THE VALUE OF ACCREDITATION

The value of a forensic laboratory receiving accreditation cannot be overstated. Accreditation provides that essential, external, independent review, and demonstrates that all forensic services are provided in accordance with accepted standards. Accreditation increases the level of confidence for our customers and all interested parties in the work and work product of our laboratory.

Accreditation is a voluntary, continuous process that involves annual audits that review and evaluate management practices, personnel qualifications, technical procedures, quality assurance program and facilities to help the laboratory provide a more effective overall service.

ASCLD/LAB-INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION

The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB)-International accreditation program for forensic science laboratories is based on:

  • •   ISO/IEC 17025:2005 internationally developed and approved, and
  • •   ASCLD/LAB developed supplemental requirements specific to forensic science testing and calibration laboratories.

The ASCLD/LAB assessment team carefully reviews every aspect of the laboratory's operation, including its management practices, customer satisfaction surveys, evidence handling procedures, laboratory security procedures, training programs, proficiency testing, competency testing records, and testimony monitoring records. Case files for each employee in the laboratory are also reviewed to ensure that laboratory procedures are consistently being followed and that requirements are being consistently met.

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS) testing and calibration laboratories were assessed against the requirements, which follow, found to be in compliance, and awarded ASCLD/LAB-International accreditation on November 12, 2013.

  • •   International Standard ISO 17025:2005–General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories,
  • •   ASCLD/LAB-International (2011 Edition)–Supplemental Requirements for the Accreditation of Forensic Science Testing Laboratories,
  • •   ASCLD/LAB-International (2007 Edition)–Supplemental Requirements for the Accreditation of Breath Alcohol Calibration Laboratories,
  • •   FBI Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories (2011 Edition), and
  • •   FBI Quality Assurance Standards for DNA Databasing Laboratories (2011 Edition).

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS) testing laboratories have been continuously accredited since 2003 through the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB), and we take great pride in this accomplishment.

ADFS joins other national and international laboratories which have achieved this accreditation status.

Accredited Scope of Services

ADFS is accredited in the following forensic testing and calibration services:

Field of Accreditation:  Forensic Science Testing

•   Drug Chemistry Controlled Substances, General Chemistry Testing
•   Toxicology Human Performance Forensic Toxicology, Post-Mortem Forensic Toxicology
•   Biology DNA-Nuclear, Body Fluid Identification, Individual Characteristics Database (CODIS)
•   Firearms/Toolmarks Firearms, Toolmarks, Individual Characteristic Database (NIBIN), Serial Number Restoration
•   Fire Debris (Trace)

Field of Accreditation:  Forensic Science Calibration

•   Implied Consent(Toxicology) Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments

FBI’S QUALITY ASSURANCE STANDARDS FOR DNA ANALYSIS

In addition to the stringent requirements of ASCLD/LAB-International, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences also complies with the FBI’s Quality Assurance Standards (QAS) for Forensic DNA Testing and DNA Databasing Laboratories. Adherence to the QAS is required by Federal law as a condition of a laboratory’s participation in the National DNA Index System.

NAME ACCREDITATION

The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) is the national professional organization of physician medical examiners, medicolegal death investigators and death investigation system administrators who perform the official duties of the medicolegal investigation of deaths of public interest in the United States.

The NAME Accreditation Program is a peer review system with the goal to improve system performance through objective evaluation and constructive criticism. Application of the NAME standards will aid in developing and maintaining a high quality of medicolegal investigation of death for the communities and jurisdictions which the medical examiner serves.

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences – Montgomery Medical Examiner’s Office was assessed against the standards of the NAME Accreditation Program, found to be in compliance, and awarded NAME Accreditation on December 16, 2013.

ACCREDITATION CERTIFICATES

Auburn Laboratory Certificate of Accreditation

Birmingham Laboratory Certificate of Accreditation

Huntsville Laboratory Certificate of Accreditation

Implied Consent Certificate of Accreditation

Mobile Laboratory Certificate of Accreditation

Montgomery Laboratory Certificate of Accreditation