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Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court

Human Factors

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The range of tasks involved in DNA testing is considerable. In some laboratories, each group of tasks is allocated to an appropriately skilled person. At the other extreme, one person will conduct all the tasks from sample identification, to extraction and preliminary processing of the DNA, to amplification, to typing and reporting. In every case, best quality depends on the person:

  • Having the required understanding of the principles behind the task (knowledge).
  • Having been trained in the processes required (skills).
  • Having shown that they can apply that training in a reliable manner (abilities).

The combination of demonstrated knowledge, skills and abilities defines the competency of the individual.

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