The National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) is responsible for the development and maintenance of standards and guidelines for pathology laboratories. Audits against these standards and guidelines are conducted by the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA). NATA audit assessment reports are considered by the Department of Human Services in determining access to the Medicare Benefits Scheme.
Laboratories seeking eligibility for Medical Benefit rebates are expected to meet the specified quality standards as expressed in the accreditation material developed and maintained by NPAAC in the context of the Australian pathology accreditation framework.
To contact the NPAAC Secretariat please email the Department of Health or phone (02) 6289 4017.National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) Guidance for Point of Care Testing.
Accreditation Requirements for SARS-CoV-2 Testing
The Department is writing to all Approved Pathology Authorities and Accredited Pathology Laboratories to draw attention to the requirement for laboratories performing SARS-CoV-2 testing must be specifically accredited for SARS-CoV-2 testing in order to be eligible for Medicare rebates.
Laboratories performing SARS-CoV-2 testing are expected to contact to NATA to confirm their accreditation status. All laboratories performing SARS-CoV-2 testing are expected to be accredited by
20 December 2020.
Accreditation requirements for SARS-CoV-2 Testing (PDF 97 KB)
Accreditation requirements for SARS-CoV-2 Testing (Word 145 KB)
Guidelines for COVID-19 Temporary Collection Facilities (Drive through and Pop-up)
As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, temporary collection facilities have been established by either state/ territory governments or laboratory providers for the collection of specimens from patients. This is with the aim of providing more access to collection services that will enable more testing for COVID to occur.
To support the temporary COVID collection facilities, guidance is provided with the aim of reducing any potential risks to patients and aimed at ensuing quality pathology results.
Notification of the Stage II pathology accreditation measures in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Australian Government is committed to ensuring patient access to quality pathology services during the response to COVID-19. As part of this, maintaining the continued operation of the National Pathology Accreditation Program is important. The impact of the extraordinary events on the operations of pathology laboratories is recognised and it is more important than ever to ensure the provision of quality pathology services that inform patient management decisions.
These measures are intended to support pathology laboratories in the provision of services. These arrangements will be monitored however, and may be subject to change in the recovery phase of the pandemic.
Queries relating to the accreditation standards, please contact NPAAC@health.gov.au
Queries relating to applications, please contact Services Australia – CO.GP.MANAGER.PATHOLOGY@servicesaustralia.gov.au or servicesaustralia.gov.au/medicarepathology
Queries for the independent assessment body - National Association of Testing Authorities Australia
Phone: 1800 621 666
Stage II pathology accreditation measures in response to COVID-19
Q&A – pathology accreditation measures in response to COVID-19
COVID Point of Care Testing
Refer to NPAAC Advisory Notes.