DNA testing lab (FBI)
- The lab should have a documented quality system for the testing action, appropriate to that action so that when dna is being tested, its done to the best quality that is possible which is important to maintain a high profile and trust at such an organisation.
- specified and documented authority and responsibilities of all personnel so that theres always someone to take responsibility if mistakes are made and everyone knows what theyre doing.
- all laboratory staff should have the required training, experience and education in order to do their job appropriately because if staff aren’t sufficiently trained, they may not do the job properly or know how which would result in mistakes being made.
- the lab should be designed with facilities to accommodate appropriate security to protect the evidence, chemicals and equipment. minimise contamination- access to the lab is controlled and minimised, evidence is examined in separate places or times, lab follows written procedures for cleaning, decontamination and monitoring of equipment and facilities to avoid messing up the dna tests because often in investigations, theres only a small amount of dna to test so if this gets contaminated, they may not have more and so eliminated that piece of evidence.
- lab should follow evidence control system such as labelling the evidence, mainlining the chain of custody for evidence and has areas that are secure for storage of the evidence that minimises degradation. It is very important that all protocol and procedures are tightly followed in a dna testing lab because any contaminations or mix ups when looking at case studies could have very bad consequences such as being sued or worse case scenario, it could even wrongly prove someone of a crime or if its found out that procedures aren’t being followed, it can be used in court to disprove someone as it invalidates the evidence.
- lab should check dna procedures annually to ‘nist’ to make sure that what theyre doing is up to date and still scientifically just.
- the lab should have documented programs for the calibration of equipment and instruments used, frequency of calibration being documented for each bit of equipment needing it, any new or repaired equipment should undergo calibration before being used. this is because if any equipment or instruments are wrongly calibrated, it could effect the results which in a dna lab could have very bad consequences such as incorrectly assessing someones dna which makes the tests less reliable.
- any conclusions drawn in lab reports should be documented and maintain protocol so that if anything is lost, they have backups of the report to back up procedures and evidence.
- have programs for the annual monitoring of examiners to make sure that theyre working to the appropriate level and following all protocol and practices.
- should follow a health and safety program and have emergency training for all staff with strict protocol. procedures that must be followed such as health and safety is vital because if it isn’t followed in the case of an emergency it could result in casualties.
- all clinical waste should be appropriately disposed of and destroyed to maintain confidentiality because otherwise the lab could be sued.
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