The Requirements for the Packaging and Transport of Pathology Specimens and Associated Materials is a Tier 3 NPAAC document and must be read in conjunction with the Tier 2 document Requirements for Medical Pathology Services. The latter is the overarching document broadly outlining standards for good medical pathology practice where the primary consideration is patient welfare, and where the needs and expectations of patients, laboratory staff and referrers (both for pathology requests and inter-laboratory referrals) are safely and satisfactorily met in a timely manner.

Whilst there must be adherence to all the Requirements in the Tier 2 document, reference to specific Standards in that document are provided for assistance under the headings in this document.

This document provides the requirements for the packaging and transportation of biological specimens from the point of first collection to the laboratory site where analytical testing is carried out. Several modes of transport may be required, each of which is covered in this document.

The following topics are outside the scope of this document:

  • blood and blood products for transfusion — see the Australian Red Cross Blood Service documents, Receipt and Use of Blood Service Shippers by External Institutions to Transport Blood and Blood Products (contact ARCBS , for more information)
  • transport of medical waste — refer to relevant jurisdictional legislation
  • requirements for the packaging of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — see the Guidelines for the Transport of GMOs issued by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.