A2LA Accredits First Forensic Examination Testing Laboratory

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The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation is proud to announce the accreditation of its first Scope in the field of Forensic Testing

The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation is proud to announce the accreditation of its first Scope in the field of Forensic Testing. The first of many to come, this occasion follows A2LA’s announcement of the launch of its Forensic Examination Accreditation Program and is the result of diligent work by our staff and A2LA contracted assessors, with assistance from our member organizations and supporters.

This first accreditation was granted on November 11, 2011 to Forensic Testing Laboratories, Inc located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The location is a branch facility of Genetics Testing Laboratory, Inc., an A2LA-accredited testing laboratory, and was assessed to ISO/IEC 17025 and the A2LA supplemental document, R221 - Specific Requirements: Forensic Examination Accreditation Program-Testing.

Forensic Testing Laboratories, Inc.’s Scope of Accreditation includes presumptive testing for blood, semen and saliva as well as DNA testing of forensic samples for nuclear DNA.

It is hoped that the addition of the forensic examination program to A2LA’s accreditation offerings will help to bridge the gap between what is normally considered forensic examination (e.g., DNA, fingerprints, and crime scene examination) and the often overlooked work of the commercial industry for civil litigation (e.g., environmental investigation, forensic engineering, failure analysis, and accident analysis).

The program consists of two separate accreditation options. The first is for assessment and accreditation of forensic testing laboratories. Laboratories seeking accreditation under this option will be assessed for compliance to the international standard, ISO/IEC 17025, and A2LA policies and requirements including the A2LA supplemental document, R221 - Specific Requirements: Forensic Examination Accreditation Program–Testing.

The second accreditation option is for the assessment and accreditation of forensic inspection bodies (e.g., crime scene units, environmental inspection units, forensic engineering – structural failure inspection units). Organizations seeking accreditation under this option will be assessed for compliance to the international standard, ISO/IEC 17020, and A2LA policies and requirements including the A2LA supplemental document, R309 - Specific Requirements: Forensic Examination Accreditation Program–Inspection.

A2LA is currently accepting new applications for accreditation from testing laboratories and inspection body organizations under the Forensic Examination Accreditation Program. Further, A2LA is working with existing accredited organizations to add compliance with these new requirements to their existing Scopes of Accreditation. There are resources devoted to ensure prompt attention to all interested parties’ needs. Please direct any questions on applying for accreditation to the contact listed above. Organizations already accredited by A2LA should direct questions on expanding their Scope (through the use of A2LA form, F108 – Request for Expansion of Scope of Accreditation–Testing) to their current Accreditation Officer contact at A2LA.

ABOUT A2LA:

A2LA is a nonprofit, non-governmental, public service, membership society, whose stated mission is to “provide world-class accreditation and training services for testing and calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, proficiency testing providers, reference material producers and product certifiers. These and other future services should create stakeholder confidence in the quality, competence and integrity of all A2LA-accredited organizations and in their products and services.”

Services are available to any type of conformity assessment body (CAB), whether governmental or private. A2LA is the largest multi-discipline accreditation body in the United States.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Karin Athanas
A2LA Contact for A2LA Forensic Examination Accreditation Program
The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
Phone: 301 644 3236
Email: kathanas(at)A2LA(dot)org
Web: http://www.A2LA.org

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Karin Athanas
A2LA
301 644 3236
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