STRmix™ – sophisticated forensic software used to resolve mixed DNA profiles previously thought to be too complex to interpret – has achieved ISO9001:2015 Certification for its Quality Management System.
“We are extremely pleased to achieve this international standard, which is recognized in more than 160 countries worldwide,” says STRmix™ Manager Bjorn Sutherland. “This formal certification of our system demonstrates our commitment to quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction.”
Sutherland continues, “In addition to the wide array of scientific publication in support of the science underpinning STRmix™, this certification provides STRmix™ users and wider stakeholders with confidence that STRmix™ has an effective quality management system in place and that it works.”
The Telarc1 ISO9001:2015 certification is confirmation that the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR), developer of STRmix™, operates a quality management system that conforms to ISO9001 for the design, development, sale, and support of the STRmix™ forensic interpretation software, associated training and data analysis services, and ancillary software products. This is in addition to the long-standing accreditation of ESR’s forensic laboratories by ANAB2 (and previously ASCLD/LAB). Telarc will regularly review the STRmix™ management system for compliance to its standards.
The ISO9001:2015 certification is more good news for STRmix™ following the success of two recent Colorado admissibility decisions. Those decisions bring the number of successful U.S. admissibility hearings regarding STRmix™ to 30. Since its introduction in 2012, STRmix™ has been used to interpret DNA evidence in more than 120,000 cases worldwide, including numerous U.S. cases.
Fifty-three U.S. forensic labs now routinely use STRmix™ to resolve DNA profiles, including the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and multiple state and local agencies. STRmix™ is also in various stages of installation, validation, and training in more than 60 other U.S. organizations.
“Forensic labs are turning to STRmix™ because it has greatly improved their ability to produce usable DNA evidence in a wide range of criminal cases,” says John Buckleton DSc, FRSNZ, Forensic Scientist at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) who developed STRmix™ in conjunction with Jo-Anne Bright, also with ESR, and Duncan Taylor from Forensic Science South Australia (FSSA).
According to Dr. Buckleton, FRSNZ, Principal Forensic Scientist at the New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) and one of the developers of STRmix™, forensic labs using STRmix™ are reporting an increase of interpretable DNA in gun cases alone from about 40% to more than 70%. STRmix™ is also proving to be highly effective in sexual assault cases.
A new version of STRmix™, STRmix™ v2.7, was introduced in September 2019. STRmix™ v2.7 includes several new features in direct response to recommendations for improvements made by forensic labs to better address the on-the-job needs they regularly encounter. DBLR™, an application used with STRmix™, was also introduced earlier this year. DBLR™ allows users to undertake superfast database searches, visualize the value of their DNA mixture evidence, and carry out mixture to mixture matches.
In addition, STRmix™ recently unveiled a new Defense Access Policy which gives defense legal teams even easier access to STRmix™ software. The updated Access Policy includes definitions of the extended items that can be provided under the policy, updated non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and an abbreviated NDA for use in some specific circumstances.
1Telarc Limited is 100% NZ owned by the Accreditation Council. Telarc are recognized as a Certification /Registration Body by JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System - Australia and New Zealand
2The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a nonprofit corporation.