About the Initiative

Improving quality management boosts a laboratory’s overall performance

We launched this project to support laboratories that are eager to know more about quality and biosafety.

Our experience has shown us that implementing an effective quality management system (QMS) enables labs to improve their organization, demonstrate their technical skills and deliver reliable results.

The Mérieux Foundation is a family foundation established in 1967 that focuses on bettering global health through a wide range of projects, including the Quality Initiative.

What does quality mean?

Quality in clinical laboratories refers to the accuracy, timeliness and reliability of diagnostic testing results.

Establishing a QMS in clinical laboratories means:

  • Developing good laboratory practices
  • Satisfying stakeholders: meeting the needs of patients, physicians and health authorities who rely on clinical laboratories for quality diagnostic testing results
  • Promoting continuous improvement

How do we implement a quality approach?

We believe in taking an incremental approach to implementing a QMS for laboratories. To promote continuous improvement, we adopt the Plan-Do-Check-Act business method, also known as the Deming circle.


Set objectives and design actions to reach them. During this planning and general audit phase, assess what needs to be done and prepare to do it.


Implement the action plan. Execute the process and collect data. Develop and conduct training programs.


Assess results to ensure that actions are effective. If needed, develop a new action plan at the end of this phase.


Take corrective and preventive actions. Make all necessary changes or adjustments to rectify ineffective actions. Capitalize on effective practices or actions.

What are the goals of the Quality Initiative?

The Mérieux Foundation has designed the Quality Initiative to:

  • Build knowledge about quality management
  • Support laboratories as they implement a sustainable quality approach
  • Advise laboratory networks on developing tools and programs

Key figures:


training workshops organized


certifications delivered


e-learning modules created

Since the launch of the Quality Initiative

The LQSI Tool:
Achieving quality step by step

The Quality Initiative is based on using the Laboratory Quality Stepwise Implementation (LQSI) tool, developed by the WHO.

The LQSI tool is available, free of charge, to any laboratory that performs diagnostic testing for clinical or public health purposes.

The LQSI website provides guidance on how to set up a QMS in compliance with ISO 15189. Developed in 2014 by the Royal Tropical Institute for the WHO, it explains the requirements of ISO 15189 in detail and it helps users create a roadmap for implementation and checklists to track progress.

Access the LQSI tool

“You need to have a clear vision of what you want to implement a quality management system, and, most importantly, commitment from every member of staff.”

Professor Souleymane Diallo
Director, Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Bamako (Mali)