Worm Egg Counting Quality Assurance Program

This program is for you if you provide a worm egg counting service, whether paid or complimentary.



Click here to register and pay.

Samples will be shipped for the 2019 round on Monday 7th October.

ParaBoss WEC QA Program

What's it about?


Program details

What's it about?

A QA program will commence with the first annual round, 7 October 2019, to assist WEC providers to check the quality of their testing and to receive assistance if required.

Providers who satisfy the program will be endorsed and promoted to sheep, goat and cattle producers nationally.

Who is this for?

  • For all laboratories, veterinarians, livestock merchandise/stock agents and individuals who do worm egg counts as a paid or complimentary service to others.
  • Any individuals who do their own worm egg counts and who wish to ensure they are achieving accurate results.

What is involved?

  • Once per year (commencing October 2019), participants will be sent 13 samples on which they will conduct worm egg counts.
  • Participants provide their results back for analysis.

How do I benefit?

  • This will be the only independent program in Australia to benchmark your WEC results and provide assistance and recognition.

What happens when I “pass”?

If your results are within the accepted range, you will:

  • Be "endorsed" by ParaBoss and WormBoss.
  • Receive a free listing on the WormBoss Service Providers page (all current listings for WEC providers will be removed when this program commences).
  • Receive ongoing promotion (as a group) to sheep, goat, camelid and cattle producers (via ParaBoss News, WormBoss website, industry newsletters such as AWI Beyond the Bale and MLA Feedback and in the rural press).
  • Be recommended as endorsed providers in response to enquiries received by WormBoss.

What happens if I “fail”?

If your results are outside the accepted range, you will:

  • Be called by our parasitologist to discuss likely causes for your results and suggestions to improve your procedure.
  • Be provided with an introduction to ParaBoss-endorsed laboratories or individuals who may provide guidance or training in worm egg counting procedures (at your cost).
  • Receive an opportunity for a follow up assessment once you have reviewed your procedures (at your cost).

Who sees my results?

  • Your results will only be seen by administrative staff, our data analyst and our parasitologist.
  • If you provide permission when registering, and your results are within the acceptable range, then we list you on our Service Providers pages as a WEC provider.
  • If you are not successful your outcome will not be made public. Our parasilitologist will contact you.

Program details

  • There will only be one sample send-out per year due to the large preparation and freighting logistics and high cost involved. See details below of how samples will be prepared.
  • A follow-up assessment using a different process will be arranged only for those whose results do not fall within the acceptable range.




Registration and payment open

1 September – 20 September

ParaBoss will confirm your registration and dispatch date

25 September

Dispatch of samples from Albany WA

7 October

Samples arrive at your lab

8–11 October

Submit your WEC results to ParaBoss by

18 October

Report returned to participants

15 November

Listing in WormBoss Service Providers Page updated

29 November



ParaBoss aims to set up and run a process for years to come at cost-recovery prices, not for profit, which will not be dependent on funding agencies. However, the process is quite involved and therefore comes at a cost (please see sample preparation details below).

Single participant (or the first in one location and business testing at the same time)

WA:    $300 GST incl. (cheaper freight costs)

Other states:   $350 GST incl.

Extra participants1 who are in the same business, at the same location, and testing on the same day (all states)            $20 GST incl. per person2

1 Multiple operators at the one lab: please see information below.

2Cost recovery is $75 per person but ParaBoss will cover the extra costs in the first year. Fees will be reviewed for the 2020 round.

Registration and payment

  • You must register and pay in advance, during a set period (1–20 September).
  • How and where to register and pay is being set up; we will send you these details before the end of August.
  • If a change of date on our part results in you being unable to participate, we will refund your payment fully.
  • If you change your mind about participating you will receive a refund, minus a $20 administration fee, if we are notified by Thursday 3 October.

Sample arrival

  • Our chosen courier arrangements should see samples arrive by Friday the same week.
  • We aim to provide you with the expected arrival date at your location on the registration page, but we cannot guarantee this, as it will be in the hands of the couriers.
  • Couriers: Toll IPEC for WA, TNT for other states.

Testing and reporting

You should follow your own preferred methodology. However, we will provide you with our methodology and tips once you have registered, to allow you to review your process in advance.

  • There will be 13 samples and each one will be provided as a 70 ml container containing 2 g of worm-free sheep faeces, plus 3 ml of solution added on top that is spiked with a known amount of worm eggs. You should determine your dilution based on these weights and volumes.
  • You will mix the ENTIRE sample. Do not subsample the faeces until after dilution and mixing.
  • You will need to use some of your diluent solution to rinse the container lid to ensure all worm eggs are recovered.
  • A sample set contains 13 samples. They will have various known amounts of worm eggs added to them.
  • You will test all 13 samples separately and report back with your counts and calculated number of eggs per gram of faeces for each sample.
  • Where there are multiple people at one lab, one person will mix the sample initially, then each person will subsample and read their WECs, ideally within 30 minutes.
  • Further details will be provided in due course.

Multiple operators at the one lab

We strongly encourage all people doing WEC in any one business to participate.

  • A single sample set will be provided to the one laboratory that will be used by all.
  • It will be mixed once by one of your participants—please ensure you are confident that this person will do it correctly.
  • Everyone should then subsample and do their test within 30 minutes.
  • Please aim to have all operators available at the same time to do their tests.
  • If one participant is expected to be unavailable when the others are due to do the testing, please contact us to discuss at the time of registration.

 Can I do a different test date?

  • No. There will only be one sample round each year, due to the high cost and work involved in preparing suitable samples.
  • If you are in a multiple operator lab and some operators must test on different days, please contact us directly to discuss when you register.
  • If your results in the main round are not within the accepted range we will do a follow up test with different types of samples. This would be discussed with those people.

Express your interest now, email: technical@paraboss.com.au

Sample Preparation 

ParaBoss has been fortunate to gain the expertise of the key players and laboratory that ran the previous program for 12 years.

  • The program is managed by Dr Brown Besier (now retired from DPIRD, WA)
  • The  Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, WA, (DPIRD WA) at Albany, managed by Jill Lyon, is the sample supply laboratory.
    This laboratory has a suitable supply of clean and worm-infected sheep at the time required, which greatly reduces the costs for participants. (These sheep are used to prepare the Barbervax vaccine).
  • Statistician, Andrew Van Burgel (DPIRD WA) is the data analyst.


Considerable analysis by eminent parasitologists originally went into determining a process to eliminate as much variation as possible.

  • The faecal component of the samples are taken from worm-freee sheep.
  • The eggs are taken from sheep with a high worm burden, the eggs are then extracted from those samples to provide a purified solution of eggs. This is measured to assess the quantity of eggs per millilitre of solution.
  • Specific amounts of faeces and egg solution are then measured into sample containers.
  • 13 samples are prepared for each participant with various worm egg counts in them.

The samples will be packed into eskies with ice bricks to keep the samples cool during the trip to each participant. The hotter months have been avoided for this reason. Some embryonation may occur on the longer journeys, but this has been shown in the previous program to not affect the counts.


Register your interest or seek further information:

 email: technical@paraboss.com.au

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