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The Design and Implementation of a Proficiency Test for Assessors of Fingermark Quality

FIELDHOUSE, Sarah and GWINNETT, Claire (2015) The Design and Implementation of a Proficiency Test for Assessors of Fingermark Quality. In: The Fingerprint Society Conference, 27th-29th March 2015, Leicester, UK.

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Abstract or description

Significant numbers of institutions are carrying out fingermark based research, yet there appears to be little inter-institution consistency in the approaches used to assess the quality of the samples produced. These approaches often involve subjective estimates of quality using grades, or objective approaches; such as utilising computer software to generate quantitative data. Intra-institution controls on grading fingermarks are likely to help manage variations between users from the same institution and/or project. There would be inevitable benefits to collaborating research projects, given that data from multiple projects may be combined, or compared. It would enable more effective collaboration between research institutions.

Proficiency testing (PT) is a popular means of comparing and monitoring the competency of individuals, whilst also assessing the validity of data and conclusions. In forensic science, proficiency testing is a well-known valuable form of quality control, and is now an integral part of the UKAS ISO 17025 accreditation process for forensic laboratories. The aim of this project was to design and implement a proficiency test for fingermark quality assessors.

A grading system was developed to assess the quality of fingermarks generated within research projects. An inter-laboratory testing scheme design was used for the proficiency test. Established fingerprint researchers participated in the project to produce known values for the proficiency test. Second year BSc (Hons) Forensic Science and Forensic Investigation student participants completed the proficiency test as part of a fingermark practical.

The study has produced some very interesting results, which will be discussed during the presentation. In summary they have highlighted considerations for future grading systems, and additional training requirements of users. Further research will look to study different groups of individuals, for example, MSc and PhD students, academics and research personnel to establish their levels of proficiency, and therefore the potential for collaborative research using this methodological approach.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Sciences
Event Title: The Fingerprint Society Conference
Event Location: Leicester, UK
Event Dates: 27th-29th March 2015
Depositing User: Claire GWINNETT
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2016 12:57
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 03:48

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