You are here

Quality System Accreditation

Accreditation Certificates

Laboratory Accreditation History

In the late 1970s, the Association of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) created a committee to develop standards that would help improve the quality and consistency of work performed by crime laboratories. Eventually, ASCLD/LAB was created as a separate, not-for-profit organization to provide a voluntary accreditation program based on the standards developed. ASCLD/LAB issued its first accreditation certificate in 1982, and eventually accredited over 400 laboratories.

ASCLD/LAB continued to drive improvement within the forensic science community by seeking to improve the accreditation program and identify the best standards for the foundation of that program. ASCLD/LAB developed and utilized its own standards through 2009, but in 2006, began transitioning to a new accreditation program based on international standards. The original accreditation program became known as the ASCLD/LAB Legacy program, and the new program was named the ASCLD/LAB-International program.

The foundation for the International program is the ISO/IEC 17025 standard, which was developed and is maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). ISO/IEC 17025 specifies requirements to determine the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. In addition to these requirements, the ASCLD/LAB-International accreditation program also utilized supplemental requirements developed by ASCLD/LAB. The supplemental requirements provided more specific guidance in areas that are more significant or unique to crime laboratories such as evidence handling, use of databases (CODIS, IBIS, AFIS, etc.), evaluation of testimony, etc. Implementing the ASCLD/LAB-International accreditation program enabled ASCLD/LAB to earn international recognition as an accrediting body. This recognition demonstrates that ASCLD/LAB has been evaluated and recognized as operating their accreditation program in accordance with ISO/IEC 17011, “Conformity assessment – General requirements for accreditation bodies . . .”

The OSBI Criminalistic Services Division (CSD) first earned ASCLD/LAB Legacy accreditation in 2001. The Eastern Regional Laboratory (ERL) in McAlester was then re-accredited in 2003 when the laboratory changed from a Biology Laboratory to a Controlled Substances Laboratory. The remaining laboratories were reaccredited in 2006 under the Legacy program. The ERL became the first OSBI CSD laboratory to earn ASCLD/LAB-International accreditation in 2010, and the remaining labs completed their transition to the ASCLD/LAB-International accreditation in 2012. All OSBI CSD laboratories were re-accredited again in 2015. In 2019, the OSBI CSD laboratory system successfully completed an assessment for the transition to the ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standards and accreditation requirements.

In the spring of 2016, ASCLD/LAB merged with another internationally recognized accrediting body known as ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board). The OSBI CSD continues to maintain accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard and additional supplemental requirements specific to forensics. In 2018, ANSI acquired full interests in ANSI-ASQ NAB, resulting in ANAB becoming a fully owned subsidiary of ANSI.  ANAB (ANSI National Accreditation Board) continues to monitor the OSBI CSD’s compliance with accreditation requirements annually through off-site reviews, on-site surveillance visits, and re-accreditation assessments.