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FAQs on the Program Changes

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Your Questions on the new TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program Answered

General FAQs

Who is NATA?

NATA is Australia’s sole internationally recognised accreditation authority with a long history of accrediting organisations to perform testing activities to national and international standards.

Why are TSANZ partnering with NATA to run a joint accreditation program?

The TSANZ Board decided to partner with NATA after an extensive review of the current Laboratory Accreditation service delivered by TSANZ. The Board believes this partnership will enable a better accreditation program for respiratory function laboratories that will deliver better health outcomes for patients. This partnership maximises NATA’s vast experience in accreditation for testing with the current TSANZ standard to be reviewed and updated in line with the international standard ISO 15189: 2022 medical laboratories – requirements for quality and competence.  

Why has TSANZ signed an MoU with NATA?

The TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program will contribute to better health outcomes and treatment for patients with respiratory and lung health conditions. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalises the arrangement and sets out the responsibilities of both TSANZ and NATA in jointly administering the Program.

When will the TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program come into effect or what is the transition period?

The new TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program is expected to come into effect by the end of 2024.

Laboratories accredited under the TSANZ process will be recognised as accredited until their current TSANZ accreditation expires, or the end of 2025 (whichever period is greater).

We will provide a more detailed timeline of the transition to the joint program in the coming months.

FAQs for Standards and Laboratories

Will the TSANZ Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program Manual still be used to accredit my facility?

No. The Program manual will no longer be used under the TSANZ/NATA joint program.

What will be the biggest changes in the Standard?

The work revising the TSANZ Standard is just beginning.  Changes to the existing requirements will largely be editorial, unless the steering committee identifies a requirement that needs to be updated.

The introduction of the management system elements from ISO 15189 will be a new requirement that respiratory labs will need to become familiar with. The management system in ISO 15189 provides a structured framework on which to base your governance system.

My lab is already accredited, when will we need to adopt the revised Standard for the new accreditation program?

You will need to adopt the new Standard prior to seeking accreditation under the joint TSANZ/NATA program.

A document identifying the changes between the current TSANZ Standards for Accreditation, and the revised standard will be produced in due course to assist you in identifying any gaps.

FAQs for Accreditation Process

How does NATA's assessment process differ from the TSANZ process?

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.

When do I need to transition to the joint TSANZ/NATA accreditation program?

Accredited facilities are expected to transition to the joint TSANZ/NATA accreditation program once it commences, and prior to their current TSANZ accreditation expiring.

What happens if my TSANZ accreditation expires?

If your TSANZ accreditation expires, you will no longer be recognized as an accredited facility.

Once the TSANZ/NATA program becomes operational, you can apply for accreditation at any time.

FAQs for Assessors

I am an assessor under the current TSANZ process. What happens to me?

TSANZ will be contacting each of its assessors to seek permission to pass on their details to NATA.  NATA will then contact you and invite you to continue as a volunteer assessor under the joint TSANZ/NATA program.

I am currently involved on a panel. Should I continue to progress the work on this accreditation?

Each panel member will receive a notification from TSANZ in the coming days. You will be advised whether or not to proceed with the assessment/s in which you are involved.

Further Questions

I still have questions. Who do I contact?

Questions regarding accreditation under TSANZ should be directed to TSANZ.

TSANZ

TSANZ Accreditation – Labaccreditation@thoracic.org.au

Questions regarding the accreditation process under the joint TSANZ/NATA program, or the revised Standard should be directed to NATA.

NATA

Tracy Fleming, Deputy Sector Manager, Imaging

Tracy.fleming@nata.com.au

1800 621 666 (free call)

FAQs

For all other queries related to the change in the Program, please see

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