Accreditation is an important term which acts as a major distinguishing factor when talking about a business’s technical know-how and will ultimately, play a key role in the reliability and validity of the test results. To be accredited, companies have to be audited or externally reviewed by a body responsible for making sure standards are met. For the person or client seeking a DNA test, the issue of accreditation translated into something very simple yet very important: competence and reliability.
ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) is one of the most widely recognized accreditations and dates back to around 1946 when a group of civil engineers met in London. In English speaking countries ISO is referred to by the aforementioned name of International Organisation for Standardization (IOS in English) but is known in other languages under other names, including, OIN in French for Organisation internationale de normalization. What this important accrediting body does is that it sets the standards which must be met by any company or organization wishing to gain its accreditation certificate. Accreditations give status to the laboratory and can easily be taken away should there not be full compliance with the regulations set by the accrediting company. ISO 17025 is the accreditation to look for when finding a DNA testing company. This accreditation is specifically for laboratory testing services and thus, is quite central in determining the validity of DNA testing results. easyDNA offers ISO accredited testing. For further insight into this kind of testing go to easyDNA’s ISO Accreditation and Accuracy page.
ISO is not the only accrediting body although it is the most widely recognized all over the world. Many countries have their own local accreditations and these will be important for local DNA testing companies. In the USA there is the American Association of Blood Banks whilst in Australia there is the National Association of Testing Authorities. These accreditations will periodically check internal procedures to ensure that the laboratories are carrying out their DNA tests following the high standards that have been set out by the accreditation body.