American Board of Forensic Toxicology

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The American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT) is a non-profit, non-governmental, independent organization and accrediting body that provides certification of forensic toxicologists and accreditation of laboratories practicing postmortem forensic or human performance toxicology. Professional certification categories include a diplomate in forensic toxicology, alcohol toxicology, and drug toxicology as well as a fellow certification for doctors.[1]


The American Board of Forensic Toxicology was founded in 1975, in part as a response to discussions and activities taking place in the federal government regarding the improvement of evidence law as well as forensic professional certification and laboratory accreditation.[2][3]

On February 18, 2014, the ABFT merged with the Forensic Toxicologist Certification Board (FTCB) to create a single organization. As a result of the merger, certificants of the FTCB became certified under the ABFT.[4]

Accreditation and compliance

The laboratory accreditation program is specific to "those performing postmortem toxicology or human performance toxicology, including at least the detection, identification, and quantitation of alcohol and other drugs in biological specimens such as whole blood, urine, and other tissues." The laboratory accreditation is not intended for labs performing clinical and other areas of toxicology.[5] Application review, on-site assessments, quality review, and, if necessary, corrective action resolutions are conducted before the final review and accreditation decision. The accreditation lasts for two years as long as the lab remains compliant and maintains obligations such as notification of significant changes to primary policies, resources, organization, and legal ownership.

After acceptance, the ABFT will take measures to ensure a lab's compliance with the body's accreditation standards. After 10 months of accreditation or renewal, the lab must complete a "Mid-Cycle Self-Report" and submit it with "Proficiency Test Summaries received since the last onsite inspection and summaries of corrective action."[5] In the unusual case of a laboratory failing to comply with the body's accreditation standards, the ABFT may choose to place the lab on suspension for a designated period of time. Once on suspension, the affected lab must satisfy certain conditions before being able to again operate and eventually be reinstated. The reinstatement process may require focused or total re-inspection, sample testing, and document reviews. In extreme cases of non-compliance, the ABFT can also by majority vote choose to completely revoke the lab's accreditation.[6]

External links


  1. "Certification Categories". American Board of Forensic Toxicology. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  2. Houts, Marshall; Baselt, Randall C.; Cravey, Robert H. (1981). Courtroom Toxicology, Volume 1. M. Bender. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  3. Peterson, Joseph L.; Leggett, Anna S. (2007). "The evolution of forensic science: Progress amid the pitfalls" (PDF). Stetson Law Review 36: 621–660. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  4. Goldberger, Bruce A.; Jenkins, Amanda J. (01 August 2014). "Letter to ABFT and FTCB Certificants" (PDF). American Board of Forensic Toxicology. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Laboratory Acceditation in Forensic Toxicology". American Board of Forensic Toxicology. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  6. "Toxicology Laboratory Accreditation Program: Program Outline" (PDF). American Board of Forensic Toxicology. September 2014. pp. 10. Retrieved 15 February 2016.