Overview of the changes in the Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program
The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) established the accreditation of respiratory function laboratories in 1997 to foster excellence in the assessment of respiratory function.
TSANZ has partnered with NATA to provide an accreditation program, to be known as the TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program.
The TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program will contribute to better health outcomes and treatment for patients with respiratory and lung health conditions.
This partnership will maximise NATA’s vast experience in accreditation for testing with the current TSANZ standard to be reviewed and updated in line with the international and national ISO 15189:2022 standard Medical laboratories – requirements for quality and competence.
Benefits of NATA Accreditation
NATA is Australia’s sole internationally recognised accreditation authority with a long history of accrediting organisations to perform testing activities to recognised national and international standards using a proven peer-review model. This gives consumers the assurance and confidence they need to make safe, healthy and reliable choices.
Administration of the Accreditation Program
NATA will manage the day-to-day operations of the TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program, such as:
- recruiting and training the volunteer assessors
- planning, conducting and closing out assessment activities
- maintaining and supporting an Accreditation Advisory Committee
- ensuring accredited facilities are listed on its website
- providing secretariat support for Standards updates
- financial management of the service
The assessment process undertaken by TSANZ and NATA are similar. Both require a submission of policies and procedures prior to the visit. Both include an on-site assessment with peer assessors. Both require the facility to respond to any issues identified before accreditation can be granted.
Whilst the details of the NATA process have yet to be finalised, the facility being assessed should only experience minor differences in the process.
The TSANZ/NATA joint program will operate under a fee-for-service accreditation model. This means that most activities will be charged at an hourly rate, rather than a flat fee. When each lab or site applies for TSANZ/NATA accreditation a one-off application will apply. The ongoing costs will vary for each facility, based on the type of assessment activity (onsite or online), the types of tests undertaken, the size of the facility and the state of readiness for the assessment activity.
The TSANZ/NATA joint program fee schedule will be released in due course.
Enquiries about the Program
The TSANZ Office will continue to provide general administrative support for the remainder of the TSANZ run Laboratory Accreditation program and is the first point-of-call for any enquiries. Please email Labaccreditation@thoracic.org.au
For queries related to the change in the Program, please see FAQs
For all other enquiries, please phone the TSANZ Office on +61 2 9222 6200. Or,