There is a focus on standardisation and harmonisation of laboratory results to reduce the risk of misinterpretation of patient results assayed in different laboratories. External quality assessment (EQA) is critical to assess the need for harmonisation and to monitor the success of procedures to achieve harmonisation. However, EQA providers are being stretched to meet the needs of their participants with proven commutable material with reference method targets, a range of clinically significant levels of the materials, detailed and customised data analysis, and educational support. The path ahead for harmonisation of EQA schemes will require leadership from an organisation that has the support and confidence of EQA providers, like the European Organisation for External Qualily Assurance Providers in Laboratory Medicine.
Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.
Research funding: None declared.
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.
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