The California Association of Crime Laboratory Directors (CACLD) grew out of its predecessor organization, the Criminalistics Management Association (CMA). It was founded in the 1960's by many of the same criminalists who founded the California Association of Criminalists.
The founders of the organization believed that the growing managerial complexity of criminalistics and forensic science required a different skill set than was used as a practicing bench-level criminalist.
The growth and sophistication of the CMA grew into the California Association of Crime Laboratory Directors.
Regular membership is offered to all those who manage forensic laboratories or supervise forensic scientists. Others who support the objectives of the CACLD are urged to join as affiliate members.
The current membership represents 34 public and private laboratories spanning California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as numerous academic members.