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Education.

The Laboratory comprises a well-educated cadre of professional staff. Many staff members hold advanced degrees and pursue professional development activities on their own time. At the same time, the Laboratory provides continuing education and professional development opportunities for its employees as well as for members of the forensic community. The Division also remains responsible for proficiency-testing its examiners and maintaining its accreditation with the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB). This section outlines some of the Division's efforts in these areas.

Quality Assurance and Training Unit

The Quality Assurance and Training Unit (QATU) comprises three groups that work together to improve the quality and application of the forensic sciences. Quality Assurance personnel strive to continuously improve the quality system of the FBI Laboratory in order to maintain accreditation by ASCLD/LAB. Training personnel facilitate the delivery of forensic science information and training to law enforcement personnel. Library personnel are responsible for the technical-information needs of the Laboratory. They maintain the Laboratory's reference collection and produce a number of forensic science publications.

Quality Assurance

The QATU supports the caseworking units of the FBI Laboratory by strengthening and expanding the Laboratory's quality system and maintaining the Division's accreditation through ASCLD/LAB. To meet these objectives, Quality Assurance personnel develop and maintain standards for quality assurance practices and general guidelines for standard operating protocols. These standards and guidelines are delineated in the Laboratory's Quality Assurance Manual, which the QATU produces. Unit personnel also develop, coordinate, and review quality assurance programs; ensure the calibration and maintenance of instruments and equipment; and administer the proficiency-testing program. In addition, the QATU performs audits to verify that Laboratory personnel are following established quality assurance policies and programs. QATU personnel also coordinate Laboratory activities to maintain accreditation and provide quality assurance training.

Training

QATU personnel administer the Specialized Forensic Science Training program, which offers courses in the forensic sciences to law enforcement personnel. The unit also facilitates meetings of the Laboratory-sponsored scientific working groups. Composed of various members of the forensic community, the working groups meet regularly to establish and improve standards and practices in the forensic science disciplines and to build consensus among law enforcement agencies worldwide. QATU staff members also organize the annual Crime Laboratory Development Symposium for state and local forensic laboratory managers.

Library

The Laboratory Library provides forensic science information to scientists and examiners in the FBI and around the world. The information supports evidentiary examinations, prepares examiners for courtroom testimony, and facilitates research and development to further forensic science knowledge, techniques, and instrumentation. The Library currently houses more than 8,000 scientific and technical books as well as 400 newspaper and journal subscriptions.

The Library staff also produces several publications that are available to law enforcement personnel. Forensic Science Communications is an online, peer-reviewed forensic science journal with an international audience. The Handbook of Forensic Services provides guidelines and procedures for collecting, preserving, packaging, and shipping evidence. As its name suggests, the Laboratory's Processing Guide for Developing Latent Prints delineates the techniques used to develop latent prints. Annual Crime Laboratory Development Symposium

In 2005 the FBI Laboratory partnered with the Ross School of Business at the University

of Michigan for the 33rd Annual Crime Laboratory Development Symposium, which was held on campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The topic for the symposium was Preparing Future Leaders, and a host of distinguished University of Michigan faculty provided a comprehensive four-day program to more than 240 managers and laboratory directors from state, local, and international crime laboratories and law enforcement. Two of the keynote speakers were Dr. James Reilly, a NASA astronaut who spoke about leadership within a diverse community, and Dr. James Reese, who provided insight into individual and personal challenges that law enforcement employees face as a result of their careers. Topics provided to attendees included Leadership and the Road to Value Creation, Change, and Innovation; Managing the Unexpected; The Abundance Framework; Managing in Today's Changing Environment; Understanding Your Work Style and the Impact Upon Your Effectiveness; Engagement: A Tool for Enabling Abundance; Building a Lab of Leaders: The Five Absolutes for High Performance; and The Essence of Positive Organizing.
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Title Annotation:FBI Laboratory
Publication:FBI Laboratory Annual Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:691
Previous Article:Administration.
Next Article:Celebration.
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