The Pacific Pathology Training Centre is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre [WHOCC] for External Quality Assessment [EQA] in Health Laboratory Services.

Participation in the EQA for 21 national laboratories in the south pacific region including Timor Leste is funded by the New Zealand AID programme. The terms of reference for this collaboration is listed below:

  1. To assist WHO to organize and conduct external quality assessment programmes in Microbiology, Infectious Disease Serology, Biochemistry, Haematology, and Blood Transfusion Science for laboratory services of developing countries in the Pacific region.
  2. To assist WHO in providing training of laboratory personnel to strengthen quality assurance programmes of laboratories in the Member States and to develop a skilled workforce of laboratory technicians
  3. To assist WHO in providing technical support and advice as required in the strengthening of health laboratories in the Pacific region.


The PPTC REQA programme originally commenced in 1985 as an evaluation process for students attending residential courses in New Zealand. This was updated in 1990 when the PPTC was conferred Collaborating Centre status by WHO. The EQAP further expanded in 2000, and then in 2004 with the introduction of a regular HIV/STI testing component. In 2017, the programme was expanded to include Dengue testing and in 2019, Anatomical Pathology was introduced.

In June 2019, the PPTC changed its operating name from Pacific Paramedical Training Centre to Pacific Pathology Training Centre. The Pacific Pathology Training Centre became a WHO Collaborating Centre for External Quality Assessment in Health Laboratory Services  in June 2020

Pacific laboratories differ considerably in the levels of instrumentation, equipment, methodology and expertise available to them and thus the evaluations of the responses received from them must recognise these different levels of technology.

The major purpose of this programme is to actively help and suggest ways in which a laboratory can improve the quality of its service to the patient. The Centre’s staff have visited the majority of laboratories presently enrolled in the programme and funding is received from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade [MFAT, NZ Aid Programme) and the New Zealand Insitute of Medical Laboratory Sciences (NZIMLS).

In 2019 there are over 100 laboratories from 20 countries participating in all or part of the programme and  these include:

        21       National Laboratories   (Pacific Island Countries)

7       Divisional Laboratories (Pacific Island Countries)

1       Laos PDR Laboratories

        58      Cambodia Laboratories

2       Timor Leste  Laboratory

3      Bhutan Laboratory

8       Private Laboratories

Laboratories are given five weeks to process the survey and return their results to the Centre. A final reply also details the laboratory score for the exercise, their accumulated score for the previous dispatch in that discipline, and the average score for all participating laboratories.

Each laboratory is identified by a unique code number, with the generated results kept confidential to that laboratory, the PPTC, the WHO Regional Adviser of Health Laboratories at the Regional Office in Manila, and the relevant department at the NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington.

2020 EQA Registrations

Please complete and email the registration form to pptc@pptc.org.nz. Click to download the form here: REQAP Registration Form 2020

2020 Dispatch Schedule:

You may download the 2020 PPTC EQA Dispatch Schedule here - Updated PPTC EQA Dates 2020 Participant Copy

EQA Dispatch Schedule 2020

For further information contact: Navin Karan, Programme Manager, PPTC, PO Box 7013 Wellington, New Zealand Telephone: 64 4 389 6294 Email: navink@pptc.org.nz