All application documents are available on the ABFT website. Review the ABFT Laboratory Standards Manual and Program Outline carefully before completing the Accreditation Application and Standards Checklist.
The completed documents and attachments will be reviewed by the Accreditation Committee of the ABFT to assess whether the laboratory is ready to submit to an onsite inspection. The ABFT Committee may request clarification or additional information from the laboratory before an inspection is scheduled. It is recognized that the budget of most forensic laboratories is limited, such that a second accreditation inspection following an initial unsuccessful inspection is to be avoided if possible. It is, therefore, in the interest of the laboratory to provide as much supplementary information as practical with the initial application, in order that the preliminary assessment is both comprehensive and fair. In particular, use the space available in the Checklist to make notes clarifying “Conform/Non-conform” answers. Answers to most of the questions in the checklist must be qualified by a description and as applicable, reference to the place in the laboratory’s SOP where the issue or policy is described.
Compliance with all standards is mandatory unless deemed to be not applicable. Applicant laboratories must ensure that, to the best of their knowledge, they are in compliance with all standards before an inspection is scheduled. If the ABFT Accreditation Committee judges that the laboratory’s performance in the proficiency tests to which they subscribe has been unsatisfactory over the 12 months preceding the application, the application for accreditation may be denied. Obviously, deficiencies may become apparent during an inspection, and the laboratory will be required to address them prior to accreditation being granted.
Additional copies of the Application Form, Program Outline, and Standards Checklist may be downloaded from the ABFT website at www.abft.org. The forms may be completed using a word processor and submitted “as is” or as an Adobe PDF file. For new applications, prior to review of an application, the laboratory must provide a check or purchase order for the application and inspection fee payable to American Board of Forensic Toxicology, Inc. and sent to the ABFT office at the address noted on this brochure and the website. Finally, please contact the Chair of the ABFT Accreditation Committee prior to submitting an application for inspection.
The following documents are required to be submitted as part of the application:
- Application form.
- Standards Checklist (completed in full with narrative answers).
- Summaries of results of relevant proficiency tests covering the previous 12 months, to include, at a minimum, CAP AL1, CAP FTC, and CAP T-series* (to include the PT provider summary showing the applicant laboratory’s results, in addition to the laboratory’s own documentation summarizing the results and internal review. (Note: for the CAP T-series, labs are expected to complete all qualitative challenges, plus those quantitative tests that the lab offers and would ordinarily perform within the report period for the T-series shipment.)
- Summary documentation of any corrective action for PT deficiencies (see also the ABFT document “Guidelines for Performing Corrective Action for Deviations in Proficiency Test Results”).
- Laboratory floor plan showing access security.
- Litigation package(s) for positive ethanol and positive drug quantitation (may be same or different cases).
- Copies of current SOPs utilized in the screening andconfirmation of the reported results must be included.
Review of the application will be based, to the extent practical, on the same general criteria that will be employed for the final inspection. In reaching a decision,the Accreditation Committee will make use of the information provided by the laboratory, including the Litigation Package, the Proficiency Test summaries, and the comments given in the Checklist completed by the laboratory director, in judging whether Accreditation standards are met.
ABFT Laboratory Accreditation Program Documents
- Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation Program - Program Outline
- Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation Program - Application Instructions
- Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation Program - Application
- Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation Program - Checklist
- Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation Program - Midcycle Template
- Guidelines for Performing Corrective Action for Deviations in Proficiency Test Results