FAQs on the 2016 Program Changes

General FAQs

What are the changes to the Program?

You can download and read this 2 page overview of the changes to the Program and the Program Manual and Standards.

Why have the changes to the Program been implemented?

Just as laboratories are expected to continuously review and improve their practices, so too is TSANZ expected to continuously review and improve the Respiratory Function Laboratory Accreditation program. TSANZ has listened to feedback from key stakeholders and incorporated a wide number of improvements and clarifications, and addressed gaps in the previous (2013) Program Manual.

Why have the Standards have been changed?

Ongoing review and improvement of the Standards is required in order to ensure that they continue to reflect uniform minimum standards and foster excellence in the approach to the assessment of respiratory function in laboratories in Australia and New Zealand. The changes to the standards are not designed to have laboratories ‘fail’ the process; instead, the changes are designed to encourage laboratories to review and improve the quality of their services.

FAQs for Laboratories

My laboratory is currently being assessed for accreditation: an Assessor Panel has been formed and the assessment has commenced. Do we need to do anything or make any changes as a result of the changed standards?

No. You don’t need to do or change anything.

You need to be aware that the program will be managed from January 2017 in accordance with the process and conditions detailed in the revised Program Manual (2016). To continue to review and improve the quality of your services, you should consider reviewing the updated standards and self-assessing with regard to any gaps and areas where you could incorporate further improvements to your practices and service delivery.

My laboratory is currently accredited, but our accreditation expires before the end of 2016. Do we need to prepare our application against the revised Manual and Forms?

No. TSANZ will accept applications for accreditation (either new or re-accreditation) against the previous (2013) Program Manual and Forms up until 31st December 2016.

You need to be aware that the program will be managed from January 2017 in accordance with the process and conditions detailed in the revised Program Manual (2016). To continue to review and improve the quality of your services, you should consider reviewing the updated standards and self-assessing with regard to any gaps and areas where you could incorporate further improvements to your practices and service delivery.

My laboratory is not currently accredited, but we are preparing our Application for Accreditation against the previous (2013) Manual and Standards and were planning to submit this to TSANZ in coming months. Do we need to change to the revised Manual and Forms?

No. TSANZ will accept applications for accreditation (either new or re-accreditation) against the previous (2013) Program Manual and Standards up until 31st December 2016.

You need to be aware that the program will be managed from January 2017 in accordance with the process and conditions detailed in the revised Program Manual (2016). To continue to review and improve the quality of your services, you should consider reviewing the updated standards and self-assessing with regard to any gaps and areas where you could incorporate further improvements to your practices and service delivery.

My laboratory accreditation expires during 2017. Do we need to prepare our application against the revised Manual and Forms?

Not necessarily; this depends on when your current accreditation expires.

If your Laboratory Accreditation expires in February or March 2017, your submission will be due in late 2016 and you can choose whether you submit your application for re-accreditation using the previous (2013) OR the revised (2016) Program Manual and Standards.

If your Laboratory Accreditation expires in May or June 2017 or later, your submission will be due in early 2017 and you must submit your application for re-accreditation using the revised (2016) Program Manual and Standards.

From 1st January 2017, all requests for accreditation (either new or re-accreditation) must be made against the updated (2016) Program Manual and Standards.

Before the end of July 2016, TSANZ will write to all Laboratories whose accreditation expires during 2017 and clarify the submission requirements and timings.

My laboratory accreditation expires sometime in 2018 or beyond. Do we need to do anything at this stage?

No. The TSANZ Office will write to you approximately 12 months before your accreditation is due to expire and remind you of the timeframes, application forms, and submission requirements. This correspondence will confirm the current Program Manual and associated Standards that you will be required to prepare your application against. You will be expected to submit your application for accreditation 9 months before the expiry of your current accreditation.

When is an accredited laboratory expected to submit their re-accreditation application to the TSANZ Office?

The revised Program Manual and Standards (2016) require accredited laboratories to submit their application for re-accreditation to the TSANZ Office 9 months prior to the expiration of their current accreditation. This requirement will be implemented in a staged approach during 2017.

What if I have questions about the revised standards or details included in the revised Program Manual?

Please contact the TSANZ Office on email: Labaccreditation@thoracic.org.au; or telephone: +61 2 9222 6200.

FAQs for Assessors

I’m already part of an assessor panel, do I need to do anything different as part of the assessment I’m currently part of?

No. All current Assessor Panels are using the Standards from the 2013 Program Manual. The Assessor Panel will continue in accordance with ongoing direction from the LAC and TSANZ Office.

I’m planning on making myself available to join an Assessor panel over the next 6-12 months. Will I need to do anything different once I join a panel?

No. There is essentially no change to how the assessment process works, and the responsibilities of the assessors and Assessor Panel. When the Assessor Panel is formed, the TSANZ Office will be sure to communicate which standards the assessment is to be against (either 2013 or 2016). The Initial Evaluation Form that each Assessor must complete is slightly different, dependent on whether or not the assessment is against the 2013 or 2016 standards. The TSANZ Office will make sure that each Panel receives the correct template at the appropriate time.

Will there be training for assessors on the updated Standards?

There are no current plans to deliver training on the updated Standards. If you feel that this is important, please advise the TSANZ Office.

What if I have questions about the revised standards or details included in the revised Program Manual?

Please contact the TSANZ Office on email: Labaccreditation@thoracic.org.au; or telephone: +61 2 9222 6200.