Cytopathology

Cytopathology is the branch of pathology that deals with the cellular diagnosis of disease. The RCPAQAP Cytopathology discipline offers gynaecological (Conventional, ThinPrep and SurePath) and non-gynaecological (General and Fine Needle Aspiration) diagnostic proficiency testing programs for cytopathologists and cytologists and a technical proficiency testing program for cytology laboratories.

Gynaecological Cytopathology

Proficiency testing for laboratories, cytologists and pathologists reporting cervical cytopathology. Educational resource for other laboratories and trainees.
Glass slides are provided requiring return at the end of each survey:
Five conventional cervical smears per survey (GYN)
Five liquid-based cervical smears per survey (THP)
Five liquid-based cervical smears per survey (SUP)

Frequency / Number of samples

4 surveys / 5 cases per survey

Tests

Conventional gynaecological, Liquid-based ThinPrep gynaecological, Liquid-based SurePath gynaecological

Non-gynaecological Cytopathology

Proficiency testing for laboratories and pathologists reporting non-gynaecological cytopathology. Educational resource for other laboratories and trainees.
Stained preparations are provided as virtual microscope slide images on USB and available via the website.
Two non-gynaecological general virtual cases per survey (GEN)
Two non-gynaecological Fine Needle Aspiration virtual cases per survey (FNA)

Frequency / Number of samples

4 surveys / 2 cases per survey

Tests

Non-gynaecological General, Non-gynaecological Fine needle Aspiration

Performance Measures (AUS only)

For Australian laboratories only. Collection of data for NPAAC performance measures. These will continue in the current form in 2018. A new set of performance measures will also be developed to reflect the revised National Cervical Screening Program.

Frequency / Number of samples

2 data collections per year

Tests

Performance Measures

Technical Module

Proficiency testing for laboratories performing general cytopathology preparatory techniques.
Unstained alcohol fixed non-gynaecological specimen smears will be provided for Papanicolaou staining. A corresponding questionnaire will also be issued.

Frequency / Number of samples

1 survey / 1 exercise per survey

Tests

Cytopreparatory techniques. 2018 testing includes non-gynaecological specimen Papanicolaou staining.