Forensic Laboratories and Inspection Agencies Accreditation
International Accreditation Service (IAS) accreditation confirms that the testing or calibration lab complies with the ISO/IEC Standard 17025.
IAS-accredited forensic testing or calibration laboratories demonstrate to the marketplace and to regulators that accreditation requirements are met and are periodically monitored for compliance. The accreditation process involves an assessment of the forensic laboratories’ technical competence for performing sampling, testing and/or calibration services. Forensic analysis service providers will have a standardized, efficient system devoted to the quality of testing performance with increased accountability.
2020 forensic lab accreditation policy
The United States Department of Justice mandated department-run forensic labs to obtain and maintain accreditation and all department prosecutors to use accredited labs to process forensic evidence when practicable as of December 2020.
Accreditation assesses a forensic lab’s capacity to generate and interpret results in a particular forensic discipline and helps to ensure ongoing compliance to industry and applicable international standards.
IAS will assess and monitor the quality of the lab’s management system by examining factors that include staff competence; method validation; appropriateness of test methods; calibration and maintenance of test equipment; testing environment and quality assurance data.
Forensic inspection agency accreditation
IAS accreditation confirms that the inspection agency complies with the ISO/IEC Standard 17020.
IAS assesses forensic inspection agencies’ competence for performing inspections and the consistency of their inspection activities. IAS accredits agencies that perform inspections of materials, products, installations or processes.
Forensic analysis categories
IAS provides accreditation to the following forensic analysis related categories:
- Law enforcement agencies and crime laboratories
- Medical examiner offices and public health agencies
- Environmental testing laboratories and breath alcohol calibration laboratories
- Animal drug testing laboratories
- Computer/IT forensic investigation organizations
- Academic institutions