European Co-operation for Accreditation (EA)
ENFSI, the European Network of Forensic Science, is aiming with its AFORE project (Accreditation of Forensic Laboratories in Europe) to support forensic science laboratories across the European Union Member States to move towards accreditation or expand the scope of their accreditation.
Part of the AFORE project is Work Package 2, entitled “Accreditation Model for Crime Scene Investigation”, which aims to create a European model for accreditation of crime scene investigation processes to meet the requirements of ISO/IEC 17020, and to promote awareness of crime scene investigation processes to the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA).
On 22 March 2021, EA organised jointly with ENFSI the “Seminar on Crime Scene Investigation Processes”, on the accreditation of forensic laboratories in Europe.
For three and a half hours, the following six speakers from ENFSI shared their experience with almost 300 participants regarding crime scene investigation:
- Katri Matveinen, NBIFL (National Bureau of Investigation Forensic Laboratory), Finland;
- Monika Hilgert, BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office, Forensic Science Institute), Germany;
- Josita Limborgh, NFI (Netherlands Forensic Institute), The Netherlands;
- Fernando Viegas, LPC (Forensic Science Laboratory), Portugal;
- Tore Walstad, NCIS (National Criminal Investigation Service), Norway;
- Erika Skoogh, NFC (National Forensic Center), Sweden.
The seminar objectives were to provide a better understanding of the whole forensic process, including crime scene investigation (CSI) and laboratory activities (e.g. logistics, searching for traces, different types of traces), the different roles of personnel conducting CSI (e.g. crime scene manager, scene of crime examiner, forensic scientist), principles and importance of CSI (such as documentation of the scene, identification of the crime, etc.), a concrete 2012 rape and murder case, and the benefits of accreditation of CSI.
Accreditation is an important tool to minimize systematic errors and provide greater reliability and trust, and to maintain and ensure confidence and competence. It helps maintain a secure chain of evidence throughout the forensic process, regardless of which part of the chain the evidence is in, and improves conditions for results on the entire forensic process to work according to the same quality requirements. It also provides greater reliability when sharing or using forensic results within an investigation or between countries.
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