Forensic Foundations blurb for ASCLD2021
Forensic Science Mangers need to manage risk on a day-to-day basis.
ISO17025:2017 identifies risk management as an integral component of any scientific testing.
Participation in Proficiency Testing and Inter-laboratory Collaborative Trials are an integral component of risk management in the practice of Forensic Science.
Risks occur at all stages of the forensic process. Some of the risks to be considered with the forensic process have been provided in Appendix A.
Proficiency tests and inter-laboratory collaborative trials are most useful when used by organizations, and individuals, to review their results against ground truth data and to benchmark their processes against other organizations and practitioners. This includes a comparison of methods, reporting, and reporting terminology.
The AS 5388 ‘Forensic Analysis’ and the ISO 21043 ‘Forensic Sciences’ series of Standards describe the forensic examination process from collection to reporting. Forensic Foundations has adopted this framework and Forensic Foundations’ Proficiency Tests and Inter-laboratory Collaborative Trials commence with item collection and/or receipt followed by the subsequent examination / analysis steps, culminating in reporting the results, thus reflecting actual forensic casework.
Forensic Foundations is accredited to ISO17043 ‘Conformity Assessment – General requirements for proficiency testing’ in the fields of forensic biology including DNA, chemical criminalistics fingerprint examination and document examination. Inter-laboratory Collaborative Trials are also offered where the test is still in the development phase and/or the test is in a niche area of expertise. These trials also comply with the requirements of ISO17043.
Forensic Foundations’ Proficiency Tests encompass the requirements/recommendations of:
- ISO/IEC17025:2017 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
- ANAB ISO/IEC 17025:2017 – Forensic Science Testing and Calibration Laboratories Accreditation Requirements (2019)
- ANAB Accreditation Manual for Forensic Service Providers (2019)
- NIST OSAC Standards
Forensic Foundations’ Proficiency Tests are specifically designed to address the following:
- Maintaining relevance to forensic science laboratories casework
- Limitation of any potential context information
- Knowledge of the ‘ground truth’ of the samples
- Cost affordability for the laboratories.
The Final Reports from the Forensic Foundations Proficiency Tests will be publicly available via the Forensic Foundations’ website, however individual laboratory results will remain confidential. Participants may use the Final Report as outlined in their own respective laboratory policies.