What Is the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT)?

Police expert extracts traces of blood in a swab for toxicology analysis adhering to American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) standards.

Forensic toxicology is the identification and quantification of biological samples (such as blood, urine, or tissue) for the presence of toxins— including drugs, alcohols, and poisons. Forensic toxicology results are used by medical examiners, law enforcement, and the courts to help determine cause & manner of death, and impairment (both from a civil and criminal viewpoint).  ANAB and The American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) have a strategic alliance to provide formal recognition for conformance to ABFT requirements while accrediting forensic toxicology laboratories.

What Is the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT)?

The American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) is a professional nonprofit organization that establishes and enhances voluntary standards for the examination and recognition of scientists conducting forensic toxicology services. ABFT was organized in 1975 to provide (in the interest of the public and the advancement of the sciences) a certification program for forensic toxicology. The organization is similar to the certifying board in scientific fields and numerous medical specialties.

ABFT and ANAB Form a Strategic Alliance

Years later, the ABFT entered into an alliance agreement with ANAB to provide international recognition to forensic toxicology laboratories.  This agreement allows ANAB the ability to assess laboratories against the ABFT checklist/standards, which provides sector specific requirements and guidance to ensure quality and standardization across forensic toxicology laboratories. This laboratory accreditation checklist functions as a voluntary supplement to those of ISO/IEC 17025, the international standard for testing and calibration laboratories.

In the ensuing years, forensic toxicology laboratories have transitioned to ANAB accreditation under ISO/IEC 17025. The ABFT continues to maintain the laboratory accreditation checklist.

Certification of Forensic Toxicologists

The American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) establishes, enhances, and revises as necessary the standards of qualification for those who practice forensic toxicology and to certify as qualified scientists those voluntary applicants who comply with the requirements of the Board. The ABFT thereby aims to establish a practical and equitable system of readily identifying those who possess the requisite qualifications and competence in forensic toxicology. Several types of certifications are available based on specialty areas (e.g., alcohol testing, drug result interpretation).  Certification is based upon the candidate’s personal and professional record of education and training, experience, achievement, and a formal written examination.

ANAB’s ABFT Accreditation

Results generated by forensic testing laboratories are integral to the criminal justice process. By enabling the demonstration of competence, impartiality, and consistent operation through conformance to internationally recognized standards, ANAB’s American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) Accreditation and ISO/IEC 1705 Forensic Testing Laboratory Accreditation provides confidence in a forensic laboratory’s operation.

Forensic Laboratories are Accredited to ANAB’s ISO/IEC 17025 Program

Results generated by forensic testing laboratories are integral to the criminal justice process. By enabling the demonstration of competence, impartiality, and consistent operation through conformance to internationally recognized standards, ANAB’s ISO/IEC 1705 Forensic Testing Laboratory Accreditation provides confidence in a forensic laboratory’s operation. Forensic laboratories are accredited to ANAB’s ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation Program and recognized for meeting the ABFT scheme requirements.

Organizations wishing to be recognized to the ABFT certification requirements must also maintain accreditation to the ANAB ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation Program. Per ABFT requirements, the ABFT Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation checklist is assessed in its entirety every 2 years. Once recognized, the ABFT logo is applied to Certificate and Scope of Accreditation documents.

Check out the 2023 American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation Checklist to see if your organization meets the requirements of ANAB’s ABFT Accreditation program.

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