Saturday, October 15, 2016

ISO/IEC 17025/17020 - One-Person Organisation

Having just finished part two of the work study into QA and Laboratory Accreditation MTEB UK SEMINARS 2016 II v03- QA Lab Accreditation.pdf ( ) I came across this cracking article by Karin Athanas, Program Manager at the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) titled "Accreditation for the One-Person Organization - The smallest laboratories can teach us the biggest lessons." ( )

Basically Karin's article helps us understand that one, two or three person/s organisation/s should not be put off but can and should apply for ISO/IEC 17020 and 17025 as the requirements are not insurmountable, particularly when it comes to allocation to whom the quality manager's role, audits etc. will be allocated and deemed to be responsible. I also read this to mean that ABs might need to widen their scope to appreciate many roles in a accredited system can be held by one person.

Karin's article is a recommended read.

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.