ISO 17025: How Accreditation Impacts Forensic Labs

ISO 17025

Leeds is ISO 17025 Accredited for Calibration and measurement

What is ISO?

“ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental membership organization and the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards.” (Source: ISO.org)

“They are made up of 166 member countries who are the national standards bodies around the world, with a Central Secretariat that is based in Geneva, Switzerland.  Learn more about ISO structure and how they are governed.” (Source: ISO.org)

What are standards?

“International Standards make things work.  Standards give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency.  Standards are instrumental in facilitating international trade.  ISO has published more than 19,500 International Standards covering almost every industry, from technology, to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare.  ISO International Standards impact everyone, everywhere.”  (Source: ISO.org)

What is ISO 17025?

“ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is an international quality standard used by accreditation bodies worldwide for the accreditation of both Testing and Calibration laboratories.  Forensic laboratories fall under the testing component of the standard.  The two primary sections in the standard are “Section 4: Management Requirements,” and “Section 5: Technical Requirements.”  Management Requirements concern operational parameters and the implementation and effectiveness of the Quality Management System.  The requirements are similar to those specified in the ISO 9001:2000 Standard.  There are 131 potentially applicable clauses under Section 4.  Technical Requirements concern staff competence, testing methodology, equipment, quality assurance measures, sampling, and the reporting of test results.  Most of these requirements derive from the ISO Guide 25.  There are 170 potentially applicable clauses under Section 5.”  (Source: Forensic Magazine  ISO 17025:7005 article)

Leeds:  ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Accreditated for Calibration & Measurement

Leeds, as an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 calibration provider, does not try to define to a forensic lab what functionality of a comparison microscope needs to be accredited.  Leeds looks to ISO to define what is required within a forensic lab.  ISO requires to each forensic laboratory to define their own ISO/IEC 17025:2005 procedures by implementing their own standard operating procedures (SOP).  When applying for lab accreditation, each lab is required to submit their own SOP and show documentation for following and recording their SOP.

Leeds provides ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited certifications for each Leeds Firearms and Tool Marks Comparison Microscope, for the following functions:

  • The magnification matching of the right and left optical systems.  This certificate shows the actual magnification of each matched position, and the calculated differences between the two position, with an allowable tolerance not to exceed a 2%.
  • The accuracy of the stage mounted digital scale.  If a Leeds comparison microscope is purchased with a digital scale (optional), a certificate of measurement is provided.
  • The accuracy of any software based measurement calibrations.  If a Leeds comparison microscope is purchased with a camera and software, a certificate of measurement is provided for this equipment.

The Choice Is Yours

Each individual forensic laboratory may choose if they want to bring Leeds ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Certificates of Calibration and Measurement into their lab’s SOP and Quality Management procedures.  If a laboratory should decide not to bring these certificates into their procedures, they may still assure the end user of the quality and accuracy of the Leeds Comparison Microscope when examining forensic evidence.

How long these Certificates are valid is defined by each labs SOP.  Leeds suggests that our microscope certificates be renewed annually.  Leeds professional, factory trained technicians are available to check microscope systems annually and re-calibrate Leeds microscopes.

Leeds is ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited for calibration by Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, Inc..  Leeds is evaluated on an annual basis to ensure that we meet the technical competence and compliance standards of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for calibration.  We provide a certification of calibration with each forensic comparison microscope purchased.  The Leeds calibration certificate validates that the magnification and all measurement capabilities of the microscope meet ISO/IEC 17025:2005 testing standards.

How Leeds’ Accreditation for Calibration Helps Forensic Labs

Leeds’ forensic laboratory customers can rely on their Leeds’ comparison microscopes to provide accredited magnification and measurement functions, meeting the highest industry standards.  Forensic evidence analyzed under a Leeds comparison microscope provides high-quality results.

To learn more about Leeds service capabilities and trained technicians, please contact Leeds, 1-800-444-5333.

This entry was posted in Forensic Education, Forensic Lab Tips, ISO/IEC 17025:2005, Leeds Forensic Systems and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to ISO 17025: How Accreditation Impacts Forensic Labs

  1. DR.NADIA ALKANDARY says:

    Dear

    My name is Dr. Nadia Al-Kandary, am from Kuwait

    Am head of Forensic Pathology Lab

    Am trying to prepare a presentation on the Importance of Accreditation in Forensic Analysis

    But am facing problem that in order to convince my superiors in different laboratories DNA, TOXICOLOGY , DRUGS AND OTHERS

    I need case exampels if you have through your career that cases has been shut down and closed because there analysis was not performed through quality programm and incent people has been convicted and those guilty of crimes are free in street because evidence was not subjected in calibration machines and reading and result are false

    Please assisst me in my presentation to send messages for my directors for the importance of Accreditation in different forensic analysis

    Best Regards

    Dr. Nadia

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