ANAB is the leader for independent third-party accreditation of forensic agencies. We offer ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, serving:

  • Police sciences in law enforcement agencies
  • Crime laboratories
  • Environmental testing laboratories
  • Animal drug testing laboratories
  • Chemistry/toxicology laboratories
  • Medical examiners
  • Breath alcohol calibration laboratories

Disciplines for which accreditation is offered include, but are not limited to:

  • Anthropology
  • Biology (including DNA and FBI QAS, where applicable)
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Digital evidence
  • Disaster victim identification
  • Document examination
  • Fire and explosive investigations
  • Firearms and toolmarks
  • Fire debris and explosives
  • Footwear and tire
  • Friction ridge
  • Geological materials
  • Gunshot residue
  • Materials (trace)
  • Medicolegal Death Investigation
  • Odontology
  • Seized drugs
  • Toxicology
  • Video Imaging
  • Wildlife Forensics

ANAB follows all international guidance documents related to ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17020, and uses ILAC G19 in its entirety.

The longest established provider of accreditation based on ISO standards for forensic testing agencies in the United States, ANAB accredited the first U.S. testing agency to ISO/IEC 17025 in 1999 and the first U.S. forensic crime laboratory to ISO/IEC 17025 in 2001. ANAB also accredited the first U.S. police science unit to ISO/IEC 17020.

ANAB offers flexible scoping and flexible accreditation cycles covering two or four years, depending on the maturity of your management system and your needs.

Accreditation is based on assessment of an agency’s technical qualifications and competence for conducting specific testing or inspection activities within the scope of ISO/IEC 17025 or ISO/IEC 17020 and any relevant field-specific standards included in amplification documents.

ANAB issues an accreditation certificate only after nonconformities are resolved. This assures your customers that your agency is truly in compliance with the appropriate ISO standards.

Each accreditation cycle includes the initial on-site assessment for accreditation followed by regular surveillance activities throughout the cycle. Accreditation cycles cover two or four years, allowing your organization to determine what’s best for its operations.

ANAB-accredited agencies must participate in a proficiency test (PT) program. ANAB requires that PT providers accredited to ISO/IEC 17043 are used whenever possible. Successful completion of PT is monitored as a condition for continuing accreditation.

ANAB can provide an optional pre-assessment audit (that is, practice assessment) before the initial assessment.

ISO/IEC 17020 or ISO/IEC 17025 for Forensics?

Crime scene, latent prints, video analysis, digital evidence, firearms and toolmarks, etc., are all inspection-type operations in which one compares analyses, reviews specifications, and draws conclusions based on professional judgment. ISO/IEC 17020 is designed for these types of inspection processes. ISO/IEC 17025 was designed for laboratories that use analytical equipment to test for substances such as drugs, DNA, chemicals, etc.

ANAB has accredited many police forensic units to ISO/IEC 17020 and is in the process of accrediting more. ISO/IEC 17020 will become the norm for crime scene investigations, firearms, latent print examinations, and other forensic disciplines in which opinions are based on professional judgment.

ISO Standards for Forensic Testing

Yes, ISO standards are relevant to forensic testing labs. The program consists of three parts.

One part deals with your management systems, verifying that you have the systems to do the right thing in the right way.

The second part deals with technical matters, addressing quality assurance at the testing, evaluation, and reporting levels.

The third area uses a set of field-specific criteria to illustrate compliance factors in the test area.