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Quality Management at is a key competence


Activities of and its partners include:


  • Development of ISO standards and CEN Technical Specifications for sample-pre-analytics and overview on latest standards of this series

  • Implementation of these standards

  • Contribution to the development of a BBMRI Self-Assessment-Tool for pre-analytical processes

  • Free access to the online Self-Assessment Surveys for testing the state-of-the-art of pre-analytical processes Self-evaluate your pre-analytical processes >>

  • Quality Management cross audits in partner biobanks

  • Quality Management trainings

  • Videos & presentations about the relevance of pre-analytics and ISO/CEN standards with respect to IVDR and reproducibility/reliability of research results .. examples of videos>

  • Publications about the relevance of pre-analytics and ISO and CEN standards with respect to IVDR and reproducibility/reliability of research ... examples of publications>

  • Information why sample quality and respective standards are essential for research and development


Several partners have QM systems in place and are ISO certifications. All partner biobanks have committed themselves to handle biological samples from patients according to state-of-the-art procedures, i.e. CEN/TS and ISO standards for pre-examination processes. 


Latest ISO and CEN standards relevant for biobankers and researchers


Standard series "Molecular in vitro diagnostics – specifications for pre-examination processes"


The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the international Standard Organisation (ISO) published standards for the pre-analytics of biospecimens that are intended for molecular analysis. They describe requirements for the pre-analytical phase and are considered as state-of-the-art for pre-analytical workflows.




These standards can be purchased at Standards Institutes like the Austrian Standards Insitute (ASI)>

(search with ISO or CEN/TS number).


Quality Management System Standards


  • EN ISO 20387:2020 Biotechnologie - Biobanking - Allgemeine Anforderungen an das Biobanking (dt.)  ...order>

  • EN ISO 20387:2018 08 15. Biotechnology -- Biobanking -- General requirements for biobanking (en)  ...order>


  • EN ISO 15189:2014 Medizinische Laboratorien - Anforderungen an die Qualität und Kompetenz (ISO 15189:2012, korrigierte Fassung 2014-08-15) ...order>

  • EN ISO 15189:2012 11 01 Medical laboratories - Requirements for quality and competence (Corrected version 2014-08-15) ...order>


ISO and CEN standards - state-of-the-art and good scientific practise


Pre-analytical sample quality - a pre-requisite for reliable and reproducible analyses results

The pre-analytical phase is a very critical phase o analysis workflow. It is extremely error-prone. Pre-analytical errors have turned out to be a major cause why promising results in biomarker research fail in the process of validation, as data were not reproducible in a large scale. Also in diagnostics pre-analytical variables can lead to unreliable or wrong test results.


See video "Misstand bei Bluttests" (Deutsches Fernsehen (SWR), by now, German version only)



ISO and CEN standards


The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the international Standard Organisation (ISO) have taken up this issue and published standards for the pre-analytics of biospecimens that are intended for molecular analysis. They describe requirements are considered as state-of-the-art for pre-analytical workflows.



Evaluate your pre-analytical sample handling processes


Does your lab meet the pre-analytical CEN/TS & ISO Standards' requirements?

To find out use the BBMRI Self-Assessment Surveys for

  • General Requirements for Biobanking; ISO 20387:2018
  • Frozen tissue - Part 1: Isolated RNA; ISO 20184-1:2018
  • Frozen tissue - Part 2: Isolated proteins; ISO 20184-2:2018
  • FFPE tissue - Part 1: Isolated RNA; ISO 20166-1:2018
  • FFPE tissue - Part 2: Isolated proteins; ISO 20166-2:2018
  • FFPE tissue - Part 3: Isolated DNA; ISO 20166-3:2018
  • Venous whole blood - Part 1: Isolated cellular RNA; ISO 20186-1:2019
  • Venous whole blood - Part 2: Isolated genomic DNA; ISO 20186-2:2019
  • Venous whole blood - Part 3: Isolated ccfDNA from plasma; ISO 20186-3:2019
  • Metabolomics in urine; CEN/TS 16945:2016


Self-evaluate your pre-analytial processes >>



Software template for documentation of pre-analytical data


Documentation of pre-analytical data is state-of-the-art and good scientific practice


Several CEN/TS and ISO standards for pre-examination processes exist that require the documentation of pre-analytical data from human specimens and samples. Also the In Vitro Diagnostics Regulation explicitly mentions pre-analytics and requires pre-analytical data in the technical documentation for in vitro diagnostic devices.

In order to support researchers in their efforts to optimize their pre-analytical workflows, in collaboration with SPIDIA4P (H2020, grant no. 222916), Biobank Graz, and CyBiobank (H2020 grant no. 8571222) developed a software template for the documentation of pre-analytical data. It is based on REDCap as IT framework and on the ISO Standards (ISO 20184-1:2018; ISO 20184-2:2018) as source for pre-analytical requirements.


Download free software template for pre-analytical frozen tissue


The software can be downloaded as file and shall serve as a template that can be adapted by the users (familiar with REDCap) to local / individual needs. How the installed software and data entry mask for frozen tissue looks like is to be seen here as pdf (or under this link>>).


Download free software template for pre-analytical data documentation>> (frozen tissue)




Trainings on QM topics

Trainings on QM topics offered by BBMRI partners are listed under News/courses>>

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Biobank Innsbruck now ISO 9001:2015 certified

- June 2022

CEN/TS Standard for Microbiome Diagnostics – how R&D benefit

Publication by partner Med Uni Graz, June 2022

Pre-analytics CEN standard “human sample for microbiome DNA analysis” now published in German members led its development

BBMRI-ERIC releases new Self-Assessment Survey

for ISO standard 20184-3:2021 - Frozen Tissue - isolated DNA

Standards for fine needle aspirate pre-analytics

- experts contributed to their development (Mar 2022)

Study on PBMC pre-analytics

Publication by partner Med Uni Wien Biobank (Jan 2022)

IVDR: a complex issue and a 'missed opportunity' Director K Zatloukal in interview with Healthcare in-Europe (Feb 2022)

New pre-analytics ISO standards published

ISO 20166-4 FFPE tissue – in situ detection & ISO 23118 metabolomics in urine, blood, serum

Biobanking Courses - Register now!

... by partner Med Uni Graz (Int. Biobanking & Education), Sep 16-17, 2021

Biobanks, specimens, IVDR & standards

Video by K. Zatloukal ( – May 2021


Newsletter August 2021

REGISTER: LISAvienna Regulatory Conference for Medical Devices and In-Vitro Diagnostics

… with contribution from – 12 Oct 2021

Precision Diagnostics Europe 2021


Neue Qualitätsstandards für Präanalytik / New pre-analytics quality standards

Federführend von mitentwickelt / co-developed by

NEU: ISO 20387 Biobanking Standard nun auf Deutsch

.. verfügbar bei Austrian Standards Institute

Quality management for biobanks

a series of publications

Data Quality for Medical Data Lakelands

Publication by partner Alpen Adria University

Watch the e-lecture: Enhance the reliability of diagnostics with the support of standards

Video by Dr. Uwe Oelmueller (Feb 2020)

Biological Samples in Biobanks – Types, Quality, Management and Gains for your Business/Research

Free webinar - 9 March 2021

Presentations from Regulatory Conference “MD & IVD”

… available for download - Oct 2020

Discounted pre-analytical ISO standards until 20 November 2020

...benefit from up to 50% discount and ORDER NOW

SAVE-THE-NEW DATES - IVDR & analytical performance testing requirements

... jointly organized by LISAvienna & | 20 Oct 2020 | Vienna as example of QM in biobanking

Letter to the editor of CCLM Journal - June 2019

Special Edition in New Biotechnology

.. on sample quality - with contribution from

Download publication on sample pre-analytics standards & IVDR

With contribution of BBMRI

New publication by

Book chapter in "Handbook of Biomarkers and Precision Medicine" (published May, 2019)

REGISTER NOW for the course "CEN and ISO Standards for Pre-analytical Processes"

May 16, 2018 | Medical University of Graz, Austria

SAVE-THE-DATE – “Biomedical Research Workshop”

... at/by Partner, Medical University of Graz, Austria - May 11-15, 2020

Dr. Uwe Oelmueller awarded for pre-analytics work

CEN-CENELEC, Brussels, Feb 17, 2020

"Data Quality for Biobanks" (webinar)

by expert JE (Jan, 2019)

ISO 15189 accreditation in pathology

QM event at partner Med Uni Graz – 28 Feb 2020

Guidelines & publications for SARS-Cov-2 containing biospecimens

a current summary - 1 April 2020

Why are Quality Standards important?

watch the video and explore .... Feb 2020