Choosing an Accredited DNA Testing Laboratory
Legal practitioners are now facing a growing selection of DNA testing companies; a simple search engine query will reveal this. But what verification is in place to ensure that these companies will produce accurate results and work to appropriate standards in such a sensitive area.
Accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to the ISO 17025 International Standard for testing laboratories is seen as the gold standard in DNA Testing. UKAS is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.
Anglia DNA Services Ltd (Anglia DNA) is accredited by UKAS to the ISO 17025 International Standard for its paternity, maternity, sibling and extended family relationship testing. To maintain this accreditation it is subject to regular inspections to ensure that it continues to meet the requirements of ISO 17025. In addition, Anglia DNA has been accredited by the Ministry of Justice as a body that may carry out parentage tests directed by the civil courts in England and Wales under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969. When a court issues a section 20 direction, a tester from the Ministry of Justice list of accredited laboratories must be selected. At the time of writing there are just 8 such accredited laboratories in the UK. For a full schedule of Anglia DNA's UKAS accreditation please see this pdf.
As can be imagined, the possible impact of finding out the results of a DNA test can be life changing for the individuals involved. It is for this reason that great care must be taken when selecting a DNA Testing Company. Many other companies will work in collaboration with an accredited laboratory to give the impression of holding this accreditation themselves. In reality, samples are often sent abroad for analysis to laboratories which may be accredited to a different standard and not governed by the rigorous standards of ISO 17025.
Anglia DNA is committed to working to the highest standards in client care and laboratory procedures from the commencement of a case to its completion. Based at the world-renowned Norwich Research Park, Anglia DNA conducts all laboratory analysis on-site with the expertise of its own Molecular Geneticists, who can provide an Expert Witness Service
in the courts.
Solicitors and professionals wishing to gain an understanding of the use of DNA testing in cases involving paternity and other family relationship issues, may wish to enquire about our CPD Course “The Use of DNA Testing in Legal Practice”.
Anglia DNA Services