The Forensic Assurance Advantage

  • Declared Double Blind Test Design**: Each forensic practitioner will receive a test composed of randomly selected unknown and/or known proficiency testing items, with the correct answers being specific to each test. Participants will be unable to gain information regarding the answers to their test through discussions with others participating in the same testing cycle, or with those administering the test. These blind elements are incorporated into the design of our tests to reduce the effects of bias on testing results. Forensic Assurance proficiency tests are declared (the participant knows that they are taking a test).
  • Standard (Static) Proficiency Test Design: Each forensic practitioner will receive a test containing the same testing items/samples as others in their laboratory, with the correct answers being the same for all the tests. The test will be comprised of some of the same proficiency testing items used in the declared double blind test design and the samples used will be different for every testing cycle.
  • ISO/IEC 17043 Accredited: Forensic Assurance is accredited in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17043: Conformity Assessment – General Requirements for Proficiency Testing (A2LA Certificate Number 3526.01), and our management system meets the principles of ISO 9001:2008.
  • Designed by Forensic Experts: Forensic Assurance proficiency tests are designed and developed in consultation with forensic experts to ensure that the tests are relevant and appropriately challenging.
  • Statistics: The proficiency test answer sheet, when combined with participant information, can be used to calculate statistics relevant to the forensic science and legal communities. Forensic Assurance collaborated with statisticians from the University of Michigan to develop statistical models to calculate false positive and false negative error rates, as well as sensitivity and specificity. This statistical information will be available for practitioners to use in admissibility hearings.
  • Custom Tests: Forensic Assurance is able to create custom forensic tests that are specific to your requirements. These can be used to test competency, proficiency, equipment validation, or for certification. Please contact Forensic Assurance for more information.

Forensic Assurance Proficiency Tests fulfill the ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC 17020 external proficiency testing requirements for laboratories accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board and the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).

**For a full description of double blind testing, please read Angela Stroman’s article published in the Spring 2014 AFTE Journal: Stroman, A. “Empirically Determined Frequency of Error in Cartridge Case Examinations using a Declared Double-Blind Format,” AFTE Journal, 2014,46(2), pp. 157-175.