Quality Assurance Program

The Veterinary Laboratory Association Quality Assurance Program® (VLA-QAP) is an external proficiency program specially designed for veterinary laboratories and hospitals to provide a confidential means of comparing your laboratory’s internal test results to those of your peers in the veterinary laboratory field. The program, provided by Genzyme, Inc. in conjunction with the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), offers:

  1. Customized, professional reports that let you know where you stand in relation to your peers.
  2. A great way to monitor your sample analysis.
  3. Quarterly tracking of your method and instrument performance.

Participants can choose any combination of the nine areas of testing (modules) to customize the program to meet the needs of their facility. Sample specimens are sent out four times per year for participants to analyze.

Areas of Laboratory Testing (Modules)

  • Bacteriology - Provides 4 samples per year for culture and sensitivity.
  • Biochemistry/Toxicology - Provides 8-10 samples per year for testing over 30 analytes, including toxicology analytes such as barium, boron, iron, copper, zinc and selenium; as well as, esoterics.
  • Endocrinology - Provides 4 samples per year for analysis of 9 hormones.
  • Hematology - Offers 4 or 8 whole blood samples and 4 Wright-Giemsa stained slides for differentials.
  • Histopathology - Provides 4 cases per year for morphological interpretation.
  • Parasitology - Provides 4 samples per year for identification.
  • Serology - Offers 8 companion animal samples per year for analysis.
  • Therapeutic Drug Monitoring - Provides 4 samples per year for analysis of 6 different drugs.
  • Urinalysis - Provides 4 samples per year consisting of website images of sediment to identify and lyophilized urine for macroscopic and microscopic analyses.

Data is pooled and statistically analyzed by the Atlantic Veterinary College. Within five weeks, confidential results summaries are provided. They are presented as customized reports using both graphical and numerical data for quick review.

Review articles are provided alongside results for hematology differentials, bacteriology, parasitology and histopathology modules. The articles are written by veterinary specialists to discuss the reasoning behind their opinions and provide participants with a unique continuing education tool.

“Participation in an external quality assurance program may signal problems or may serve to reinforce the work already being done. Either way, it will increase awareness and enhance the overall performance of the laboratory personnel".
Joyce Stringfellow, Auburn University.

The VLA Quality Assurance Program® reinforces the internal confidence in your laboratory, your results, and the services you offer. It’s about letting your clients know that you are prepared to go the distance to make sure you offer services of the highest quality.