Quality Unit

Quality Unit

Quality Unit is responsible for maintaining and improving the CFLP Quality Management System (QMS).

The tasks of Quality Unit include:
  • Maintaining and improving Quality Management System in place,
  • Coordinating activities aimed at determining standards of work in given forensic disciplines,
  • Supporting Regional Police Forensic Laboratories as well as Metropolitan Police Forensic Laboratory in implementing and maintaining their Quality Management Systems,
  • Organizing and monitoring assessments of work quality in Regional Police Forensic Laboratories and Metropolitan Police Forensic Laboratory,
  • Cooperating with external certification, accreditation and consultation bodies,
  • Organizing trainings in Quality Management System,
  • Assessing and certifying scent identification labs; cooperating with Police Forensic Laboratories in scope of scent identification.

In 2000, CFLP made its first efforts towards the implementation of Quality Management System. Initially, considerable advantage in realizing the goal was offered by Umbrella Project of the Polish Government as well as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The first step towards the implementation of QMS was to distinguish and describe the following processes taking place in the Laboratory:
  • Organization and supervision of the implementation, maintenance and improvement of work standards in police forensic laboratories,
  • Organization and conduct of trainings for police forensic experts and participation in professional trainings for scene of crime officers
  • Conduct of forensic examinations, development of research methods and cooperation with national and international police and non-police bodies in scope of forensic science.

At the beginning of 2003, Central Forensic Laboratory of the Polish Police submitted to Polish Centre for Testing and Certification Quality Management System functioning according to ISO 9001 requirements. On 18 of April 2003, after the process of certification conducted by Polish Centre for Testing and Certification, Central Forensic Laboratory of the Polish Police was awarded Quality Certificate No. 997/1/2003. The certificate proves that the Laboratory meets the requirements of ISO 9001 Standard. Further improvements of the Quality Management System have resulted in the fact that in 2005 Central Forensic Laboratory of the Polish Police obtained accreditation in the scope of:
  • Handwriting examinations
  • Document Authenticity examinations
  • Fingerprint examinations
  • Trace evidence examinations
  • Adaptive metallurgy examinations
  • Identification markings examinations
  • Firearms examinations
  • Examination of vehicle individual elements and groups
  • Toolmark examinations
  • Examination of items used as firearms ammunition
  • Reconstruction and determining the reasons behind traffic accidents (road collisions)
  • Quantitative analysis of amphetamine sulfate by gas chromatography
  • Forensic analysis of DNA in multiplex STR systems
  • In 2009 the scope of accreditation was extended to cover also detection of ethanol in human blood by head-space gas chromatography
Auditors as well as technical experts from PCA confirmed that the submitted scope of examinations meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and other documented procedures. Therefore, on 15 May 2005, Polish Centre for Accreditation issued Accreditation Certificate No. AB 596 covering the entire scope of the submitted examination methods.
External audits in the Laboratory are conducted every year by auditors from Polish Centre for Testing and Certification and Polish Centre for Accreditation. They prove constant improvement and development of Quality Management System.
The implementation of Quality Management System is an effective tool for supervising and controlling work performance.
In order to prove its competence, CFLP takes part in various kinds of proficiency tests by interlaboratory comparisons, organized by external bodies such as ENFSI, CTS and DGKL.
So far, all the results obtained by Central Forensic Laboratory, stand for the personnel’s competence and high quality of conducted examinations.
Central Forensic Laboratory of the Police supervises the work of Voivodeship Police Forensic Laboratories, which are responsible for performing the majority of forensic casework for law enforcement bodies and the Judiciary. These laboratories should also guarantee the highest quality and reliability of conducted examinations. They are obliged to implement the Council Framework Decision JHA 2009/905 in the field of conducted laboratory activities resulting in DNA profiles and dactyloscopic data. The adoption of laboratory work to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005 is a complex process, which requires understanding from both the management and the personnel. In fact, it is the knowledge, experience and consciousness of laboratory workers that altogether stand for effectiveness of conducted activities and actual quality of the examinations carried out there.
Central Forensic Laboratory helps Polish forensic laboratories to implement their Quality Management Systems by organizing specialist trainings, helping and giving advice in scope of planning and implementing various organizational solutions. It has also taken over some responsibilities connected with creation and validation of individual testing methods. CFLP Departments organize and conduct proficiency testing schemes necessary for proving competence across Voivodeship and Metropolitan Police Forensic Laboratories. The Quality Management Systems functioning in the Laboratories are also being improved by work assessments conducted in line with audit schemes.