Ensuring Competent Performance in Forensic Practice: Recovery, Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting

1st Edition

Keith Hadley, Michael J. Fereday

CRC Press
Published November 19, 2007
Reference - 256 Pages - 13 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780849333583 - CAT# 3358

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The Need for Professional Competence

For all the attention given to the forensic sciences in the media and the law, there is a glaring deficiency in the promotion of standards of competence. In the midst of fascinating scientific advances in the field, forensic science still suffers embarrassments from highly publicized scientific controversies and shoddy or fraudulent practices. The enactment of the Daubert ruling, which questions the qualification of a scientific “expert”, demonstrates the courts’ attempt to regulate a profession that ought to be self-regulating.  Libraries of books on technique can do nothing to promote forensic science without common governing standards of practice that ensures professional competence.

Common Ground

The first book of its kind, Ensuring Competent Performance in Forensic Practice: Recovery, Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting promotes a common understanding of competence and demonstrates the application of standards and practice in all aspects of forensic science. Authors Fereday and Hadley, esteemed forensic scientists with forty and fifty years experience respectively, address the method and benefit of establishing occupational standards for collection of evidence, interpretation of scientific analysis, and appropriate methods of testimony.

Training and Assessment

The authors stress the standardization of proper training and testing procedures to ensure that every scientist employed in public and private practice has the credentials they require. They give clear guidelines for effective training programs based on occupational standards that support the development of competent practitioners. The book examines the importance of workplace assessments of competence against occupational standards and emphasizes the role and quality of those involved in the assessment process. The authors include several case studies demonstrating competence in practice and the methods to ensure consistent high standards in the future.