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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 218828 Find in a Library
Title: New Ecology of Quality Assurance
Author(s): Randall S. Murch
Date Published: April 1999
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Quantico, VA 22135
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Laboratory Branch
2501 Investigation Parkway
Quantico, VA 22135
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that forensic laboratories will best establish, maintain, and advance quality when quality is viewed and implemented from a systems approach in which a number of interrelated subsystems contribute to a harmonious, dynamic ecosystem.
Abstract: The proposed ecosystem consists of the following seven subsystems: scientific truth, practitioners and managers, infrastructure and process, peer groups and standards, external review, scientific capabilities, and perspective. Regarding scientific truth, what is done in a forensic laboratory must be continuously updated in accordance with best practices and tools proven effective by the scientific method of arriving at truth. This occurs when practitioners and managers are qualified to ensure that best practices and tools are established and properly used in the laboratory. Laboratory infrastructure and process must ensure that best practices and tools are continually updated, along with the personnel qualifications and training needed to implement and maintain state-of-the art forensic work. Standards that reflect peer group consensus about all phases of a forensic laboratory enterprise enable a forensic laboratory to evaluate its management and performance. External review provides an objective, independent assessment of management and performance. The aforementioned subsystems of a laboratory’s ecosystem depend on recognition that the scientific capability of personnel and processes is the key feature of a dependable, effective laboratory. This perspective must attend every laboratory assessment and change.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Crime laboratories; Crime laboratory equipment; Crime laboratory facility planning; Crime laboratory management; Quality control
Note: From Forensic Science Communications, V 1, N 1, April 1999; downloaded June 12, 2007.
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