In order to comply with national and international clinical laboratory accreditation standards (e.g. the ISO 15189, Clinical Pathology Accreditation standards) and with the joint code of practice for research, there must be a method of assessing that test methods are "fit for purpose". This document gives guidance on development and describes how a validation file is produced. A test method may be a commercial kit, an in-house assay or reagent or a set of reagents bought separately and used to prepare an in house assay. A validation file is needed for both current and new test procedures. The file may refer to data recorded in workbooks, papers and reports. Modifications to assays (including commercially available assays) necessitate either an update to the validation file or creation of a new file. This paper is intended to provide a generic framework for in-house assay development and validation of new nucleic acid amplification assays including real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
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