Introduction

We Did It! You can too! An Inside Perspective to Implementing Standards on the OSAC Registry

We Did It! You can too! An Inside Perspective to Implementing Standards on the OSAC Registry

This webinar originally occurred on January 30, 2024
Duration: 1 hour

Overview

There are many forensic science service providers (FSSPs) with a genuine interest in initiating standards implementation within their organizations but, for a variety of reasons, have not been able to successfully launch an implementation program. This webinar is designed to provide attendees with a step-by-step tutorial to demonstrate the simplicity of the process and alleviate any concerns or anxiety that may be preventing them from moving forward. 

Many FSSPs have postponed initiating a standards implementation process because of a concern that it requires too much time and labor to rank it as a priority activity. This webinar will provide both a means and rationale to prepare and execute the various steps of this process, including planning, gap analysis, education of key staff members, execution, and delivery of work products. One critical key to success is designing a plan and timetable that specifically accommodates the resources of the FSSP. There will also be a discussion of timely tracking and updating periodic progress and reporting implementation achievements via the OSAC Registry declaration process. 

Some FSSPs have more than one location within their jurisdiction where forensic science services are provided. For example, state forensic science agencies can have from one to fourteen different facilities, depending on their location within the United States. Administering a systematic approach to ensure a homogeneous response between sites adds challenges to the design and planning of the standards implementation program. Fortunately, there are more than 70 state laboratory facilities in 17 states to learn from that have successfully completed a program of standards implementation. Whether it is only one FSSP or many, there is a way to plan and execute a successful program in any jurisdiction. 

The key to any successful program is finding a champion who will take the responsibility for owning it and maintaining the relationships required to build the team of leaders within the facility to execute it. Typically, that champion is the QA manager, but it has also been a deputy director or other senior manager. The other key team members are the technical leaders of each scientific section of the laboratory. After the decision was made to proceed with the standards implementation program, it has been reported to OSAC anecdotally how much communication within and across sections of the laboratory has improved among staff members. 

At the conclusion of the webinar, there will be a question-and-answer portion discussing planning, staff education, how best to divide the list of standards on the OSAC Registry into workable segments by discipline, and conducting gap analysis between Registry standards and the status of implementing those standards within the FSSP. There will also be a discussion regarding the various tools and resources available to clarify and track the elements of the standards relevant to each of the laboratory sections. Finally, the capstone discussion will address the follow up required for FSSPs to maintain periodic updates on the status of new and existing standards on the OSAC Registry. 

Host Interviewers:

  • Vincent Desiderio | Physical Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (NIST/OSAC) Program Office
  • Mark Stolorow | Contractor, National Institute of Standards and Technology Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (NIST/OSAC) Program Office

Panel Member Subject Matter Experts:

  • Eva M. L. King | Quality Assurance Director, Division of Forensic Sciences, Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories
  • C. Ken Williams | Assistant Chief Forensic Scientist, New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences
  • Michael P. Kessler | Manager, Forensics & Public Safety Division, Denton Police Department

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will be introduced to the process of standards implementation in a stepwise fashion for key senior administrators whose laboratory system has not yet formally initiated a program. 
  2. Attendees will be introduced to the various tools and resources available to clarify and track the elements of the standards relevant to each of the laboratory sections. 
  3. Attendees will be educated with facts to dispel lingering anxieties by demonstrating a how-to guide to help plan and execute a standards implementation program and provide access to a cohort of mentors who have all successfully traversed this process. 

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence webinar has been provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us at ForensicCOE@rti.org with any questions and subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.


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