Technical Quality Control
Technical Quality Control Guidelines
Making sure the technology works
Technical Quality Control (TQC) guidelines provide direction for assuring optimal performance of radiation treatment equipment and technologies in RT programs across the country; an essential requirement of high quality and safe patient care.
While technical drivers from international organizations like the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) exist, they may not be applicable across the spectrum of practice, are not always updated regularly, and may not have been properly validated.
In 2010 CPQR, together with the Quality Assurance and Radiation Safety Advisory Committee (QARSAC) of COMP, undertook an extensive review of the outdated CAPCA standards. The process resulted in a suite of 14 equipment and technology guidelines, and an overarching technical quality control guideline – together termed the TQC Suite.
The TQC Suite of guidelines provide direction for assuring minimum performance and safety of radiation treatment equipment and technologies in radiation treatment programs in Canada. The documents were developed by expert reviewers, and included community feedback through a formal public review process followed by “real-life” field testing and validation. A formal review to ensure continuity among the individual guidelines within the suite, and to ensure pan-Canadian relevance, was undertaken by Associate Editors. Documents were translated into French to encourage uptake and utilization at all centres within the country.
These documents are made available free of charge to the medical physics community and are available for download below.
Let CPQR know if you have questions or requests for clarification.
Overarching TQC Guidelines
(Introduction, scope, and interpretation of guidelines)
Systems TQC Guidelines
(Treatment and safety systems that interface the equipment to the facility to mitigate unintended exposures)
- Safety systems (Expert reviewer: John Schreiner)
Equipment Specific TQC Guidelines
(Dosimetric, geometric and mechanical properties of the equipment)
- Accelerator integrated cone beam systems for verification imaging (Expert reviewer: Jean-Pierre Bissonnette)
- Brachytherapy remote afterloaders (Expert reviewer: Normand Freniere)
- Conventional radiotherapy simulators (Expert reviewer: Marie-Joelle Bertrand)
- Computed tomography simulators (Expert reviewer: Philippe Despres)
- CyberKnife (Expert reviewers: Eric VanderVoort, Horacio Patrocinio, Tom Chow, Emilie Soisson, Dominic Nadeau)
- Data management systems (Expert reviewer: Natalie Pomerleau-Dalcourt, Parminder Basran)
- GammaKnife (Expert reviewers: Anita Berndt, Mathieu Guillot, Monique vanProoijen)
- Kilovoltage radiotherapy machine (Expert reviewer: Christophe Furstoss)
- Low dose rate permanent seed brachytherapy (Expert reviewer: Luc Beaulieu)
- Major dosimetry equipment (Expert reviewer: Gerard Lagmago Kamta)
- Medical linear accelerators and multi-leaf collimators (Expert reviewers: Charles Kirkby, Esmaeel Ghasroddashti, Crystal Plume Angers, Erin Barnett, Grace Zeng)
- Patient-specific dosimetric measurements for modulated therapies (Expert reviewer: Andrea McNiven)
- Treatment planning systems (Expert reviewer: Eduardo Villarreal-Barajas)
Looking towards the future, CPQR will continue to support the maintenance and development of the TQC Suite of guidelines, working with QARSAC on activities that assure the continued utility and relevance of these documents