Since March 2020, and with the escalation of the pandemic and circumstances dictating a requirement for remote and online assessments, NATA has granted accreditation to front line organisations in rapid time frames and without compromising any technical rigour.
Examples include the high-demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with NATA rapidly accrediting the CSIRO for the testing of surgical masks and the National Institute of Measurement (NMI) for testing hand sanitiser.
Emergency Laboratory Monitoring Services (ELMS)
Adding additional scope to COVID-19 management, NATA created Emergency Laboratory Monitoring Services (ELMS) specifically for laboratories that are not NATA accredited but are testing PPE during the pandemic.
These initiatives highlight NATA’s commitment to the public interest and positions it well for future challenges should they arise.
A testing focus
Since the announcement of the pandemic in March 2020, NATA has accredited more than 160 laboratories for COVID-19 testing across numerous test areas.
With COVID-19 cases and testing numbers increasing every day knowing NATA accredited laboratories are undertaking world-class testing not only provides certainty and peace of mind, but importantly, minimises your and the community’s risk.
What tests are being conducted by NATA accredited laboratories?
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing
The most common test where a sample is taken via a swab from the nose, throat or saliva. See how NATA accredited laboratory testing works for PCR
- Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)
Also taken via a swab from the nose and throat, RAT provides a rapid result turnaround. See how NATA accredited laboratory testing works for RAT
- Serology (antibody) testing
Serology (antibody) testing takes a sample of blood to look for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Serology testing is key to knowing the extent of the virus’ spread and helps inform the level of past infection and vaccination. See how NATA accredited laboratory testing works for Serology antibody testing.
In regard to Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), we note the Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN), Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) and Royal College of Pathologists of Australia (RCPA) have recently (August 2021) released updated advice on the use of SARS-CoV-2 RAT testing.
Both PHLN and CDNA also have a host of advisory documents for COVID-19 related information and testing techniques including serology and PCR.
Additional information on COVID-19 can also be found on the Department of Health Website.