A2LA Today l December 2016 l Number 133
By Karin Athanas, Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager
The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), a forensic organization administered by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has recently completed its review of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard and approved it for addition to the OSAC Registry of Approved Standards.
Addition to the Registry confirms that ISO/IEC 17025 has been “assessed to be valid by forensic practitioners, academic researchers, measurement scientists, and statisticians through a consensus development process that allows participation and comment from all relevant stakeholders”1 and appropriate for use by Forensic Science Service Providers.
OSAC review and approval begins when a document goes through a standards development process and is identified as being relevant and appropriate for a given forensic discipline or disciplines. The document is recommended by a Subcommittee of the OSAC and must be reviewed for technical merit, appropriateness, application in the area of forensics, and a number of additional technical areas. OSAC allows for an open comment period to ensure the engagement of the forensic science community. All comments are adjudicated and the adjudications are published on the OSAC website.
The addition of ISO/IEC 17025 to the OSAC registry is a testament to its universality and ability to be broadly applied to numerous technical areas. States, such as North Carolina, currently require that those performing forensic testing be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 and it is hoped that other states will also choose to require compliance with this standard in lieu of development of similar, but not equal, quality assurance regulatory requirements.
A2LA has been active in the forensic community for many years, including participation on the OSAC as well as many of the standard development bodies. A2LA accreditation options in the forensic field are available for current and new customers. If you would like to learn more, please contact: Brittney Bryant (bbryant@A2LA.org; 240 575 6407) or Randy Querry (rquerry@A2LA.org; 301 644 3221).