The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) is a not for profit corporation, incorporated in the state of Missouri. ASCLD/LAB is proud to be recognized as an ISO/IEC 17011 compliant accrediting body in the field of forensic science by the Inter American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC) since September 2008 and by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) since April 2009. ASCLD/LAB is a signatory to both the IAAC Multi-lateral Recognition Arrangement and the ILAC Mutual Recognition Arrangement.
ASCLD/LAB offers voluntary accreditation to public and private crime laboratories in the United States and around the world. Accreditation is offered in the forensic disciplines for which services are generally provided by forensic laboratories.
ASCLD/LAB was originally created as a committee of its mother organization, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) in 1981. In 1984, ASCLD/LAB became a separate corporate entity with its own Board of Directors that is elected by a Delegate Assembly composed of the directors of accredited laboratories and laboratory systems.
ASCLD/LAB Special Announcement
World Accreditation Day
June 9, 2013 is designated as 'World Accreditation Day' by the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). This year the focus is on "the important role accreditation plays in facilitating trade around the world, both within and across national borders." A joint statement from the ILAC and IAF Chairs is available for your viewing.
At first it may seem a bit odd to think about including forensic science services in the same sentence as 'facilitating trade,' but I encourage you to consider the subject in a boarder sense. As the ILAC and IAF Chairs rightly point out in their joint statement, " ... all countries, and all market sectors, have seen an increase in the number of voluntary and mandatory technical regulations, standards, testing, inspection and certification procedures. Generally, these are introduced to meet the legitimate requirements of quality and safety that consumers, businesses, regulators and other organisations demand of goods and services, whatever their country of origin."
In that sense, the delivery of forensic science services is no different than other sectors of the world's economy. We all have an obligation to ensure the consistent delivery of the highest quality forensic science services possible. Accreditation is one key factor in ensuring that quality.
World Accreditation Day is a perfect time to pause for a moment and consider the importance of accreditation to the forensic community over the years, and to the world at large - as accreditation touches all of our lives in so many different ways.
Ralph M. Keaton
ASCLD/LAB Executive Director