AIM: Increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires rapid surveillance tools, such as Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS). MATERIALS & METHODS: LQAS classifies AMR as high or low based on set parameters. We compared classifications with the underlying true AMR prevalence using data on 1335 Escherichia coli isolates from surveys of community-acquired urinary tract infection in women, by assessing operating curves, sensitivity and specificity. RESULTS: Sensitivity and specificity of any set of LQAS parameters was above 99% and between 79 and 90%, respectively. Operating curves showed high concordance of the LQAS classification with true AMR prevalence estimates. CONCLUSION: LQAS-based AMR surveillance is a feasible approach that provides timely and locally relevant estimates, and the necessary information to formulate and evaluate guidelines for empirical treatment.