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OICR Genomics earns internationally recognized accreditation
Stamp of approval from Accreditation Canada Diagnostics (formerly IQMH) will provide more opportunities to support clinical trials.

Stamp of approval from Accreditation Canada Diagnostics (formerly IQMH) will provide more opportunities to support clinical trials.

New internationally recognized accreditation for OICR Genomics demonstrates the program’s commitment to quality and safety and places it among the top genomics laboratories worldwide.

OICR Genomics earned ISO 15189 Medical Laboratory accreditation from Accreditation Canada Diagnostics — formerly known as the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare (IQMH) Centre for Accreditation — which audits labs against some of the strictest standards in the world.

“This shows that OICR Genomics is operating at the highest level,” says Carolyn Ptak, Genomics Program Manager and Quality Assurance Lead. “It is a mark of excellence, informing collaborators that we take all necessary measures to produce high-quality deliverables.”

Earning ISO 15189 accreditation from IQMH requires labs to prove high standards in safety, assay validation, equipment, personnel training, analytical techniques and other measures. OICR Genomics is one of just a handful of labs around the world to be accredited for a combined whole genome and transcriptome sequencing assay a highly complex assay in high demand for modern genomics research.

“We selected our existing validated assays to meet the needs of collaborators, and we will continue to expand and refine our service menu as these needs evolve,” says Ptak.

Accreditation comes after a three-year quality improvement journey that saw OICR Genomics build new infrastructure and reimagine how the lab operates. The hard work of the genomics team and vision of OICR leadership also helped earn the lab accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) in January 2021.

With many clinical trials requiring labs to be accredited by at least one internationally recognized organization, the stamp of approval from Accreditation Canada and CAP makes OICR Genomics an ideal option for researchers needing all sorts of different assays.

“Our goal is to offer the highest quality genomic assays for basic, translational and clinical research,” says Dr. Trevor Pugh, OICR Senior Investigator and Director of Genomics.

“By holding all of our work to this high standard, our users are assured of receiving highly reproducible and accurate data to power their research programs, including innovative new clinical trials. This high-level of operation would not have been possible without the dedication and tight integration of laboratory, informatics, and quality assurance teams who worked tirelessly on meticulously detailed documentation and extensive validation experiments required for accreditation.”

OICR Genomics is a part of the Joint Genomics Program of the University Health Network (UHN) and OICR, an integrated initiative to support basic, translational and clinical research.

Researchers interested in collaborating with OICR Genomics should contact:

Dr. Carolyn Ptak
Program Manager and QA Lead, OICR Genomics