Frequently Asked Questions


Participant feedback over the last 2-3 years concerning the difficulty with handling the size and vast number of RCPAQAP paper reports has led us towards the development of an alternative on-line solution. We believe that the provision of PDF reports through our myQAP portal offers a superior customer experience whilst ensuring that your need to maintain reports within your individual quality management systems is fulfilled.

Participants were asked to provide feedback during this trial implementation phase. We hope that this document: “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” addresses the majority of your questions and concerns.

The following concerns have been raised and the responses below have been provided by the NATA Medical Testing section. The answers are of a generic nature only and individual cases may not meet the requirements if the laboratory cannot demonstrate adequate review.

We need to print reports as it is a NATA requirement
It is certainly necessary for facilities to retain RCPAQAP reports in line with NPAAC Requirements. However, the requirements for retention do not stipulate “hard” copy reports.
If we review electronic reports, will electronic signatures satisfy NATA?

As long as the signature is clearly traceable to an appropriate person and are secure this should be no issue.

I need to show all reports to NATA assessors so I need hard copies
See first point above. Facilities need to make all RCPAQAP reports available but this does not have to be in hard copy format.

NATA expect to see reports written all over – corrective action/comments etc.
The Standards require review and corrective action of RCPAQAP reports. This must be demonstrated, although this does not necessarily mean hard copy reports with manual annotation. Electronic review is not precluded so long as the ISO and NPAAC requirements are met.

The laboratory still needs to show evidence of reviews for NATA Purposes – i.e. sign each page
How the laboratory reviews is up to them, so long as it can be clearly demonstrated that reports have been reviewed and any appropriate corrective action taken. The NATA Medical Testing FAD states in 5.6.4:
(iii) On receipt of returns from the program organisers it must be ensured that:

  • QAP performance is reviewed and discussed by all relevant staff;
  • There is evidence that the review has taken place; and
  • The implication of unsatisfactory QAP performance for patient results is considered and a record of the considerations and action taken kept.

Can I have multiple people access Reports?
Access to reports is available to contacts within your organisation, site or discipline. Primary contacts may add additional secondary contacts to be able to review reports through myQAP. Please refer to the portal guide available from the Home tab for instructions on how to add additional contacts.

Can I sign off my reports electronically?
The RCPAQAP has developed quality system style features for Reports in the myQAP portal. These features are undergoing beta testing, and following review will be made available to participants. Features developed include:

  • The ability to acknowledge and provide internal comments to reports
  • Setting a flag status on reports
  • Creating reviews against reports
  • Uploading files or making notes in report reviews
  • Recording review history in reports

These are ongoing developments and more features may become available in the future.

I’m enrolled in many modules and receive too many report notification emails.
Each user may set their notification frequency. This is available under the Profile tab, and you may choose from receiving instant notification for all reports (default), a daily summary, a weekly summary or no notification at all.

Previous paper reports had a colour border. Why is this no longer available?
The paper used for reports was pre-printed stock paper and the border was already present. In order to keep the file size of reports as small as possible, colour borders have not been included. The RCPAQAP hopes that participants no longer feel the need to have a printed report, and instead may use the filter options in the Reports tab to quickly find and identify their reports.

How long are reports kept available online for?
RCPAQAP has no current plans to remove access to previous reports available through myQAP. Should this change, RCPAQAP will inform all participants well in advance of the archiving of older reports. RCPAQAP will always keep available reports within NATA documentation requirements timeframes.

My reports are slow to download?
RCPAQAP aims to keep report file sizes as small as possible. Due to the detail of some graphs and volume of analytes, some reports reach around 500 KB in size. However, most reports tend to be between 100 – 200 KB and should be quick to download. In some cases, workplace monitoring and firewalls may reduce the speed of downloads.

What is the long term direction of the myQAP portal?
RCPAQAP plans for the myQAP portal to be the single point of interaction for all RCPAQAP related online activities. This includes access to all reports through the myQAP portal, but also the submission of data through online data entry which is under development.

Can we have the option to pay for hard copy reports?
This option is not preferred by RCPAQAP as it would be impractical to manage.

Will I receive my certificates of enrolment and participation electronically as well?
Certificates of enrolment are available electronically on the QAP portal, in the ‘Certificates’ tab. Similarly, from 2014 onwards certificates of participation will be available in the ‘Certificates’ tab in the portal.

Will all reports be available electronically?
Initially, Interim and generic reports will be available as PDF, followed by all discipline reports in 2014. Extensive testing is undertaken before any type of report is issued as a PDF document.

Could there be some colour in the PDF report?
Currently there is no provision in the bespoke software system used by RCPAQAP to add a colour border to the report. However, RCPAQAP will investigate the possibility of doing so.

This appears to be a cost shifting exercise; will the cost savings be passed onto participants?
RCPAQAP has adopted the introduction of PDF reporting for several key reasons. It is not a cost shifting exercise.

We believe in protecting our environment and a reduction in paper, printing costs and freight is consistent with our sustainability policy. We understand that if you need to continue to use hard copy reports then this may be problematic. We are happy to work with you to deliver your own on-line solution. NATA has acknowledged our initiative and determined that electronic review and sign off of reports is completely satisfactory.

There are other major benefits in the use of PDF reports:

  • Convenient, easy access and retrieval
  • Increased result security in transit and storage
  • Faster report delivery
  • Savings in participant fees