NATA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) for a new accreditation program. 

Industry News November 9, 2023
NATA team

We spoke to TSANZ’s Chief Executive Officer, Vincent So, on the coming program and the benefits for relevant laboratories and, more importantly, patient outcomes. 

Thank you for your time, Vincent.  Can you tell us about TSANZ and what your organisation does? 

“The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand is the only health peak body representing a range of professions (medical specialists, scientists, researchers, academics, nurses, physiotherapists, students, and others) across various disciplines within the respiratory medicine field in Australia and New Zealand. TSANZ established a program for the accreditation of respiratory function laboratories in 1997 to foster excellence in the assessment of respiratory function.” 

What will be the name of the new accreditation program and how did this joint initiative come about? 

“The new program will be called the TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program. The TSANZ Board decided to partner with NATA after an extensive review of the current Laboratory Accreditation service delivered by TSANZ.  

The Board believes this partnership will enable a better accreditation program for respiratory function laboratories that will deliver better health outcomes for patients.” 

Will the new program align to ISO 15189:2022? 

“Yes. The current TSANZ standards will be reviewed and updated in line with the International Standard ISO 15189:2022 medical laboratories – requirements for quality and competence.” 

What will be the respective roles and responsibilities of NATA and TSANZ for the new program? 

“NATA will be responsible for the administration of the program, and it will be governed by NATA rules. TSANZ members will be a part of the Steering Committee and the Advisory Committee for the program and the revised TSANZ Standards will be used in the accreditation process.” 

Who is this accreditation program designed for? 

“The new accreditation program is designed for respiratory function laboratories.” 

What benefits will the program offer to patients? 

“The program will ensure that the services carried out in respiratory function laboratories will be standardised and the highest level of service will be upheld.” 

When will this new program become effective? 

“The new TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program is expected to come into effect by the end of 2024. 

The current TSANZ accreditation program will continue to operate while accreditations that are in progress are completed. Laboratories accredited under the TSANZ process will be recognised as accredited until their current TSANZ accreditation expires, or the end of 2025 (whichever period is greater).”  

Where can those interested learn more over coming months? 

“Information can be found through the TSANZ Website, newsletter and social channels and changes to the accreditation program itself will be communicated directly to accredited/applicant labs, and TSANZ members via email and newsletters. NATA will also provide updates via its newsletter and social media channels.” 

To find out more about the TSANZ/NATA Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program visit the Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation Program page on the NATA website or if you have additional questions, contact NATA on 1 800 621 666