Digital Forensics Consulting, LLC


Quality System
Gap Analysis

Accreditation in the United States:

  • The 2009 National Academy of Sciences report titled “STRENGTHENING FORENSIC SCIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES: A PATH FORWARD” recommended that accreditation should be mandatory for all forensic laboratories.

  • Any public or private laboratory conducting forensic analysis in any of the four sub-disciplines of ASCLD/LAB's Digital & Multimedia Evidence Discipline can apply for accreditation.

  • Most public Digital Forensics laboratories in the United States are ASCLD/LAB accredited or are working towards accreditation.

  • Several private Digital Forensic laboratories have already attained ASCLD/LAB accreditation.

  • What are you going to do?

Quality Management System:

  • Essential elements of accreditation are a comprehensive Quality Management System which includes a Quality Manual.

  • The Quality Management System demonstrates that:

    • Policies, standard procedures, and work instructions to ensure the quality of test results are in place.
    • Internal and external quality audits are conducted.

    • Appropriate standards and controls are used during examinations.

    • Examiners are trained, proficiency tested, and competent.

  • The challenge is for the laboratory to write the specific policies and procedures needed that will address the individual quality elements required by accreditation!

Gap Analysis:

  • This is critical component that should be performed before submitting any application for accreditation.

  • The problem is twofold:  knowing what clauses in ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and the ASCLD/LAB International Supplemental Requirements (2011 Edition) are applicable to Digital Forensics, and what you have to do to attain compliance with them.

  • Neither ISO/IEC 17025:2005 nor the ASCLD/LAB International Supplemental Requirements (2011 Edition) indicate which clauses are applicable.  Neither do they indicate how to attain compliance.

  • A thorough Gap Analysis of all your documentation and physical plant is necessary to determine compliance/noncompliance with applicable clauses and identify any required additional documentation and resources.


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Last modified: 12/17/11