruction form) or return them to EMQN within eight weeks of the published date of the closure of the scheme.
  5. Participants must not collude with other laboratories on the results of their EQA scheme participation.
  6. The EQA code number of the laboratory and the assessment of individual performance are confidential to the participant and will not be released by EMQN to any third party (except in circumstances described in conditions 6 and 7) without the written permission of the Head of the Laboratory.
  7. The identity of participants (name of laboratory and Head of Laboratory) and the tests for which they are registered (but not details of performance, or the EQA code number of the lab) will be shared with the curators of the Orphanet Quality Assurance Database. If a lab does not wish this information to be shared then they must notify the EMQN Director in writing. Section 8 below describes any exceptions to this term and condition.
  8. Exceptions:
    • Individual participants’ performance information may be shared with national/regional authorities with responsibility for laboratory standards and/or patient safety following approval by the EMQN board.
    • Aggregate performance information may be shared with a relevant national coordinators following approval by the EMQN board.
    • Performance information of laboratories registered with the HGSA/RCPA Quality Assurance Programs (QAP) is shared with HGSA/RCPAQAP.
    • Performance information of Swiss laboratories is shared with CSCQ.
    • Performance information of United Kingdom laboratories is shared with NQAAP.
  9. The EMQN sometimes collaborates with other EQA providers, for example, UK NEQAS Molecular Genetics, CEQAS etc. When this occurs, participant confidentiality is maintained.
  10. When a laboratory shows unsatisfactory performance or fails to return results, the EMQN will make contact with the participant. Advice is then offered to the Head of the Laboratory by contact, usually in writing.
  11. Problems relating to EQA schemes, including complaints from participating laboratories, should be referred directly to the EMQN office.
  12. All documents issued by the EMQN, and the data they contain, are subject to copyright and may not be published in any form without the permission of the EMQN Board.
  13. A special EMQN logo may be used on participants’ publicity materials or web sites if permission has been granted by the EMQN. Please contact us for permission.