Our Proud History

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA, the College) was established to ensure education and improvement in standards and ethics in Pathology. In 1961, the College initiated the first quality control survey when high uric acid results caused an observant orthopaedic surgeon at Royal Newcastle Hospital to inquire about an increasing number of his patients with gout. Quality Assurance Programs in Chemical Pathology, Haematology, Blood Bank, Microbiology and Anatomical Pathology beginning small in 1968 as independent, discipline-specific entities flourished through the 1970’s and 1980’s. These entities eventually became so large and complex that in 1988, RCPA Quality Assurance Programs Pty Ltd (RCPAQAP) was formed as a stand-alone independent company to RCPA, the College.

One Clear Goal

To remain as the world’s leading external quality assurance (EQA) provider by continuing to deliver best in class External Quality Assurance Programs in order to elevate the quality of participating laboratories and patient care.

Our Philosophy


The overriding philosophy of our company is that all Programs are educational in nature, rather than judgemental. We believe in partnering with you to assist with your overall laboratory accreditation process. Unlike some of our competitors where laboratory scoring is paramount, we present results primarily in a qualitative form which allows you to evaluate your own performance relative to your peers. Your response to your EQA results together with your overall laboratory performance is subsequently assessed by the accreditation body. RCPAQAP is passionate about continuing education for our profession. A majority component of our profit is dedicated to the research, development and delivery of new Program initiatives or educational support to pathologists. The invaluable continuing support of altruistic pathologists and scientists contributes to our low (cost recovery) fee structure which in turn maximises our potential to deliver on our educational promise.

Our International Reach

Since our modest beginnings with a focus on the Australian market, today we are truly an international company. Approximately 40% of our clients are from overseas. Some of the countries that we serve include: Austria, Bahrain, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, China, Fiji, France, Gambia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, NZ, Oman, PNG, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Zambia.


As a result of the maturity of our company and the evolving nature of our business, 2012 has seen the restructuring of RCPAQAP in line with the creation of a “Centre of Excellence”. The company now consists of 3 operational divisions: “Innovation and Development”, “Operations” and “Finance”. Discipline-related Programs have been clustered into business groups consisting of individual business units, each representing a pathology discipline or Program. These are:

  • Chemical Pathology Group
  • Haematology and Transfusion Group: Haematology & Transfusion
  • Infectious Diseases and Immunology Group: Immunology, Microbiology, Serology, Biosecurity & Synovial Fluid
  • Cellular and Tissue Pathology Group: Anatomical Pathology, Cytopathology
  • Molecular Genetics Unit
  • Non-Analytical Programs Unit: KIMMS & Benchmarking

As part of this transformation, RCPAQAP has developed a new brand and visual design representing UNITY and PROGRESS.

Our Commitment to the Highest Standards

RCPAQAP overall is accredited to ISO 9001:2008-Quality Management Systems. Each Program is individually accredited by NATA and complies with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17043:2010 – Conformity assessment-general requirements for proficiency testing.

Our Centre of Excellence

The “Centre of Excellence” (COE) is our new, purpose- built office and laboratory based in St Leonards, Sydney. The creation of the COE has allowed us the opportunity to harmonise and centralise our services and bring together most of our Programs and operations on a single campus. We shall ultimately house approximately 70 staff in these premises. With so much creative talent together our expectations are high. We recognise the changes in our industry and your evolving needs and aim to enhance our service offering, while reducing operational costs. Our new facilities are world class and include:

  • Laboratories for new Program R&D
  • Multi-purpose training and seminar rooms with video conferencing and multiple LCD monitors
  • A molecular suite
  • A virtual microscopy suite
  • A dedicated microscopy suite with multi-header microscope and LCD monitor for on/off-site training

The training rooms, virtual microscopy and microscopy suite are available for client use.


Our new company structure will see our Programs continue to operate as individual entities, but the groupings will facilitate the development of new service offerings in order to meet your evolving needs. Some of our more immediate initiatives include:

  • Further refinement of the on-line enrolment portal
  • Further development of on-line results entry
  • Development of on-line reporting
  • The development of a coordinated molecular suite of Programs across all pathology disciplines
  • Development of a Point of Care Unit
  • Development of composite and “cutdown” Programs
  • Development of Training & Competency (TACA) modules across most pathology disciplines

Our Commitment to Sustainability

RCPAQAP is committed to reduce our environmental impact and embody excellence in sustainable business practices across our company. We seek, where practicable to partner with like-minded external providers.

RCPAQAP Governance Structure

Diagram of RCPAQAP company structure