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Quality Management

The Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division is accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB).  The program is widely recognized at the premiere accreditation program for forensic laboratories in the United States, with several international laboratories around the world also participating in the program.  It is demanding and rigorous, requiring a full-time commitment to conformance and quality control.


Basics of Quality Control in Forensic Science

The underlying premise of laboratory accreditation is to control quality at such a deep and detailed level that the chance of a catastrophic error occurring in the laboratory remains almost impossible.  Any human endeavor carries the potential for error; however, that potential is significantly reduced by a set of basic quality control priorities:


1.             Sound Management Practices

2.             Effective hiring and training programs

3.             Competency testing of new scientists prior to casework

4.             Ongoing continuing education programs

5.             Annual proficiency testing of practicing scientists

6.             Technical review of scientists' work

7.             Administrative review of testing reports prior to release

8.             Production of second opinions (verifications)

9.             Documented protocols for conducting laboratory tests

10.           Use of analytical standards and calibration methods

11.           Proper maintenance of instruments and equipment

12.           Purchase of reliable supplies and reagents

13.           Use of positive and negative controls during analysis

14.           Monitoring of the work environment

15.           Minimization of distractions in the analytical areas of the lab


International Accreditation ISO/IEC 17025

The MSP Forensic Science Laboratories are committed to maintaining conformance to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.  The following list shows the scope of the ISO/IEC 17025 standard:

4.0    Management Requirements

4.1    Organization

4.2    Management System

4.3    Document Control

4.4    Review of Requests, Tenders and Contracts

4.5    Subcontracting of Tests and Calibrations

4.6    Purchasing Services and Supplies

4.7    Service to the Customer

4.8    Complaints

4.9    Control of Nonconforming Tests

4.10   Improvement

4.11  Corrective Action

4.12  Preventive Action

4.13  Control of Records

4.14  Internal Audits

4.15  Management Reviews


5.0    Technical Requirements

5.1    General

5.2    Personnel

5.3    Accommodation and Environmental Conditions

5.4    Tests & Calibration Methods and Method Validation

5.5    Equipment

5.6    Measurement Traceability

5.7    Sampling

5.8    Handling of Test and Calibration Items

5.9    Assuring the Quality of Test and Calibration Results

5.10  Reporting the Results