In recent years molecular diagnostic techniques such as real-time PCR have also been introduced for the laboratory diagnosis of gastroenteritis, including the ability to simultaneously screen for a wide range of enteric pathogens using multiplex assays. As a result, molecular diagnostic techniques are increasingly being used in the routine laboratory setting for detection, determination and surveillance of a wide range of enteric pathogens. The general aim of this group of EQA schemes is to allow laboratories to assess their ability in the use of molecular diagnostic tests for a range of viral, bacterial and parasitic enteric pathogens.