Category Archives: Laboratory

NFSTC and ANAB to bring accreditation support to crime laboratories in Central America

NFSTC is teaming up with the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) for a new partnership to expand forensic service accreditation in international settings. This combination of NFSTC’s international business reach and ANAB’s accreditation expertise will bring the best knowledge and practice to laboratories outside the United States.

NFSTC is currently working with crime laboratories and crime scene professionals from Central America to improve practice and expand DNA analysis capabilities through training and consulting. This work, funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. Portions of the work include preparation for accreditation to ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17025, the international standards for bodies performing inspection and for testing and calibration laboratories, respectively.

This new partnership with ANAB will bring top-notch accreditation training, preparations and assessments to these laboratories. ANAB’s training will provide practitioners with thorough knowledge of standards and practice, and produce skilled local auditors who can continue to monitor and assess the laboratories.

Achieving forensic laboratory accreditation involves a significant investment by the communities and professionals involved. Once accredited, the laboratories will be recognized for their quality and serve to improve and lead the way for justice systems in Central America.

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NFSTC to retire DNA laboratory audit program

As of December 31, 2017, NFSTC will no longer provide DNA laboratory auditing services. NFSTC has been the top quality provider of DNA audits for 15 years and we are grateful for our many friends and customers in the DNA community.

Why the change? Over the past several years, NFSTC has experienced growth in many areas of our business, allowing us to provide more high-quality training, consulting and technology support to a wide variety of customers, including the Department of State and international agencies.

The good news is there are more audit providers now than ever before. Check with accrediting bodies and regional providers for the services you need.

If your laboratory is already scheduled for an audit between now and the end of the year, that work will proceed with no changes.  If you have questions or concerns regarding this announcement, please contact us at info@nfstc.org.

As your forensic resource, NFSTC will always keep up to date with DNA news. Follow us on social media or on our website at www.nfstc.org to stay abreast of forensic innovations and news.

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First and only DNA analyst online training now updated

NFSTC has released the only DNA analyst online training with updates to conform to and include the latest FBI Quality Assurance Standards (QAS), new techniques and technologies. The program is used as the knowledge base for new analysts in the laboratory, and can also be offered as supplement to university course work.

While the fundamentals of the training remained unchanged since its creation in 2005, there have been numerous updates to the technology and techniques in the intervening years. NFSTC has taken on the challenge and enhanced the training content to benefits laboratories and analysts around the world.

“Science doesn’t remain stagnant. It keeps advancing and so should the training we offer to the laboratories,” explains Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC CEO. “We took it upon ourselves to update the nine modules with the advancements we’ve seen in the field.”

These advancements include rapid and touch DNA; both of which are changing how quickly DNA can be analyzed and how much of it is needed to do so. Laboratory Technical Leaders will be able to access the program and resources, monitor student progress, receive assessment results and have the authority to establish thresholds for issuing certificate of completion.

Individual analysts or laboratory teams can enroll in the new training program through NFSTC’s website. Training costs are determined by the number of students enrolled.

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ROTC cadets begin two-week forensics internship


NFSTC is hosting 12 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets for two-weeks of instruction on forensic science and site exploitation at the NFSTC facility in Largo. This marks the fourth year NFSTC has provided this training and experience to ROTC cadets at no cost. With an ever growing need for battlefield forensics, this program aims to help cadets understand how the U.S. military uses forensic science to gather intelligence.

From July 16th through the 26th, these cadets from around the country will take part in classroom training, hands-on demonstrations and practical scenario-based exercises on crime scene investigation, photography, biological screening, improvised explosive device awareness, post-blast investigation, trace chemistry, firearms examination, fingerprinting, and basic digital forensics.

“NFSTC takes great pride in our country’s military forces and is happy to give something back in the form of this opportunity for ROTC cadets to experience battlefield forensics in a hands-on environment,” says NFSTC CEO Kevin Lothridge. “We hope the knowledge and experience they receive here has a positive impact and helps them in their careers.”

Cadets practice evidence photography.