It is inevitable that mortuaries occupy a special place in the perceptions of the community. Institutions and their staff involved in mortuary services have a clear obligation to look after the deceased in a respectful way and in accordance with community expectations. Failure to do so is not only unacceptable but will raise valid community concerns about what takes place in mortuaries. Adherence to the guidelines set out in this document will inspire confidence in this essential component of the Australian health and justice systems.

National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council

The National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) was established in 1979 to consider and make recommendations to the Australian Government, State and Territory Governments on matters related to the accreditation of pathology laboratories and the introduction and maintenance of uniform standards of practice in pathology laboratories throughout Australia. An ongoing function of NPAAC is to formulate standards, and to initiate and promote guidelines and educational programs relating to the performance of pathology tests.

Publications produced by NPAAC are issued as accreditation materials to provide guidance to laboratories and accrediting agencies as to the minimum standards considered acceptable for good laboratory practice.

Failure to meet these minimum standards may pose a risk to public health and patient safety.