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It is the goal of the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) to continually improve, strengthen and enhance our programs to meet the changing needs of our customers. In support of this goal A2LA will from time-to-time offer Pilot Programs in various fields of accreditation. There are currently no active pilot programs.
If you are requested by a court, lawyer, company or private citizen to examine an object or location and the result of that examination is meant for use in a criminal or civil hearing, you've just become a forensic scientist.
In reality, any test or inspection performed could ultimately be meant for use in court. For example, a manufacturer may request failure analysis testing on a manufactured item to help improve their product, but another customer may request the same analysis 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 to a recognized international standard and assessment to the A2LA forensic accreditation program supplemental requirements 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.
A2LA offers two options for accreditation.
The first offering is for assessment and accreditation of forensic testing laboratories. Laboratories seeking accreditation under this option will be assessed for compliance to international standard ISO/IEC 17025, A2LA document R101 - General Requirements- Accreditation of ISO-IEC 17025 Laboratories and A2LA supplemental document R221- Specific Requirements - Forensic Examination Accreditation Program - Testing.
*Organizations wishing to attain both laboratory and inspection body accreditation must complete both application processes.