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Focus Areas

Quality Assurance

Providing quality assurance services for drug testing laboratories and criminal justice organizations

The RTI Center for Forensic Sciences’ laboratory quality assurance program assesses, supports, and improves the quality of drug testing laboratories and criminal justice organizations in the United States and abroad. Our services include the development and management of proficiency testing programs and forensic laboratory inspections as well as the design, preparation, and distribution of reference materials and quality assurance samples for clinical and forensic drug testing laboratories. A defined quality management system enables efficient and effective procedures that comply with established technical and scientific standards, as verified by independent auditing authorities. Our experienced toxicologists, chemists, and technicians ensure that our products and services meet or exceed the community’s needs. 

Quality assurance products and services support three main quality objectives:  

  • Produce materials and operate programs that meet or exceed customer requirements. This may be measured by customer feedback and continued business relationships.  
  • Produce materials and operate programs that meet the requirements of International Standards and other regulatory requirements. This is often measured by internal and external audits as well as continued accreditation.  
  • Effectively use program resources to maximize cost efficiency.  

Our quality assurance skills include  

  • production of toxicology proficiency or competency testing and reference materials for forensic laboratories (reference material production is accomplished in state-of-the-art facilities that are accredited to ISO 17034), 

  • standard setting for laboratory accreditation, and 

  • compliance assessment of safety-related protective equipment for law enforcement and laboratory inspections following the requirements of ISO 17065:2012. 

While our quality assurance capabilities may be applied in many ways, our projects are designed to ensure the protection and safety of employers, donors, law enforcement, laboratory staff, and the public through

  • accurate drug testing programs which serve as the gold standard in laboratory certification 
  • administration of product conformity assessment programs (compliance testing)

  • support of the development, validation, and maintenance of criminal justice equipment standards. 

The value of the work provided by the programs and laboratories we support depends on the confidence of the public and the courts in the reliability and accuracy of the results produced. We are committed to complying with the strictest laboratory protocols to maintain the trust of the forensic community in these critically important quality assurance programs.