This chapter from the Fingerprint Sourcebook provides an overview of general requirements for quality assurance programs in forensic science.
Quality assurance programs are used to ensure that all examiners in a scientific discipline meet the standards set by that discipline and by the specific facility where they work. This chapter from the Fingerprint Sourcebook discusses the general requirements of a quality assurance program for use in forensic science. Section 12.2 covers the basic requirements needed in a quality assurance program: quality assurance documents; competency testing; evidence handling and quality audits; preparation, use, and storage of chemicals; processing techniques; policies and procedure manuals for electronic fingerprint systems; examination procedures; verification; conflict resolution; training; proficiency tests; technical case review; administrative review; testimony review; corrective action; laboratory safety procedures; equipment calibration and maintenance; method validation records; and continuing education. Section 12.3 examines additional quality assurance measures that may be added to a quality assurance program that include: quality manager; minimum standards and controls; organization and management requirements; personnel and facility requirements; use of external laboratory services; and agency accreditation and certification. Additional information and references