Page last updated: 17 May 2022

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 the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) in the context of the Australian pathology accreditation framework.

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).

Pathology Accreditation Assessment Processes during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The following advice on pathology accreditation processes during the continued response to the COVID is provided for guidance.

Pathology accreditation assessment processes during the response to COVID-19

Accreditation Requirements for SARS-CoV-2 Testing

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.

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.

Cessation of Approved Collection Centre pathology measures

Following an upswing in usual pathology services after a sharp decrease in March and April 2020 as a result of COVID-19 lockdown measures, the Government decided to bring forward the end date of two temporary pathology viability measures. These two temporary viability support measures, previously planned for removal from 30 September, concluded on 30 June 2020.

Cessation of Approved Collection Centre pathology measures

COVID Point of Care Testing

Refer to NPAAC Advisory Notes.

For any queries, please contact the Department of Health