Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services

ABOUT DCLS

DCLS Building Exterior

Our mission is to promote a healthier, safer world through quality laboratory service.

The Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) is a division within the Virginia Department of General Services (DGS). DCLS was formed in 1972 when laboratories from several Virginia agencies were combined to provide more efficient and cost-effective laboratory testing services for the Commonwealth. DCLS was the first consolidated laboratory in the nation and as such offers a wide variety of unique laboratory testing services in support of public health, environmental protection and emergency response.

DCLS performs over 9 million tests each year in order to ensure the safety and health of Virginia's citizens, our food supply and our environment.

Certification/Accreditation Program

DCLS is responsible for certifying and accrediting commercial and non-commercial laboratories to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations meant to protect the public's health and the environment. DCLS conducts on-site evaluations on a routine basis in accordance with Virginia's regulations to ensure these laboratories have the appropriate quality systems and analytical procedures in place in to produce accurate, reliable, and defensible test results.

Clinical Testing

DCLS performs testing on clinical (human) specimens to:

  • Identify bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infectious disease agents of public health significance
  • Conduct advanced characterization of infectious disease agents using classical and advanced molecular subtyping methodologies such as whole genome sequencing
  • Identify the presence of chemicals that may suggest exposures that could result in negative health outcomes
  • Identify the presence of drugs or by-products that indicate illegal use or abuse

Emergency Testing

Virginia's DCLS is an all hazards emergency response laboratory that provides 24/7 laboratory testing services to hundreds of local, state, and federal agencies. Laboratory investigations of unknown or targeted substances potentially associated with acts of terrorism are tested using a multi-disciplinary approach, which allows for the rapid identification and confirmation of biological, chemical and radiologic agents.

Environmental Testing

Environmental testing services support compliance with state and federal regulatory requirements and are aimed at ensuring all Virginians have access to safe air, drinking water and recreational waters. DCLS also provides emergency testing support for responding to natural and man-made catastrophes that impact or could potentially impact our environment and our communities.

Food Testing

DCLS provides a wide variety of laboratory testing for local, state and federal agencies in support of food safety and security. The testing is performed on foods and other products (animal feeds, fertilizers, etc.) to ensure they are free from microbiological and chemical contamination (natural and intentional), filth, metals, and other adulterants. Food, feed and fertilizer and many other products are analyzed by the laboratory for truth in labeling.

Newborn Screening

Virginia's Newborn Screening Program is a partnership between DCLS and the Virginia Department of Health to screen each baby born in Virginia for certain rare yet serious metabolic and genetic disorders. Babies with these disorders look healthy at birth but can suffer devastating consequences, even death, if the disorder goes untreated. Operating seven days a week, including holidays, DCLS provides screening for all time sensitive disorders every day, to ensure timely reporting and follow up of results.