Morocco has earned its first international forensic accreditation with the help of the National Forensic Science Technology Center at FIU.
NFSTC trained personnel from the laboratory that is home to the only DNA databasing unit in Morocco. That lab controls the uploading of genetic profiles that could lead to the identification of suspects in criminal investigations.
“This accreditation demonstrates the quality of the laboratory’s systems and work,” said David Sylvester, NFSTC deputy executive director. “On an international level, it means that the laboratory’s clients can be assured of the validity and excellence of the laboratory testing results and conclusions.”
Forensic scientists from the Management and High Throughput Genotyping Unit of the Directorate General for National Security Police Scientific Laboratory in Casablanca trained with the center through a 12-month grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
In eight months, the team at NFSTC translated and reviewed material from French to English, coordinated training with personnel, reviewed quality assurance documents, and addressed issues that could affect accreditation.
“There are more than 100 requirements that need to be met just to apply for accreditation,” Sylvester said. “It was a lot of work to undertake in a relative short amount of time, which speaks to the work ethic of the laboratory personnel.”
The Moroccan forensic scientists met the quality assurance requirements of the International Organization of Standardization’s 17025-2005 accreditation. After training and work on quality systems, the laboratory was evaluated by the American National Standards Institute-American Society for Quality National Accreditation Board and received accreditation.
NFSTC has conducted assessments, consulted on forensic science and crime scene training in Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Thailand. Quality forensic science is becoming increasingly important as more countries develop their laws and adversarial systems of justice.