Forensic Examination Accreditation Program | A2LA

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 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.

Program Requirements

Forensic Testing Laboratories

  • ISO/IEC 17025 General Requirements for the Accreditation of Testing and Calibration Laboratories
  • Additional criteria adopted from national and international sources

Forensic Inspection Units

  • ISO/IEC 17020 General Criteria for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection
  • Additional criteria adopted from national and international sources 

Forensic Testing Subprograms

 

Forensic Facilities Licensed in Maryland

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.

 

FBI QAS Accreditation and Assessment

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 Accreditation Program, is recognized to accredit 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 also offers assessment service only to FBI Quality Assurance Standards for DNA Testing and Databasing to all organizations that are currently approved by the NDIS board and that are seeking external assessment to meet Section 15.2.

 

Forensic Identification Accreditation Program 

The A2LA Forensic Identification Accreditation Program encompasses all investigative work, be it testing or inspection, commercial or criminal. Such investigative work has numerous applications, one being forensic identification.
Forensic Identification includes actions taken to recover and identify human remains and includes disciplines such as:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Forensic Odontology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Fingerprint Collection and Analysis

 

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The above is not exhaustive and all interested parties are encouraged to contact A2LA to determine their options for accreditation.
 

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