“Towards European Forensic Standardisation through Best Practice Manuals” (TEFSBPM)

The 2012 Annual Work Programme (AWP) for the Prevention of and Fight against Crime as part of the General Programme “Security and Safeguarding Liberties” (ISEC Programme) of the European Commission (EC) included financial grants to various bodies in monopoly situations. ENFSI as the monopoly body on forensic science in Europe had been allocated € 650,000.
The nature of the TEFSBPM project theme had a particular relevance to the ongoing aims and objectives of the ENFSI Expert Working Groups (EWGs) as set out in the “Framework for Expert Working Groups” document. The project was also in line with the Council Conclusions on the vision for European Forensic Science 2020, including the creation of a European Forensic Science Area and the development of forensic science infrastructure in Europe (approved by the Council on 13/14 December 2011).

It was anticipated that the TEFSBPM project would start its formal work activity on 1st January 2014 and run for 2 years, finishing on 31st December 2015.

The key objective of TEFSBPM was the harmonisation of the forensic Best Practice Manuals (BPMs) across Europe involving a wide range of forensic areas. The development of these BPMs were in line with the following general principles:

1. The BPMs will be developed in line with the core values recognised across the ENFSI community.

2. The forensic BPMs will have a broad scope and include such areas as personnel, equipment, materials and premises.

3. The BPMs will be drafted in line with the ENFSI document “Guidance on the Production of Best Practice Manuals within ENFSI” and will use the ENFSI BPM template.

The BPMs to be developed within the TEFSBPM work activities covered many areas of forensic expertise from the crime scene to the forensic laboratory. It was also anticipated that most of the BPMs would consider the reports/statements that would be submitted to court. Some of the BPMs were brand new documents whilst others were revisions/updates to existing BPMs.
It was important that the development of the BPMs would draw from the widest possible experience from across the whole ENFSI community. The BPMs should truly reflect a balanced view of what is considered to be ‘best-practice’. The individuals within the project teams are recruted from a very large number of ENFSI institutes and other organisations. The ENFSI application for the 2012 EC grant involved the largest group of forensic experts and a huge number of partner organisations, when compared to previous ENFSI “monopoly programmes”.

In addition to the wide ranging involvement of people and institutes within the project teams, the MP2012 project was designed to involve the whole ENFSI community through other key activities. These activities aimed at achieving wide consultation on the contents and principles of the BPMs and at working closely with the directors of the ENFSI laboratories to ensure that they are fully informed and prepared for the implementation of the finished BPMs, as an integral part of their routine forensic casework.

The TEFSBPM project also involved a significant input from the ENFSI Quality & Competence Committee (QCC). This experienced group played two important roles: Firstly, the QCC members supported the work of the individual project teams by sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience in the development of BPMs gained through their broader QCC work activities. Secondly, the QCC provided a steering function in the BPM development projects, ensuring that all teams took a common approach in their work. They thereby produced a set of BPM documents that all had a common scope and presented their outcomes in an effective and unified way.

List of MP2012 Monopoly Projects and Project Leaders:
Project No. B1
BPM to be Developed: Guidelines for Best Practice in the Forensic Examination of Digital Technology

Project Leader: Gregory Webb, Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), London, UK

 

Project No. B2

BPM to be Developed: Pan-European Best Practice in Forensic Handwriting Examinations

Project Leader: Jonathan Morris, Scottish Police Services Authority Forensic Services (SPSAFS), Glasgow, UK

 

Project No. B3

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for Colouring Methods in Gunshot Residue Analysis

Project Leader: Amalia Brouwer-Stamouli, Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), The Hague, The Netherlands

 

Project No. B4

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for Road Accident Reconstruction Examination

Project Leader: Lina Lazarenko, Forensic Science Centre of Lithuania (FSCL), Vilnius, Lithuania

 

Project No. B5

BPM to be Developed: Microscopic Identification and Comparison of Human and Animal Hair Best Practice Manual
Project Leader: Chris Gannicliffe, Scottish Police Services Authority Forensic Services (SPSAFS), Glasgow, UK

 

Project No. B6

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for Fingerprint Examination

Project Leader: Slobodan Oklevski, Ministry of Interior, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

 

Project No. B7

BPM to be Developed: Specification for DNA Pattern Recognition and Comparison

Project Leader: Ulrich Neuhaus-Steinmetz, Landeskriminalamt Berlin, Forensic Science Institute Berlin, Germany

 

Project No. B8

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for the Application of Molecular Methods for the Forensic Examination of Non-Human Biological Traces

Project Leader: Andreas Hellmann, Forensic Science Institute (BKA), Wiesbaden

 

Project No. B9

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for the Forensic Recovery, Identification and Analysis of Explosives Traces
Project Leader: Matthew Beardah, Dstl Fort Halstead, Sevenoaks, UK

 

Project No. B10

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for the Forensic Investigation of Fire Scenes which have Resulted in Fatalities
Project Leader: Niamh Nic Daeid, University of Strathclyde, Centre for Forensic Science, Glasgow, UK

 

Project No. B11

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for the Forensic Investigation of Fire Scenes which involve the Clandestime Manufacture of Improvised or Homemade Explosive Devices

Project Leader: Niamh Nic Daeid, University of Strathclyde, Centre for Forensic Science, Glasgow, UK

 

Project No. B12

BPM to be Developed: Best Practice Manual for the Forensic Investigation of Fire Scenes which Involve the Clandestine Manufacture of Illicit Synthetic Drugs

Project Leader: Niamh Nic Daeid, University of Strathclyde, Centre for Forensic Science, Glasgow, UK

 

Project: Quality & Competence Committee (QCC)

Activity: The QCC will organise an opening and a closing conference for TEFSBPM. Further, QCC members will regularly attend the project team meetings of the 12 BPM projects.

Project Leader: Christina Bertler, Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL), Linköping, Sweden

 

 

 

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