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Quality Standards in Forensic Science in the UK Jeff Adams.

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Presentation on theme: "Quality Standards in Forensic Science in the UK Jeff Adams."— Presentation transcript:

1 Quality Standards in Forensic Science in the UK Jeff Adams

2 How did we get where we are? Where are we? What are we doing? O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Overview

3 O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Scope

4 Public Laboratories:  Forensic Science Service  Metropolitan Police FSL  Laboratory of the Government Chemist Commercial Market  Privatisation of the LGC  Status of the FSS  New Suppliers Tendering O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y History - The Market

5 Public Laboratory Period Calls for Regulation Forensic Science on Trial The Regulator The FSAC O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y History - Regulation

6 Review of existing ‘regulatory standards’:  Education, training and competence development  Scene of incident investigation and evidence recovery  Evidence examination  Assessment and interpretation of results  Presentation of evidence  Legislation/case law/regulations  Accreditation and quality assurance O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Landscape survey

7 Ad hoc nature of standard setting Gaps in the coverage of the standards Voluntary adherence Variable auditing for compliance O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Regulator’s concerns

8 Standards framework? O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Custodian Practitioner registration Accreditation ISO 9001 CPA

9 Proposed development of a single standard:  Forensic science industry specific  Comprehensive coverage – crime scene to court  Setting requirements for providers/practitioners/methods  Appendices - detail for specific topics/evidence types  Compatible with existing international standards  Tailored to domestic context and needs  Written in plain English  Applicable to all public and commercial providers of forensic science services to CJS in England & Wales FSLs/CSI units/police ‘in-house’ laboratory functions Large organisations/sole practitioners Employed by prosecution or defence  Obligatory and auditable for compliance O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Need for a single standard

10 Supplies/consumables Initial action at the scene Recovery, preservation, transport and storage of exhibits Field ‘screening’ tests Sampling Laboratory examinations/testing Assessment/interpretation of results Reporting and provision of expert opinion Quality failings O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Scope of the Standard

11 BS EN ISO 9001:2008  quality management systems BS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005  testing laboratories BS EN ISO/IEC 17020:2004  bodies carrying out inspections O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y International Baseline Standards

12 Consolidated common requirements Incorporated relevant additional requirements of ISO 9001/17020 /17025 Removed all redundant requirements Identified issues that were not covered:  Code of Conduct for practitioners (CRFP)  basis for competence assessment (NOS)  information management/security (ISO 27001:2005)  management of databases  sampling kits  assessment/interpretation/opinions  compliance with domestic legislation & ACPO/CPS/court requirements O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y First Draft - Single Standard

13 O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Appendices Scene examination Forensic pathology Forensic medicine Human contact trace evidence Physical and biological trace evidence Audio/video evidence Accident reconstruction Digital evidence Documents Drugs Firearms Fires and explosions Handwriting Marks Toxicology Contamination Interpretation Defence review

14 Published as a PAS + proforma for feedback Consult CPS on access to data for research; staged reporting; defence access Develop appendices (where necessary) ACPO Cabinet – staged approach Review & revise Roll out Business benefits / impact Levels – base to advanced? O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y What Next?

15 Devolved Authorities EU Proposals O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Scope

16 Law Commission Scientific Issues Validation Issues Strategy Other O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Other Work

17 science-regulator/ O v e r s e e i n g Q u a l i t y Contact


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