ANQAP offers 37 tests for bacterial and viral diseases of animals. The tests available include agar gel immunodiffusion, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, virus neutralisation, complement fixation, virus isolation, microscopic agglutination and polymerase chain reaction tests.

For the complete list of tests, please refer to the timetable.

For each proficiency test, a panel of samples is sent to each participating laboratory for testing. The panel is comprised of six samples with at least one negative, one low positive and one high positive sample, if available, to reflect a range of results likely to be found in routine diagnostic testing. Laboratories are encouraged to treat the panel as diagnostic specimens and include them within the routine testing schedule.

The laboratory is given approximately 4 weeks to test and report results. ANQAP collate the results and prepare a report summarising the results of all laboratories. The ANQAP report includes statistical analysis (where appropriate and applicable) and a classification of the results. Results that fall within an acceptable variation range (AVR) are classified as satisfactory. If the results demonstrate variation, the laboratory is given the opportunity to retest a fresh vial of the same sample (where available). Following retesting, the result is classified as either retest satisfactory, retest demonstrating minor variation or retest unacceptable. Laboratories receiving an unacceptable classification are  encouraged to take corrective action.

The design of the program meets the requirements of our NATA Accreditation.

National Plant Health Proficiency Testing Program (NPHPTP)

ANQAP offer two unknown bacterial samples, two unknown fungal samples, two unknown insect samples and one unknown nematode sample.  Participants are required to identify the pathogen to the level usually provided by the laboratory.  For example, a laboratory may only identify some insects to genus level.  For that laboratory, correctly identifying the specimen to genus level will result in a ‘Satisfactory’ classification.

For viral testing, a virus is selected each year and named on the enrolment form (in 2018, the virus selected was potato virus S (PVS).  Six samples are provided to the participant, of which an unknown number are positive.  Participants are required to correctly identify which samples are positive and which are negative. In 2020 we are trialling a panel of two vials – a positive and a negative – for which participants must identify the virus and determine which is positive and which is negative.

For the complete list of plant tests, please refer to the NPHPTP Test Schedule 2020.

The structure of this testing is in line with that of the veterinary program, with allowances made for sample acquisition.