EU Network setting the standard for genetic testing
With the recent rapid increase of innovation in genetic testing and a boom in for-sale services, particularly through the Internet, European Union policy makers have agreed upon a need for an established regime of standards and practices across the continent. To ensure that Europeans remain well informed of the growing market and to facilitate the development of a pan-European standard for genetic testing, the EU has funded the Network of Excellence (NoE) EuroGentest. EuroGentest held its first expert workshop recently in Leuven, Belgium. The workshop, considered a success by both organisers and participants, focused on quality management and accreditation for European genetic testing laboratories.
Participants included lab directors, scientists, technicians and quality managers from accredited and non-accredited laboratories across Europe.
Victoria Aldridge, a researcher from the Regional Molecular
Genetics Laboratory in London noted that even though her organisation
is already accredited the workshops were beneficial because
they allowed her the opportunity to learn from others'
experiences, in addition to serving as a good networking opportunity.
“My lab started quite recently implementing a quality
system. Perhaps next year we are going to apply accreditation
from the Estonian Accreditation Board for our laboratory as
a whole, but for HLA (human leukocyte antigen) typing we have
to apply accreditation from the European Federation for Immunogenetics
(EFI) because our clinic is collaborating with Nordic Stem Cell
Bank and they do not accept our HLA results without EFI accreditation.”
"We were delighted with the enthusiasm of the participants and the way in which they took on board the quality message. We now look forward to Athens and the next workshops," said Prof. Dequeker, co-organiser of the Leuven event.