WHO training for national influenza centres in laboratory quality management


On 9–13 October, 17 virologists and quality managers from 13 national influenza centres in the WHO European Region attended a training in laboratory quality management and the use of the WHO Laboratory Quality Stepwise Implementation (LQSI) tool at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen.

The 5-day training course was organized by WHO Europe as part of the Better Labs for Better Health project, to provide participants with the skills to implement a quality management system that complies with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189 standard for medical laboratories.

The training provided participants with:

  • an understanding of basic laboratory quality management principles in diagnostic and public health laboratories;
  • a detailed insight into ISO 15189 quality management system elements and into using the LQSI tool to implement the system;
  • an understanding of how an ISO 15189-based quality management system is integrated into routine laboratory work.

The training course included lectures as well as practical exercises. Participants tested the LQSI tool on their own computers and learned to use this tool to implement a quality management system in their own laboratories. Selected modules from the WHO Laboratory Quality Management System training toolkit were used to help participants understand how the quality management system’s different components create quality controlled and quality assured laboratory processes.

At the end of the course, participants assessed the status of their own laboratory compared to the first phase of quality management system implementation described in the LQSI tool. They then developed and presented a year plan for the implementation of quality in their own laboratories, and specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time-bound (SMART) action plans to turn their visions into achievable goals.

The participants appraised the training very positively and the average evaluation at the conclusion of the course was 9.6 out of a possible 10 points.