Forensic Foundations’ Proficiency Tests are designed to address the following issues:
Relevance to forensic science laboratories;
Limitation of any potential context information;
Knowledge of the ‘ground truth’ of the samples; and
Cost affordability for the laboratories.
ISO17025:2017 identifies risk management as an integral component of any scientific testing. Forensic Foundations has adopted this approach and have designed their Proficiency Tests to address risks, where possible, at all stages of the forensic process. The table in Appendix A outlines some of the risks associated with each stage of the forensic process.
Forensic Foundations has also adopted the framework embodied in the AS 5388 ‘Forensic Analysis’ and the ISO 21043 ‘Forensic Sciences’ series of Standards. These Standards describe the forensic examination process from collection to reporting. Thus, all Forensic Foundations’ Proficiency Tests commence with item collection and/or receipt and all the subsequent examination / analysis steps, culminating in the reporting, thus reflecting actual forensic casework.
Forensic Foundations is accredited to ISO17043 ‘Conformity Assessment – General requirements for proficiency testing’ and currently forensic biology, chemical criminalistics and forensic document examination are covered by the scope of accreditation.
Forensic Foundations’ Proficiency Tests comply with the requirements of:
ISO17025:2017 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories,
NATA General Accreditation Criteria Proficiency Testing Policy (2018)
NATA Specific Accreditation Criteria: ISO/IEC 17025 Application Document, Legal (including Forensic Science) – Appendix (2018)
ANAB Accreditation Manual for Forensic Service Providers (2019)
Guidance on the Conduct of Proficiency Tests and Collaborative Exercises Within ENSFI (2014)
In addition to offering a program of proficiency tests, Forensic Foundation also offers a number of inter-laboratory collaborative trial. These trials are offered where the test is still in the development phase and/or the tests is niche and/or the field of study is not currently covered by our scope of accreditation.
The Final Reports Forensic Foundations Proficiency Tests will be publicly available via the Forensic Foundations web site however individual laboratory results will remain confidential. Participating laboratories may use the report as outlined in their respective laboratory policies.
2021-1 Forensic Biology – Biological examination and DNA -1
Forensic Biology – Biological examination and DNA -1
A summary of the Scenario:
A female complainant has been sexual assaulted.
Participants will be provided with the complainant’s, medical samples and reference sample.
Reference samples will also be provided from the suspects
2021-3 Fingerprint detection, enhancement and identification
Fingerprint detection, enhancement and identification
A summary of the Scenario:
Confidential documents have been removed from locked storage. The documents were later recovered, and fingerprint examination is required to determine if the identity of the person(s) handling the documents can be determined
A family is disputing the will of a deceased elderly relative. The will indicates that a carer is the major beneficiary. The family does not believe this is consistent with the wishes of their relative.
Participants will be provided with a number of high-quality images of the will and signatures to examine.