Quality Assurance Management
Performance of forensic examinations is regulated by the laws of the Republic of Estonia, other legal acts issued pursuant to the laws, orders of the Ministry of Justice, as well as the directives and guidelines of EFSI. EFSI aims to conduct examinations in a reliable and impartial manner with high professional and technical level, in order to ensure both internal and international recognition. To achieve that objective, EFSI has implemented a documented quality management system and set a goal to accredit the most common or significant methods/methodologies and processes. An accreditation provides official recognition that the institution is competent to fulfil specified tasks.
The quality management system of EFSI is based on two international standards: ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17020 and guidelines: ILAC G19 “Modules in a Forensic Science Process” and ILAC P15 „Application of ISO/IEC 17020:2012 for the Accreditation of Inspection Bodies“ (ILAC – International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation).
When developing and updating methods and professional guidelines, the requirements and recommendations of guidelines issued by international professional organisations (ENFSI, ECLM, TIAFT, ISFG, etc.) are taken into account. Experience shared by other forensic science institutions is of great help in implementing forensic examination practices.
EFSI has been accredited by the Estonian Accreditation Centre (EAK) and holds two accreditation certificates:
L127 confirms that EFSI conforms to the requirements of standard EVS-EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017 “General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories” as a testing laboratory in the field of toxicology, narcotic and psychotropic substances, gunshot residues and electron microscopy, DNA, fingerprints, counterfeit notes, handwriting, information technology and histology;
I072 confirms that EFSI complies with the requirements of standard EVS-EN ISO/ IEC 17020:2012 “Conformity assessment. Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection” as an inspection body in the field of forensic medical examinations of living persons and dead bodies.
The exact scopes of accreditation have been specified in the annexes to the accreditation certificates:
The history of EFSI’s accreditations dates back to 2003 when methods in the field of toxicology were accredited in compliance with standard ISO/IEC 17025. In the following years, the scope of accreditation was expanded and several new fields of activity were accredited. Some methods in the fields of toxicology and narcotic psychotropic substances have been covered by a flexible scope of accreditation since 2010. In 2012, EFSI also applied for accreditation in compliance with standard ISO/IEC 17020 in the field of forensic medical examinations. Since all accredited fields of forensic examination are not covered by professional assessors in Estonia, EAK has involved several foreign technical experts to assess EFSI. EFSI continues to improve its quality management system and continues to expand its scope of accreditation.