All HFSC disciplines, including the crime scene unit, are accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 requirements for forensic testing laboratories. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board (ANAB) awarded the accreditation. ANAB has been accrediting forensic laboratories to the ISO/IEC 17025 level longer than any other U.S. organization.
ISO 17025 is the global standard for testing and calibration laboratories. Laboratories with this accreditation are recognized for specific competencies. The labs must adhere to standards for continual management and quality improvement, are required to submit an annual audit to the accrediting body and are subject to unannounced inspections.
HFSC also maintains accreditation with the Texas Forensic Science Commission. Please see the letter.
HFSC’s Client Services & Case Management (CS/CM) Division is accredited by the International Association of Property and Evidence (IAPE).
IAPE is a nonprofit organization created by law enforcement professionals to help establish recommended standards for all property and evidence departments. IAPE provides education and training pertaining to all aspects of the handling, storage, maintenance and disposal of property and evidence.
The IAPE accreditation program reviewed CS/CM’s evidence handling procedures and processes. IAPE found that HFSC’s CS/CM division was in compliance with and met industry standards and best practices for documentation, procedures and actions. CS/CM is required to maintain the accreditation standards and provide annual documentation of compliance with IAPE standards to maintain its three-year accreditation. Every three years, IAPE does an on-site assessment to reissue the accreditation.
The Houston Forensic Science Center’s board of directors adopted a resolution to voluntarily adopt standards published by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC.)
HFSC’s quality division oversee the implementation of each standard with the goal of making it part of a discipline’s process within a year of publication.
OSAC uses a transparent, consensus-based process that encourages forensic practitioners to participate in the creation of standards. Established in 2014, OSAC has more than 550 members that work in forensic labs and related institutions. Their expertise encompasses 22 disciplines.