Quality Assurance Unit
The New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences (OFS) is committed to providing high quality service to all members of the Criminal Justice Community. To accomplish this, a Quality System has been established to provide the Criminal Justice Community with continuing confidence that our laboratory results are and remain accurate, impartial, and relevant. Quality Assurance applies to all areas of OFS operation including meeting statutory and regulatory requirements, technical laboratory work, assistance provided at crime scenes, report generation, and court room testimony.
Technical competency can be achieved only by the combination of a number of components such as: training, experience, supervision, continuing education through professional development, proficiency testing, and an understanding of the scientific basis of protocols/methodology, all of which must be projected against a background of proper professional ethics. Each component is important and is overlapped with the others. Quality Assurance does not, and cannot, rest on a single component.
The OFS management will ensure that all components of the management’s Quality System, including all accreditation requirements of ASCLD/LAB-International®, are clearly documented, distributed, followed, and understood by staff and carried out in the laboratory system’s permanent facilities and at any off-site work locations.
The Quality Assurance Unit will monitor the laboratory systems compliance to the over 500 ISO 170125 accreditation requirements of ASCLD/LAB and will insure the personnel within each laboratory:
- Perform sound technical methods and procedures utilizing currently acceptable forensic technologies.
- Provide results that are traceable and accurate while pertinent to the needs of the Criminal Justice Community.
- Provide relevant, professional and impartial testimony in judicial proceedings.
- Provide continuing education and support to all analysts through a professional development program.
- Demonstrate through documentation that the quality control procedures are, in fact, being conducted.
- Provide a foundation for meeting and maintaining all requirements of laboratory accreditation.
The Quality Assurance Unit has direct responsibility for proficiency testing, laboratory audits (quality, safety, and technical), training of OFS staff and law enforcement partners, certification of staff to perform laboratory testing, continuing education/professional development, accreditation, quality control of instruments, validation, the internship program, and document control of all technical manuals, forms, the Quality Assurance Manual, and standard operating procedures