Forensic testing and inspection organizations earn public trust, meet regulatory and statutory requirements, and ensure a robust system of quality assurance and control for their organizations when they are accredited by A2LA.
A2LA accreditation conveys to potential customers and to judicial and regulatory authorities that an organization has confidence in its work product, and that this confidence has been confirmed by a third-party, non-profit organization.
A2LA’s accreditation of forensic examination organizations spans two programs: testing/calibration laboratories and inspection units. To obtain both laboratory and inspection body accreditations, complete both application processes and comply with all the requirements in each program.
Forensic Testing/Calibration Laboratories
- ISO/IEC 17025 General Requirements for the Accreditation of Testing and Calibration Laboratories
- R221 – Specific Requirements – Forensic Examination Accreditation Program – Testing and Calibration
Forensic Inspection Units
- ISO/IEC 17020 General Criteria for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection
- R318 – Specific Requirements – Forensic Examination Accreditation Program – Inspection
Need help deciding which ISO/IEC standard is best for your organization? Check out our white paper on what each standard offers.
Forensic Testing Subprograms
- Forensic Facilities Licensed in Maryland
- FBI QAS Accreditation and Assessment
- AABB/A2LA Accreditation Program
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) recognize A2LA as a deemed accreditation body under the State of Maryland in accordance with the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Title 10, Subtitle 51 Forensic Laboratories. As a deemed accreditation body by the DHMH, forensic laboratories that are regulated under the Maryland Forensic Regulations may obtain accreditation services from A2LA and/or continue using A2LA as an accreditation body. Licensure in the State of Maryland in accordance with COMAR 10.51 is overseen by the OHCQ, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. While gaining accreditation from A2LA is one method for obtaining licensure, laboratories seeking licensure must still apply and be approved by the OHCQ to be licensed in the State of Maryland.
On January 13, 2014, the National DNA Index System (NDIS) Procedures Board approved the designation of A2LA as an accrediting agency under the United States Federal DNA Identification Act (42 U.S.C. 14132). As a designated agency, A2LA, through its Forensic Examination Accreditation Program, is recognized to assess laboratories performing DNA analyses on DNA samples obtained from identified subject(s) for the purposes of entering the resulting DNA profile or DNA record into a DNA database, as well as laboratories performing DNA analyses on known or casework reference samples considered evidence by that laboratory.
A2LA offers two options:
- An assessment-only service to the FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing and DNA Databasing Laboratories to all organizations that are currently approved by the NDIS board and are seeking an external assessment to meet Section 15.2.
- A dual assessment to the FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing and/or DNA Databasing Laboratories and ISO/IEC 17025.
The AABB/A2LA Accreditation program consists of a joint assessment to both AABB Relationship Testing Standards and ISO/IEC 17025. As the program allows both assessments to occur at once, the amount of down time for the laboratory is reduced.
For more information on the program, please check out the Understanding A2LA’s Forensic Accreditation Process webinar. The information above is not exhaustive and all interested parties are encouraged to contact A2LA to determine their options for accreditation.