Quality Assurance

AFBI Quality Policy Statement

AFBI’s senior management is committed to the provision of scientific services that consistently meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and to the enhancement of customer satisfaction.

This is achieved by:

  • Setting and working towards quality objectives that are aligned with the AFBI goals
  • Following agreed AFBI business strategies
  • Operation and continual improvement of a Quality Management System in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001 and ISO 17025
  • Providing scientific staff with training and support to ensure that the Quality Management System and this policy are understood, implemented and operated throughout AFBI

This quality policy is communicated internally and externally to all interested parties. It is reviewed periodically by senior management and is the basis for the quality objectives. These are communicated to all scientific staff to promote their involvement and commitment to the improvement of AFBI’s business.

The AFBI Quality Management System underpinning both ISO 17025 accreditation and ISO 9001 certification is managed by a central quality assurance unit (QAU) using an electronic quality management system, Q-Pulse.
For further information, contact the Quality Assurance Unit

ISO 9001:2015 Certification

ISO 9001:2015 is an internationally recognised standard that provides AFBI's customers with the assurance that their work is conducted to the highest quality. ISO 9001:2015 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organisation:

  1. Needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable regulatory requirements
  2. Aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable regulatory requirements.

AFBI was certified to ISO 9001 in 2006 and the current scope of the certification includes activities relating to:

  1. the provision of Research and Development to DAERA and external customers;
  2. the provision of specialist scientific analytical, post mortem, and diagnostic services* by agreement with DAERA and by SLA, or equivalent agreement, with other Public Sector Organisations;
  3. the provision of major on-demand specialist scientific analytical, post mortem, and diagnostic services* to internal and external customers;
  4. the provision of statistical analysis within Statistical Services Branch.
    * services that are not already accredited under ISO 17025:2017 and excluding VSD-DSIB Diagnostic Services
     AFBI ISO 9001 Certificate of Registration

ISO 17025:2017 Accreditation

UKAS Accreditation Symbol - 2632 ISO 17025 is an internationally recognised standard applicable to testing and calibration laboratories that provides customers with a formal recognition of the technical competence, impartiality, performance and capability of a laboratory.
It defines the requirements that a lab must meet to demonstrate that they operate an appropriate QMS and are technically competent to generate valid results for a defined set of test methods.
To achieve this, a lab must prove: specific technical competence of personnel, fitness-for-purpose of methods and availability of technical resources needed to guarantee accurate and reliable results.

Accreditation applies to individual methods with established Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and where evidence exists of internal quality control and external proficiency testing. This means it is inappropriate for research and development which is covered by ISO 9001.

Laboratories that comply with ISO 17025 also operate in accordance with ISO 9001.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess compliance to ISO 17025.

AFBI is a multi-site laboratory with accredited work being carried out since 2005.

Verification of accreditation status and link to the current scope of accreditation for AFBI can be found on the UKAS website