NFSTC ushers in an exciting 2018

As we close out 2017, we’re looking back at some of our accomplishments. Through our 22 year history, we have learned it’s our customers and colleagues truly share in our success.

Here are just a few of our team’s favorite 2017 accomplishments:

And that’s just a small portion of our work.

As we look forward to 2018 and our future with Florida International University, we know we’ll continue to offer the highest quality training and support to our customers.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and we’ll see you in 2018!

Tips for hiring a quality DNA audit team

We know securing a quality QAS audit is critical for your DNA work, now and into the future. When hiring an audit team, here are our top recommendations to ensure the work is done properly:

Plan ahead: Initiate the procurement process early enough to leave at least two months of planning time between the purchase order or contract and the date of the audit. This allows time for team selection, laboratory review of the auditors’ qualifications, arrangements for reasonably priced airfare, and to compile and send materials for audit team review at least two weeks prior to arrival.

Communicate: Let the auditing body know up front if the audit will be grant funded so Federal requirements/restrictions can be taken into account (GSA rates, residency restrictions, etc.).

Consider providing validation summaries in advance: The validation landscape has changed significantly and validation studies vary quite a bit in size, scope, and complexity. Reviewing summaries ahead of time reduces required time on site, and potentially overall cost.

As of December 31, 2017, NFSTC will no longer provide DNA laboratory auditing services. The good news is there are more audit providers now than ever before. Check with your accrediting body for referrals and services you need.

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

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Florida International University and NFSTC join forces to broaden impact in forensic science

Florida International University (FIU) and NFSTC announce that they are joining forces to make a bigger impact in the field of forensic science. The partnership will expand the university’s diverse offerings and bring NFSTC’s training excellence to a broader audience in the U.S. and around the world.

A 22-year old non-profit, NFSTC will retain its mission of providing forensic science training, support and technology evaluations to military and law enforcement agencies, forensic science practitioners and crime laboratories worldwide. It will also remain at its current location in West Central Florida, where NFSTC has state-of-the-art laboratories and training facilities.

“NFSTC has a vision to bring quality forensic services from the crime scene through to the courtroom. We have trained hundreds of professionals in the skills needed to provide these services,” says CEO Kevin Lothridge. “We are looking forward to working even more closely with FIU’s International Forensic Research institute to elevate education and practice worldwide.”

The International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) at FIU is world-renowned for its research and education in furthering the field of forensic science. Both IFRI and NFSTC have missions that are
complementary and provide scientific expertise to the law enforcement, defense and legal communities, as well as continuing education and advanced training to practicing scientists.

For Kenneth G. Furton, FIU’s Provost and Executive Vice President, an analytical chemist who founded IFRI 20 years ago, this partnership is especially exciting. “Industry-university collaborations are crucial for the 21st century and forensic science is a discipline that has real world implications and applications,”
he says. “Together, we not only have an opportunity to broaden NFSTC’s services globally, but now our faculty and students will work with NFSTC and their partners to get their discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace.”

Details are expected to be finalized by the end of 2017.

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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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