ASCLD Accreditation Toolkit
Imagine Accreditation Tomorrow
Welcome to the ASCLD Accreditation Toolkit designed to assist domestic, publicly funded labs and units with achieving accreditation based on a recognized International standard. Many thanks to the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, led by RTI International, through a Cooperative Agreement from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice for funding the development of this toolkit and the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative.
NEWEST LABS TO ACHIEVE ACCREDITATION
How did the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative team assist you in achieving your accreditation goals? Deborah Leben led us through the process of applying for accreditation even to the point of educating us about our options and resources available to us. When we were accepted into the program our mentor (Anne Nord) reviewed our documents and walked us through the entire assessment process, even up to helping us address our findings from our A2LA assessment. The monthly phone calls helped us connect with other labs and learn from their experiences with the process.
One recommendation why labs would consider the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative? We think this initiative is priceless. We are a small lab without a quality team and the guidance we got was so important to our overall success. People who were familiar with this process walked us through it, encouraging us and guiding us. Even a big lab could glean important information from the resources provided in this initiative. The toolbox is helpful, as the documents in there demonstrate a variety of solutions other labs have demonstrated to the same problems we faced. We appreciate the many opportunities this initiative provided for us.
Derek Mears and BethAnne Layton
How did the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative team assist you in achieving your accreditation goals? Partnering with the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative gave us the support and guidance needed to sufficiently prepare for our initial accreditation assessment. Having our mentor review our documents and procedures prior to our application for accreditation, as well as provide constant feedback throughout the process, gave us the confidence and support for a successful assessment.
One recommendation why labs would consider the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative? Seeking and obtaining accreditation is possible without outside assistance, but being able to have constant feedback and support through the AAI allowed us to more efficiently obtain our goal of accreditation. Having guidance and mentorship from individuals who have experience with the accreditation process is extremely valuable.
How did the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative team assist you in achieving your accreditation goals? We were provided with a mentor that we spoke with every week via conference call. Ranee Ho was very patient and made herself available to us throughout the entire process. We felt very supported by Ranee and by the ANAB team.
One recommendation why labs would consider the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative? I would absolutely recommend accreditation to all labs. It will give confidence as a supervisor, define roles and duties for the associates, and provide consistency and reliability for your laboratory.
How did the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative team assist you in achieving your accreditation goals? The team was invaluable. They were able to explain and break down the process for me in a manageable way. I appreciated hearing their own lessons learned through assessing other labs, mentoring other labs, and experiencing accreditation in their own labs. I wasn't even sure where to start the process. I just knew it was something I wanted for my lab. Additionally, I was able to ask questions, get examples of lab policies and procedures, see forms created to meet different standards and have a timeline established for accomplishing different tasks.
One recommendation why labs would consider the ASCLD Accreditation Initiative? If you feel like the task is insurmountable, the ability to lean on a multitude of experts in the field is an opportunity like no other. The support, feedback and resources that became available to me and my laboratory are one of the top reasons we were successful. Having a mentor available to ask questions from and seek guidance or review documents I'd created was so necessary! I am truly thankful for this group of top-notch experts.
Information about Forensic Accreditation Programs
The ASCLD Accreditation Initiative (AAI) team is comprised of laboratory directors, quality assurance managers and technical subject matter experts that have been trained and certified as Assessors by an accrediting organization and have served in the role as an Assessor for an accreditation program. Click here to view the members of the AAI team.
A2LA programs for the accreditation of testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, proficiency testing providers, medical testing laboratories, reference material producers and product certification bodies.
ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accreditation and training services provider in the area of management systems, personnel and product certification bodies, laboratories, inspection bodies, forensic service providers, proficiency testing and reference material producers.
Be a leader in your industry by building confidence and consistency in your product through A2LA WPT’s broad spectrum of instructor-led and online e-learning training courses.
ANAB offers training to individuals and organizations seeking to gain knowledge and better understanding of accreditation-related requirements and processes.
The ASCLD Leadership Academy is a training program offered by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors for managerial personnel in forensic science laboratories.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) is committed to improving the practice and strengthening the impact of forensic science.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences laboratory, and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness.
Lab Manager features articles relating to management, technology, and equipment common to laboratories in industry, medicine, universities, and others.
Information about Forensic Accreditation Standards
Links to Accreditation Training
Topics & FAQ
- Why is accreditation important?
- What type of risks can be mitigated through accreditation?
- How do I obtain a cost estimate for accreditation?
- How long does it take to achieve accreditation?
- Where can I purchase the ISO standard?
- Who are the key stakeholders that may be impacted by accreditation?
- Cost checklist to consider for accreditation
- What is the best way to organize controlled documents?
- How do you evaluate the accreditation programs and determine which ISO standard to use?
- We have a short deadline to achieve accreditation. How can we expedite the time to achieve accreditation?
Information about Volunteering with AAI
The role of the AAI is to assist laboratories as they prepare for accreditation. The AAI mentors are laboratory directors, quality assurance managers, and technical subject matter experts that have been trained and certified as Assessors by an accrediting body and have served as an Assessor. The AAI mentors work in an advisory capacity with the lab; however, the accrediting body will determine conformance or nonconformance with the ISO standard.
Resources & Templates
Resources for Laboratories Seeking Accreditation
The Roadmap to Accreditation serves as a guide to assist labs work to achieve their accreditation goals.
The lab is not required to follow the Roadmap in the exact order shown on the workflow; however, all steps mentioned in the Roadmap should be considered when preparing the laboratory for an assessment by an accrediting body.
Expand each panel below to find links to documents and templates for each step of the accreditation process
News & Updates
News, Updates, Success Stories, and Testimonials
ASCLD Invitation to National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Director’s Listening SessionNovember 21, 2022
2022 Briggs J. White Award AnnouncedMay 17, 2022
2022 Foresight Maximus Awards AnnouncedMay 17, 2022
IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Testimonials & ADVOCACY
Crime Lab Supervisor - Boise, ID Police Department
“I want to give the people in our community a peace of mind that they can trust our results…”
Intelligence Liaison - Guarded Exchange
“ASCLD has showed the whole picture and helped me piece the puzzle of accreditation together…”
Quality Manager - Salt Lake City, UT Police Department
“They are available to talk via regularly scheduled conference calls or respond in a timely manner to an urgent email…”
House Committee on Science, Space and Technology
“ASCLD launched an aggressive mentor-based program (with NIJ/RTI/FTCOE) to offer help to laboratories seeking accreditation…”
Testimony for the Committee of the Judiciary
“..I encourage you to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act to continue to provide this essential DNA resource assistance to state and local crime labs…”
“The task of accreditation is a daunting one for small labs like ours. The resources provided by ASCLD, through the initiative, have enabled us to navigate through the accreditation process…”