Context: Both the regulations in the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and the checklists of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Laboratory Accreditation Program require clinical laboratories to verify performance characteristics of quantitative test systems. Laboratories must verify performance claims when introducing an unmodified, US Food and Drug Administration-cleared or approved test system, and they must comply with requirements for periodic calibration and calibration verification for existing test systems. They must also periodically verify the analytical measurement range of many quantitative test systems.
Objectives: To provide definitions for many of the terms used in these regulations to describe a set of basic analyses that laboratories may adapt to demonstrate compliance with both CLIA and the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program checklists for performing calibration verification and for verifying the analytical measurement range of test systems, to review some of the recommended procedures for establishing performance goals, and to provide data illustrating the performance goals used in some of the CAP's calibration verification and linearity surveys.
Data Sources: The CAP's calibration verification and linearity survey programs, the CLIA regulations the Laboratory Accreditation Program requirements, and published literature were used to meet these objectives.
Conclusions: Calibration verification and linearity and analytical measurement range verification should be performed using suitable materials with assessment of results using well-defined evaluation protocols. We describe the CAP's calibration verification and linearity programs that may be used for these purposes.