Updated ASCLD/LAB Program Overview and Supplemental Requirements

The purpose of this communication is to make you aware of three enhancements to the ASCLD/LAB accreditation program. We encourage you to review each of the topics listed below and to read the revised documents that are applicable to you.

  1. Program Changes Applicable to Testing and Calibration Laboratories

The ASCLD/LAB-International Program Overview has been revised with an effective date of April 1, 2016. You will notice that language has been revised to support our Mission Statement: ”Our purpose is to continually improve the quality of forensic science through the accreditation and education of forensic service providers.” This Mission Statement, revised in 2014, acknowledged that not all ASCLD/LAB customers work in a traditional laboratory setting but they perform testing work in the forensic sector.

Please read the entire Program Overview as you will find many revisions and improvements, most of which have no significant impact to the overall accreditation process. I do want to call your attention to two significant program revisions:

a. Resolution of Findings of Nonconformance – ASCLD/LAB will no longer assign a “level” to a Corrective Action Request (CAR). Instead, ASCLD/LAB will now issue Findings of Nonconformance and the laboratory will have 30 days from the date of the Full Assessment Report to respond with an appropriate action plan and time schedule for implementation. Within 90 days of the Full Assessment Report, the laboratory must resolve all nonconformities to the satisfaction of the Lead Assessor. More details are provided in the Program Overview.>
b.Accreditation Expiration Date – Expiration dates will be assigned by adding four years and four months to the month of the on-site assessment. This will allow ASCLD/LAB to maintain a set month for monitoring activities and reassessment in each laboratory while also ensuring that the laboratory has sufficient time to resolve any nonconformities prior to the expiration of accreditation. All accreditation expiration dates will be the last day of the respective month. The ASCLD/LAB Board of Directors has approved all current certificates and scopes of accreditation to be revised to reflect this change.  Laboratories will be individually contacted as this revision is implemented.

The revised ASCLD/LAB-International Program Overview can be accessed through the following link: https://ascld-lab.qualtrax.com/ShowDocument.aspx?ID=1588

  1. Transition to Conformance with ASCLD/LAB-International Supplemental Requirements for the Accreditation of Forensic Science Calibration Laboratories – Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments

The ASCLD/LAB-International Supplemental Requirements for The Accreditation of Forensic Science Calibration Laboratories – Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments, Version 1.0 was adopted by the ASCLD/LAB Delegate Assembly on November 20, 2015 and will become effective on March 1, 2016.   All ASCLD/LAB-International accredited and applicant calibration laboratories must transition to conformance with the new supplemental requirements on or before October 1, 2016.

The transition process will occur as follows:

a. No later than October 1, 2016, all laboratories currently accredited in the ASCLD/LAB-International program in the category of Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments shall submit aself-declaration letter signed by the laboratory director declaring the laboratory’s status with successful transition to conformance with the ASCLD/LAB-International
Supplemental Requirements for Forensic Science Calibration Laboratories – Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments, Version 1.0.  The letter must be on the forensic service provider’s letterhead, and sent via email to QualityMatters@ascld-lab.org
b.Objective evidence will be reviewed on-site to confirm conformance during ASCLD/LAB’s next scheduled on-site visit to the laboratory occurring after submission of the letter.

Other points of clarification

      • Laboratories accredited under the category of Breath Alcohol Reference Material are not subject to the new supplemental requirements.
      • Failing to submit a required self-declaration letter to ASCLD/LAB on or before October 1, 2016 will result in a notification to the ASCLD/LAB Board of Directors, and may result in a sanction against the accredited status of the laboratory (probation, suspension or revocation).
      • Failing to transition to the new requirements on or before October 1, 2016 will result in a notification to the ASCLD/LAB Board of Directors, and may result in a sanction against the accredited status of the laboratory (probation, suspension or revocation).
      • Updated Accreditation Certificates and Scope of Accreditation documents for all accredited laboratories submitting a self-declaration letter ensuring successful transition to the new requirements will be issued as soon as possible after receipt and review of the self-declaration.
      • Determining on-site that a laboratory director’s self-declaration is not supported by sufficient objective evidence of conformance will result in a notification to the ASCLD/LAB Board of Directors, and may result in a sanction against the accredited status of the laboratory (probation, suspension or revocation).
      • Additional information may be found on the www.ascld-lab.org website.Documents related to the calibration program can be accessed through the following links:

Documents related to the calibration program can be accessed through the following links:

Forensic Science Calibration-Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments:

ASCLD/LAB-International Supplemental Requirements for the Accreditation of Forensic Science Calibration Laboratories – Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments (Version 1.0)

Guidance for Calibration – Breath Alcohol Measuring Instruments

Forensic Science Calibration-Breath Alcohol Reference Material:

ASCLD/LAB-International Supplemental Requirements for the Accreditation of Breath Alcohol Calibration Laboratories (2007 Edition)

Guidance for Calibration – Breath Alcohol Reference Material

  1. Our New Email Address

We have created a new email address for submission of questions, applications for accreditation, Performance Declarations, appeals, complaints, notifications, self-disclosures of significant nonconformities, etc. Please use our new one-stop email address QualityMatters@ascld-lab.org and we will ensure that your communication is routed to the appropriate person for response.

This announcement and the updated documents will also be available on our website at www.ascld-lab.org. While you are there, check out our learning opportunities by visiting the training tab http://www.ascld-lab.org/training/.

Please let us know if you have questions and give our QualityMatters@ascld-lab.org email a try!