Accreditation and Accuracy: Global DNA Testing Recognition

Different accreditations mean different things and are created for different purposes. So simply looking out for the term “accredited” is not quite enough. When choosing your DNA testing company you should be on the lookout for the following globally recognized accreditation:

  • ISO 17025: SO/IEC 17025. This is a laboratory accreditation and was first issued in 1999 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electro technical Commission (IEC).

The above is the most widely recognized accrediting body; they provide the strictest quality control accreditations, ensuring continued technical competence and compliance. Due to this, they are also the ones which are more difficult to get.

What does an accrediting body do?

An accrediting body sets out the standards and outlines the criteria that must be met in order to have the accreditation. Only once a laboratory meets every single criterion outlined, can they be given this accreditation. Unfortunately, a laboratory or company offering a DNA test is not in any way bound by any law to have an accreditation. This means that less competent labs are offering these tests freely online.

Laboratories that have an ISO 17025 (ISO is the International Standards Organization) would need to be regularly inspected by the accreditation body. This is to make sure that the laboratory maintains top notch DNA testing procedures. If they are found to fall short, their accreditation can be taken away. One key factor is in fact consistency; laboratories must display full and thorough competence, meeting the requirements of the accrediting body at all times. Good laboratory practice is one of the many systems that are implemented in order to ensure high testing standards.

Companies that have been on the market for longer have likely optimized and validated their procedures and there experience could be one of the factors you can consider when shopping around.

How does this relate to paternity testing?

Laboratories should provide paternity DNA testing results with a probability of paternity of 99.9% if the tested father is the biological father. In this case, results will state that whichever man is tested “cannot be/ is not excluded” as the biological father. If he is not the biological father, the probability of paternity will be 0% and he will be “excluded” as the biological father. You cannot ever get a 100% probability in cases where the tested man is the biological father as this would require a DNA test to be carried out on the entire human genome- something no laboratory in the world offers. Testing just 21 genetic markers in fact provides very conclusive results that are even accepted by legal courts across jurisdictions all over the world.21 genetic markers form a DNA profile of the individuals tested. Every locus is represented by two variants of the same gene known as alleles; the analysis sets out to match each of these alleles in order to confirm paternity. If there are alleles which cannot be matched then the tested man is excluded as the biological dad. A perfect match between all alleles is required for an inclusion paternity report. There are cases where a mutation on one of the alleles manifests itself – these are very exceptional cases and even with a mutation, a paternity test result will still be very conclusive. More information about DNA testing can either be found by clicking here or by visiting or FAQs.

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