In each section of this document, points deemed important for practice are identified as either ‘standards’ or ‘guidelines’.

    • A standard is the minimum standard for a procedure, method, staffing resource or laboratory facility that is required before a laboratory can attain accreditation.
    • A guideline is a consensus recommendation for best practice and should be used if a higher standard of practice is appropriate, particularly when setting up or modifying a laboratory, or when contamination problems have occurred.

    The use of the words ‘shall’ or ‘must’ in each standard within this document indicates a mandatory requirement for pathology practice; ‘should’ or ‘may’ is used to indicate guidelines or recommendations where compliance would be expected for good laboratory practice.