The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) announce a new partnership to expand forensic service accreditation in international settings. This combination of NFSTC’s international business reach and ANAB’s accreditation expertise will bring the best knowledge and practice to laboratories outside the United States.
NFSTC is currently working with crime laboratories and crime scene professionals from Central America to improve practice and expand DNA analysis capabilities through training and consulting. This work, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. Portions of the work include preparation for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17025, the international standards for bodies performing inspection and for testing and calibration laboratories, respectively.
“Our work includes bringing high quality forensic skills and practices to the forensic service professional, and preparing their organizations to meet worldwide standards now and in the future,” say Kevin Lothridge, CEO of NFSTC. “Working with our partners at ANAB ensures they will understand these standards and processes, and have the ability to continue to meet them.”
This new partnership with ANAB will bring top-notch accreditation training, preparations and assessments to these laboratories. ANAB’s training will provide practitioners with thorough knowledge of standards and practice, and produce skilled local auditors who can continue to monitor and assess the laboratories.
“ANAB welcomes the opportunity to work with NFSTC to expand and support sound practices by forensic service providers internationally,” Pam Sale, ANAB Vice President, Forensics, said. “Reliable results from accredited forensic laboratories are a critical component of law enforcement and criminal justice systems.”
Achieving forensic laboratory accreditation involves a significant investment by the communities and professionals involved. Once accredited, the laboratories will be recognized for their quality and serve to improve and lead the way for justice systems in Central America.
Editor note: Photos of NFSTC’s INL training are available upon request.
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) provides quality forensic services including training, consulting, technology evaluation to the justice, forensic science and defense communities. NFSTC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Largo, Florida. www.nfstc.org
The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board provides accreditation for ISO/IEC 17025 forensic and non-forensic testing and calibration laboratories, ISO/IEC 17020 forensic and non-forensic inspection agencies, ISO 17034 reference material producers, ISO/IEC 17043 proficiency test providers, ISO 15189 medical test laboratories, ISO/IEC 17021 management systems certification bodies, and industry-specific programs. ANAB is a member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), and is a signatory of the ILAC and IAF multilateral recognition arrangements. Through these arrangements, ANAB cooperates with other accreditation bodies around the world to provide value to the organizations it has accredited and their clients, ensuring that accredited certificates and test results are recognized nationally and internationally. The global conformity assessment system ensures confidence and reduces risk for customers engaging in trade worldwide. For more information, visit www.anab.org.