American Association for Laboratory Accreditation

Forensic Inspection Accreditation Program

A2LA's Forensic Examination accreditation program encompasses both testing and inspection. This page is devoted to the Forensic Inspection accreditation program. (For information regarding A2LA's Forensic Testing accreditation program, please click here.) The Forensic Examination accreditation program was developed for those organizations that perform examinations of an item or location and, on the basis of professional judgment, make a determination of conformity with proposed events or known conditions. In reality, any inspection performed could ultimately be meant for use in court. For example, a manufacturer may request inspection of a manufactured item to help improve their product, but another customer may request the same inspection with the ultimate aim of using the results in a civil trial. The work isn't any different, but how you approach the examination is. If the work is done incorrectly or if it is conducted by an untrained or incompetent employee, your report may be ruled inadmissible in court. A2LA accreditation conveys to potential customers and to judicial authorities that you have confidence in your work product and that this confidence has been confirmed by a third party, non-profit organization.

This specialty program is covered under A2LA's Inspection Body Accreditation Program.

Accreditation Requirements

Forensic inspection units are assessed against the ISO/IEC 17020:2012 General Criteria for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection and ILAC P15-Application of ISO/IEC 17020 for the Accreditation of Inspection Bodies. In addition, specific program requirements have been developed for all Forensic Inspection units, which include criteria adopted from national and international sources, and the A2LA Forensic Examination Advisory Committee (FEAC) has developed a consensus document which compiles all consensus decisions related to the Forensic Examination field. Since this consensus document is considered an A2LA Policy, inspection units accredited by A2LA in the Forensic Examination field are expected to adhere to the decisions contained within it.

Click on the "Download Application Documents" button to the right to obtain all documentation related to A2LA's Forensic Inspection Accreditation Program.

Advisory Committees

A2LA has developed a Forensic Examination Advisory Committee (FEAC) to assist the Association by providing technical input on policy creation and decisions related to the area of forensic examination. If you wish to participate on the FEAC, we invite you to contact Karin Athanas, A2LA Program Manager, at kathanas@A2LA.org. In addition, A2LA has developed an Inspection Body Advisory Committee (IBAC) to assist the Association by providing technical input on policy creation and decisions related to the accreditation of inspection bodies. If you wish to participate on the IBAC, we invite you to contact Beth Carbonella, A2LA Accreditation Manager, at ecarbonella@A2LA.org.