I-CRIME promotes the accreditation and quality systems used in forensic laboratories in the SICA region
The I-CRIME project, which is financed by theEuropean Union, works to increase the effectiveness of criminal justice in prosecuting organised crime and drug trafficking at an international level in the region covered by the Central American Integration System (SICA). One of its lines of work seeks to improve forensic institutions and criminal investigation laboratories.
To this end it supports the investigation units of the Police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the forensic laboratories and the legal medicine institutes, helping to develop quality systems in the forensic laboratories in these countries by promoting the accreditation of forensic analysis techniques on the basis of the ISO 17025/17020 standard.
Currently, eleven accreditation processes are being implemented in four countries. Specialists from official Spanish laboratories will assist in this activity, including those from: Spanish National Toxicology and Forensic Science Institute., the National Police Force Scientific Police laboratory, and the Civil Guard Criminology laboratory. These laboratories have been providing their support, both in the development of the general quality system and also in reviewing the technical procedures carried out in each service to be accredited.
The development of a quality system and the accreditation of laboratories are long processes that require continuous improvement work through reviewing the activities undertaken at a centre and their progressive adaptation to the requirements established in the standards. A best practice community has, therefore, naturally become established among the professionals involved.
This has allowed the aim of the activities undertaken to go beyond the specific tasks that can be carried out through a working group. I-CRIME’s philosophy consists of promoting an organisational change that seeks to introduce a quality culture into laboratories that extends to all their activities. The organisation of these best practice communities aims to transfer the experience and knowledge of our organisations in a collective learning approach which allows corporate change to be achieved through the participation and collaboration of professionals.
To facilitate the work being carried out by these communities, the Connect-FIIAPP platform has been adapted to create a suitable environment for this work in which all the resources and tools that might support the exchange of scientific knowledge can be found.