UNODC Conducts the first Training for Turkmen Forensic Experts on Quality Management in line with ISO/IEC 17025

Within the framework of the UNODC Program for Central Asia, UNODC Programme Office in Turkmenistan is providing support to the forensic laboratories of the Ministry of Health and Medical industry (MOH) and Ministry of Interior (MOI) of Turkmenistan to develop their capacities, so as to achieve accreditation according to the international ISO 17025 standard.

In September 2019, this support included a comprehensive needs assessment conducted by UNODC international consultant in close collaboration with national counterparts. The assessment aimed to analyze current status of Turkmenistan's forensic laboratories to apply for international accreditation in line with ISO/IEC 17025, as well as identify gaps in quality management system and training needs for Turkmen forensic experts.

The needs assessment was followed by a study visit for 5 representatives of Forensic Laboratories to the accredited forensic laboratories of Lithuania. The visit was an opportunity for participants to learn about quality management of Lithuanian forensic laboratories and exchange experiences on preparation for international accreditation.

As a result of the needs assessment and study visit, UNODC, in cooperation with the forensic laboratory under the MOH, organized a 5-day training on Quality Management in Forensic Science in line with ISO/IEC 17025:2017, during 16-20 December. The training brought together 25 forensic experts from all regions of Turkmenistan and was delivered by consultants from Lithuanian accredited forensic laboratory - Ms. Daiva Jakubauskiene and Mr. Aidas Zebrauskas. The main focus of the training was on equipping participants with expertise on understanding and interpretation of the ISO/IEC 17025 requirements. Additionally, participants learned how to develop the Quality Management System documentation, as well as obtained an information on Metrological Traceability; Reference Materials and Control Samples; and Method validation.

The training was part of the UNODC's long-term support to Central Asian countries aimed at assisting forensic laboratories to pursue international accreditation in line with requirements set out by ISO/IEC 17025 standard , and  is funded by the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

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