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/ Key Forensic Services become an ISO/IEC 17043 accredited Proficiency Testing Provider

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Key Forensic Services become an ISO/IEC 17043 accredited Proficiency Testing Provider

KFS Proficiency Testing

Key Forensic Service (KFS) is delighted to announce that on the 22nd of April 2022, we were awarded ISO/IEC 17043 accreditation for our Proficiency Testing Scheme (PTS) making us one of a very small number of accredited Proficiency Testing Providers in the UK offering this valuable service within the forensic marketplace.

How we achieved this?
This achievement is the result of several years hard work from a pre UKAS assessment in 2016 to a remote assessment in 2020 culminating in an onsite assessment in 2021. During this time, an enormous amount of effort has gone into developing a Proficiency Testing Scheme which is robust, fit for purpose and most importantly, entirely separate from our mainstream forensic testing activities.

KFS has been privileged to use the skills, knowledge and experience of our forensic scientists, technical specialists and proficiency testing co-ordinator to develop a unique set of tests which are not only representative of live casework but also challenging, providing participants with additional confidence in their procedures.

What we offer?
KFS are proud to offer an open, simultaneous proficiency testing scheme offering tests relating to the examination and recovery of biological evidence including blood, saliva and cellular material with plans to extend the scope of tests in the near future including services for international participants.

The tests on offer range in complexity from simple examinations to those involving the use of presumptive testing or enhanced search techniques such as microscopy and have been designed to be realistic, challenging and comprehensive.

We are also able to offer bespoke tests designed to meet specific participant requirements for activities which may not be currently be covered in the accredited scope of tests available.

Our tests have been designed by experts and are unique as they evaluate the end-to-end forensic process from storage and handling of exhibits through to sampling of exhibits and subsequent DNA profiling and offer exceptional value for money.

All aspects of the KFS PTS are completed by KFS personnel at ISO/IEC 17025 accredited facilities following ISO/IEC 17025 accredited procedures with the same level of sensitivity and integrity as casework samples.

How will this benefit participants?
Participation in a proficiency testing scheme is a mandatory requirement of ISO/IEC 17025 therefore there is significant demand across both the UK and the rest of the world for high quality, challenging proficiency tests covering a broad range of activities.

Partaking in regular proficiency tests provides external regulatory bodies such as UKAS and the Forensic Science Regulator with confidence that activities are being completed to the high quality demanded by the Criminal Justice System.

By purchasing tests from the KFS PTS, you can be confident that tests are designed, set-up and managed in line with fully validated and quality-controlled procedures. In turn gives participants confidence that the results they receive are a true reflection of the quality of their evidence recovery protocols.

In addition to this, as an accredited Proficiency Testing Provider, all eligible tests are subjected to anonymous interlaboratory comparison analysis offering participants insight into how they are performing compared to other participants completing the same test at the same time. This is a unique opportunity for good practice to be shared amongst participants working to the same accreditation and encourage continuous improvement to procedures and protocols.

What do we have to say?
KFS Head of DNA, Jessica Wenham, says: “We’re absolutely delighted to have received 17043 accreditation to provide proficiency tests, it’s fantastic news. Significant investment has been put into this moment; it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work and is testament to everyone involved for their efforts in making this happen.”

For details on the scope of tests currently available, to discuss eligibility criteria or for any other queries, please contact the Proficiency Testing Team on KFS.PTS@keyforensic.co.uk