The Standing Committee for Quality Assurance has unveiled plans for a multi-tiered program for quality assurance and quality control in aquatic animal laboratories. Details of the initial phase of the program, designated as "Tier 1 - Prequalification", have been finalized and the application can be accessed via (Application). A second phase, "Tier 2 - Recognition" is under development and should be completed by the end of the year. The first two phases will be administered by the FHS, under the guidance of the Standing Committee. Possible future plans might include a third Tier, with actual accreditation under an agency with legal authority.
The Tier 1 phase requires applicants to provide establishment and documentation of quality assurance principals, based largely on Chapter 3 of the FHS-AFS Bluebook, including standard operating procedures for laboratory procedures and equipment, designation of key quality assurance personnel, as well as laboratory safety procedures.
This program is designed for the many small-medium sized laboratories which don't have the resources to become accredited with more expensive/onerous programs, while still raising the quality and credibility of laboratory diagnostic/inspection services throughout North America. The program can be accomplished over time as resources become available, and is totally voluntary.
An application fee for the Tier 1 phase of $500 has been established and applications for 2016 are due no later than March 31. A working subgroup of the Committee will review the applications and notify applicants at the FHS Meeting at Jackson, Wyoming in June 2016.
For additional information, contact Dr. Chris Wilson at .
The Blue Book includes three sections: Diagnostic Methods, Procedures for Aquatic Animal Health Inspections, and Quality Assurance. All three sections of the NEW 2014 Blue Book are, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, available ABSOLUTELY FREE by clicking on the Blue Book tab at the left of this page. The Blue Book is no longer for sale on DVD through the AFS.
Mature Ceratomyxa shasta myxospores from fish (Nomarski). Scale bar = 10 μm. From the Blue Book diagnostic chapter "Salmonid Ceratomyxosis" by Jerri L. Bartholomew. Photo: Stephen Atkinson, OSU
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