A Habit of Excellence
Following on 25 years of industry leading innovation, experience, and professionalism, USDTL reaffirms the commitment to quality by achieving accreditation for the international ISO/IEC 17025 labratory standard.
by Joseph Salerno, MS
We are proud to announce that we are the first laboratory in the world to be ISO/IEC 17025 accredited for drug and alcohol testing in umbilical cord, fingernail, and toenail specimens.
ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation is the single most important competency standard applied to testing and calibration laboratories around the globe. Laboratories accredited to this standard have demonstrated significant technical ability to reliably generate and reproduce accurate, precise and consistent data.
On September 4, 2015, USDTL attained ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation showing full compliance with the competency standards of the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission in the field of Forensic Testing.
The scope of our accreditation encompasses all aspects of our laboratory system, well beyond just our accredited general laboratory methodologies. Not one single function within the umbrella of our testing services is outside the scope of our accreditation. All specimen types analyzed by USDTL are accredited, including umbilical cord, meconium, breast milk, all keratinized specimens (fingernails, toenails, hair), urine, oral fluid, and blood. USDTL is now the only lab in the United States to offer PEth (phosphatidylethanol) testing for alcohol use under the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
As a global innovator in the science and technology of substance abuse toxicology, we have maximized the capabilities of our instruments to achieve the lowest positive result cutoffs in the industry for many toxicology tests. Our carboxy-THC cutoff level for a positive cannabinoid test result is the lowest achieved by any reference lab in the U.S. Exhaustive research and maximization of our technology led us to develop the lowest umbilical testing cutoffs in the industry. Our use of technology to improve our clients’ data has always been a premier aspect of our work.
Now, in addition to being at the forefront of toxicology expertise, our methodologies and instrumentation are fully accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. As a forensic testing laboratory this is of the highest importance to us, because every testing result has the possibility of becoming evidence in a court of law.
Accreditation under this standard increases the evidential acceptance of our laboratory results in virtually all jurisdictions.
The 17025 standard was first codified by ISO and IEC in 1999, and was further amended and improved in 2005. Explicit requirements for continuing improvement of management systems, with an emphasis on the responsibilities of senior management, is central to the 2005 revisions. An efficient management system ensures fast resolution of laboratory issues regarding methods and equipment. Even before ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, this was one of the cornerstones to USDTL’s results turn-around time – one of the fastest in the industry – and outstanding customer advocacy, and will remain so moving forward.
It is important to point out that this standard and level of expertise is nothing new to us. Since our beginnings in 1991, we have always maintained the highest level of quality and competency, providing our clients with the most responsive and personal service in the drug and alcohol testing industry. ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation reaffirms that commitment to our clients, and officially codifies it for all aspects of our testing and client advocacy. Now, as before, our clients can always have absolute confidence that the results of every specimen tested by our laboratory will meet the international standards.
Immediately after accepting his new leadership role in 2014, USDTL Laboratory Director, Dr. Adam Negrusz, began the endeavor to achieve ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. Working closely with QC/QA Manager, Michelle Pilkington, Dr. Negrusz set out to successfully finish the process within two years. All their efforts, combined with a company-wide determination, allowed us to achieve accreditation within 14 months time – 10 months less than our original goal. That accomplishment is a testament to USDTL’s historical adherence to the highest possible laboratory and business standards.
To view our certificate of accreditation, visit www.usdtl.com/media/certifications/USDTL-ISO17025.pdf. If you have questions about ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, please contact us at email@example.com or 800.235.2367.