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QASI-COVID19 (Quality Assessment and Standardization of Indicators relevant to COVID19)

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Innovative Diagnostics Program
Phone #:
Three times per year

QASI-COVID19 is an external quality assessment (EQA) program that administers proficiency testing and quality oversight specifically for the Cepheid Xpert® Xpress assays for SARS-CoV-2, Influenza (Flu A and B), and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) used on the GeneXpert® system. It serves primarily to support and maintain quality point-of-care (POC) diagnostics for partner sites in Northern, Remote, and Isolated (NRI) communities across Canada.

QASI® EQA programs, managed and operated by the National Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne (STBBI) Laboratories at the JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre in Winnipeg, Canada, have been providing quality assessment services for HIV testing, nationally and internationally, for over 25 years. The QASI-COVID19 EQA program is based on the same model, and will offer similar services for laboratories and POC sites in Canada that are using the GeneXpert® for molecular-based diagnostics of SARS-CoV-2, Flu A/B, and RSV.

QASI-COVID19 administration provides extensive feedback in the form of assessment reports and direct dialogue to address non-conformances and provide corrective and preventative action recommendations intended to create sustainable quality testing standards for participants. Additional training on best practices is also provided, as well as maintenance services to ensure sustainable testing services and outbreak preparedness in partner sites.

Frequency of distribution:  The QASI-COVID19 scheme will consist of a 4-specimen proficiency-testing panel administered three times a year.


To ensure and maintain quality diagnostic testing services for both laboratories and POC testing sites in Canada utilizing the Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 and CoV-2/Flu/RSV Plus assays.


There is no fee to enrol or participate in the QASI-COVID19 program.

Eligibility criteria for participation:

Eligible participants are labs and POC sites actively performing diagnostic testing and/or wishing to maintain services for outbreak preparedness using one of the Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2, or CoV-2/Flu/RSV Plus assay on the GeneXpert® system.

Confidentiality arrangements:

Confidentiality of testing results and performance is maintained using a password protected online database and numerical IDs to distinguish testing sites.

How to apply:

Please contact to apply.