Sunday, October 09, 2016

QA and Laboratory Accreditation

MTEB UK SEMINARS 2016 II v03- QA Lab Accreditation.pdf
Read more - updated link

QA and Laboratory Accreditation. Previously, lab criteria applied to mobile phone forensic testing was randomly applied:

- various industry standards
- public and private approach to best practice
- guidelines/training courses
- Some certified ISO9001, some sought UKAS accreditation.

The introduction of a UK Forensic Science Regulator (FSR), there are now mandated ‘Codes of Practice and Conduct’, standards and accreditation applicable to mobile phone forensic evidence:

- ISO/IEC 17025 e.g. requirements for the competence to carry out tests and calibrations...
- ISO/IEC 17020 e.g. scene of crime and in the field activity
- UKAS Accreditation

The FSR’s strategy moves the goalposts away from simply applying industry best practice and random approaches to a common purpose – provision of forensic science across the criminal justice system is "subject to an appropriate regime of scientific quality standards"

That common purpose approach has been developing for approximately 6 years but only really in the last several years ISO/IEC 17025:2005 has  started to make its mark and the first accreditation to requirements of Forensic Science Regulator’s ‘Codes of Practice and Conduct’ was  2014.

- still early days for the public and private sectors
- very small number of organisations accredited for mobile phone forensic evidence
- it could be said we are all pioneers to new endeavours
- common purpose does not dilute ‘speciality’ distinguishing one organisation from another
- FSR deadlines for public sector forensic science overall 2017-2020
- e.g. Law enforcement mobile phone forensic test laboratory accreditation by Oct 2017
- Lead times of 18-months to implement suggests 2017 deadline could be missed
- ‘devil in the detail’ causing much more work than at first thought

There is increased demand for practical solutions and helpful insights that may assist prepare for accreditation.

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