About Us

A history of excellence.

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, or RCPA, has long supported excellence in pathology. Initially established to maintain and improve standards and ethics, the college began its first quality control survey in 1961, when high uric acids results caused an observant orthopaedic surgeon at Royal Newcastle Hospital to question increasing incidents of gout.

Quality assurance programs began in 1968 in chemical pathology, haematology, blood bank, microbiology and anatomical pathology. These discipline-specific programs were originally offered by independent organisations that became increasingly large and complex. They flourished well into the 1980s, until in 1988, RCPA Quality Assurance Programs Pty Ltd, a company independent from but aligned with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, was created.

Our goal is to continue as the world leader in external quality assurance (EQA), delivering superior EQA programs to advance outcomes in patient care, and promote excellence in laboratory output.

A global influence.

RCAPQAP has a global reach. From modest beginnings with a focus on the Australian market, we’ve expanded into an international organisation, with nearly half of all our clients from countries outside our own.

Our clients come from countries such as Austria, Bahrain, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, China, Fiji, France, Gambia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, NZ, Oman, PNG, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Zambia.

A philosophy of partnership.

AT RCPAQAP, our philosophy is to develop partnerships and support our clients through the accreditation process. We adopt an educational, rather than judgemental, approach. Some of our competitors focus on laboratory scoring, however at RCPAQAP, we use a qualitative method that means you can evaluate your overall laboratory performance relative to your peers. The accreditation body then assesses your response to your EQA results, plus your overall laboratory performance.

We’re passionate about continuing and enhancing education for our profession. That’s why a large percentage of our profits go to research, development and the delivery of new programs, and education support for pathologists. We’re thankful for the invaluable contributions from expert pathologists and scientists, who give their time freely, meaning we can keep our costs low while providing a superior educational experience.

The highest standards.

At RCPAQAP, our overall accreditation is ISO 9001:2008-Quality Management Systems. Each of our programs is individually accredited by NATA and complies with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2010 – Conformity assessment-general requirements for proficiency testing.

A structure for success.

As RCPAQAP has evolved, so too has our structure. In 2012 we created a Centre of Excellence and three new operational divisions:

  • Innovation and Development
  • Operations, and
  • Finance.

Individual business units now each represent a pathology discipline or program. These are:

  • Chemical Pathology Group
  • Haematology and Transfusion Group: Haematology and Transfusion
  • Infectious Diseases and Immunology Group: Immunology, Microbiology, Serology, Biosecurity and Synovial Fluid
  • Cellular and Tissue Pathology Group: Anatomical Pathology, Cytopathology
  • Molecular Genetics Unit
  • Non-Analytical Programs Unit: KIMMS and Benchmarking

As part of this transformation, we’ve developed new branding and visual design, which represents unity and progress.

RCPAQAP Governance Structure


Diagram of RCPAQAP company structure


The RCPAQAP Centre of Excellence.

Based in Sydney’s St Leonards, our Centre of Excellence (COE) is a new purpose-built office and laboratory. The creation of the centre has allowed us to centralise our services, bringing together our programs and operations in one place. Eventually, 70 talented staff members will work on-site, offering us the ability to enhance our service offering, while reducing operational costs.

This world-class facility will include:

  • Laboratories for new program research and development
  • Multi-purpose training and seminar rooms with video conferencing and multiple LCD monitors
  • A molecular suite
  • A virtual microscopy suite
  • A dedicated microscopy suite with multi-header microscope and LCD monitor for on/off-site training
  • Training rooms, virtual microscopy and microscopy suites available for client use.

Promoting unity and progress.

Under our new structure, individual groups will work to develop new programs to meet the evolving needs of our clients. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Refining our online enrolment portal
  • Developing our online results entry
  • Developing online reporting
  • Creating a coordinated molecular suite of programs across all pathology disciplines
  • Developing a point-of-care unit
  • Creating composite and ‘cutdown’ programs
  • Developing Training and Competency (TACA) modules across most pathology disciplines.

Sustainable practices.

At RCPAQAP, we are committed to reducing the impact of our business on the environment and encourage sustainable business practices across our organisation. Where we can, we partner with suppliers and external providers who share this vision.