Rapid DNA and Forensic Laboratory Accreditation

Police scientist extracts rapid DNA sample in a  forensics lab adhering to the Rapid DNA Act of 2017.

Rapid DNA or Rapid DNA analysis is a fully automated process of developing a DNA profile in 1-2 hours. This technology has the ability to develop a profile much more quickly than traditional DNA typing methods. Rapid DNA can be used to generate DNA profiles from buccal swabs or reference samples as well as from single source crime scene samples.

How Is Rapid DNA Testing Used?

Rapid DNA analysis can be used for law enforcement, homeland defense, disaster victim identification, and military applications. The faster DNA results are available, the more they can impact critical military, forensic, homeland security, mass disaster and intelligence decisions. Trained law enforcement officers can obtain the DNA profile of a suspect and compare it to those in the National DNA Index System (NDIS) in a timeframe (under two hours), allowing them to hold suspects whose profile matched one in the system. Further, Rapid DNA occurs while arrestees are still in police custody, allowing for the prevention or solving of violent crimes. This can exonerate the innocent and dramatically reduce the DNA analysis backlogs.

What Is the Rapid DNA Act?

The Rapid DNA Act of 2017 establishes a system for integration of Rapid DNA instruments for use by law enforcement to reduce violent crime and reduce the current DNA analysis backlog. It expands the use of Rapid DNA technology in law enforcement departments by creating a pathway for them to use the results they obtain by connecting them to the National DNA Index System (NDIS) and the FBIs Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The Act provides law enforcement officials with a new system that meets FBI quality assurance standards to compare the collected DNA samples. Rapid DNA analysis can be deployed in laboratories, the field, or in booking facilities.

ANAB’s ISO/IEC 17025 Forensic Laboratory Testing Accreditation

ANAB is approved by the NDIS Procedures Board as an accrediting agency and operates under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the FBI to provide accreditation and external Quality Assurance Standards assessments. ISO/IEC 17025 Forensic Laboratory Testing Accreditation provides confidence in a forensic laboratory’s operation by assuring competence, impartiality, and consistent operation via conformance to internally recognized quality assurance standards. As an accrediting organization, ANAB has determined through a rigorous assessment of objective evidence that a forensic laboratory meets these standards.

ANAB has recently added a new discipline to the Forensic Draft Scope of Accreditation called Rapid DNA. The use of a Rapid DNA system is considered testing and will be limited to ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation.

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