Recent Posts

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WorldSkills UK features national and international skills competitions for young people and adults, driving up levels of expertise in further education, skills and Apprenticeships.




These competitions reward real talent among the nations apprentices and further education students.


WorldSkills UK competitions are managed by NAS in partnership with industry leaders – across major employers and brand leaders i.e Loreal to colleges and sector skills councils.

There are over 55 skills competitions in 5 sectors: Built Environment | Engineering | Cultural & Creative Arts | IT & Business Administration | Social & Professional Services



The national competitions team manages these relationships and partly funds the majority of competitions – even though they are now mainly run by the organising partners.

All competitions fall within our Quality Assurance framework and must meet these requirements to qualify.


The Skills Show was the first of it’s kind -  holding the majority of WorldSkills UK national finals under one roof.


We are proud to be working with the team delivering these competitions in the design and delivery of a new World Skill Competition in Forensic Science.


For details about our program please look here and check back regularly for updates.


Judges
We have a requirement for one or two more judges to assist us in the program.
If you are a registered Forensic Scientist working in the UK please send us a message to meet.
We need impartial judges with six days free a year to ensure the competition is transparent, impartial and of a high standard. Please click here to email us.
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The Forensic Science Society / UPDATE: Forensic Horizons 2013
« Last post by Keshia on March 14, 2013, 11:02:06 am »
The call for papers/posters deadline is looming for the R&D conference Forensic Horizons 2013!

Taking place on 6-8 November, at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly, this two and a half day conference is your definitive source of information on research and development in forensic science.  It will feature presentations from plenary & keynote speakers covering topics such as Crime Scene, DNA, Fingerprints, Biometrics, Human Identity, Quality Standards, Digital Identity, and “R&D - I just wish"

•   To submit an abstract  - visit http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Events/2013/RD%202013/CFP
•   For information on the conference themes - visit http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Events/2013/RD%202013/Themes

Why YOU need to attend:

•            Analyse what gaps there currently are in the research and development arena.
•            Perceive what new opportunities there are for research & development in the UK and Internationally.
•            Understand and tackle some of the on-going issues and irritations through facilitated debate.
•            Discover how research and development in forensic science practice has moved on since the conference in November 2012. 

I look forward to welcoming you to Manchester in November for this exciting and thought provoking conference.   


Keshia McGuire
Event Management Organiser

The Forensic Science Society | Clarke House | 18a Mount Parade | Harrogate | HG1 1BX
Tel: +44 (0)1423 506068 or +44 (0)1423 566973 | Fax: +44 (0)1423 566391
www.forensic-science-society.org.uk


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ChemImage / Free Webinar: The Value of Presumptive Screening of Physical Evidence
« Last post by ChemImage on March 13, 2013, 03:22:51 pm »
Free Webinar: The Value of Presumptive Screening of Physical Evidence
Event Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Duration: 1 hour
Presenter: Antonio Scatena, Laboratory Manager & Cara Plese, M.S., Scientist I at Gateway Analytical
Host: Shawn Wilhelm, Marketing Coordinator, at Gateway Analytical

> REGISTER HERE: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=vnic4mr0mp5z

Highlighted Topics Covered:
- The advantages of microscopic and presumptive screenings of physical evidence prior to expensive DNA analysis
- How these screening methods can save time, money and resources by potentially eliminating unnecessary further analysis
- The importance of proper packaging of evidence collected at the scene to ensure it is not compromised prior to analysis

Webinar Overview:
Presumptive tests for blood, seminal fluid, urine, and saliva are fast, relatively inexpensive, and can quickly eliminate a stain from further analysis if the results show the sample is not the fluid originally suspected. Likewise, microscopic analysis of hair is a nondestructive test involving minimal preparation and can confirm if hair is human in origin and determine if a particular hair is suitable for nuclear DNA analysis. Both time and money can be saved by efficiently eliminating samples from further analysis when it is deemed unnecessary by a presumptive method.

This webinar is designed for police and attorneys involved in cases with physical evidence. During this webinar, our presenters will discuss the advantages of microscopic and presumptive screenings of physical evidence, especially suspected bodily fluid stains and hair prior to advancing to more expensive DNA analysis. They will provide examples of such screenings and discuss how these screening methods can save valuable time, money and resources by eliminating samples from being forwarded onto unnecessary further analysis. They will also discuss proper packaging of evidence collected at the scene, especially stains, and why this is important to ensure that evidence is not lost or compromised prior to analysis in the laboratory.

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ChemImage / Free Webinar: Introduction to Industrial Forensics
« Last post by ChemImage on March 13, 2013, 03:15:30 pm »
Free Webinar: Introduction to Industrial Forensics
Event Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Time: 11 a.m. EST
Duration: 45 min.
Presenter: David Exline, Senior Vice President & Antonio Scatena, Laboratory Manager at Gateway Analytical
Host: Shawn Wilhelm, Marketing Coordinator, at Gateway Analytical

> REGISTER HERE: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=mw4bgdk3bzx5

Highlighted Topics Covered:
- Sourcing and controlling contamination in raw materials, processes and products
- How industrial forensics can address issues such as contamination, discolorations, product defects and more
- Sample preparation for various analytical testing techniques, including microscopy, SEM/EDS, FTIR and Raman
- Interpretation of the data collected and what conclusions can be made
- Example case scenarios utilizing industrial forensic analysis

Webinar Overview:
Industrial Forensics is a specialized field of examination that leverages the expertise of forensic analysis and problem solving and applies these principles to difficult manufacturing and product investigations. Often times, particulate contamination occurs in products, processes and customer related investigations. In other instances, the need of detailed problem solving methodologies are required to determine the source of failures, discolorations, product defects and possibly to understand the nature of similar products through reverse engineering and deformulation.
 
This webinar is designed for manufacturing managers, quality control managers and analytical lab personnel. During this webinar, our presenters will discuss the various areas of an industrial forensic investigation, including contamination testing to control contamination of raw materials, processes and products; different types of quality control systems; and take the audience into the lab to discuss how to prepare samples for testing using various analytical techniques including microscopy, SEM/EDS, FTIR and Raman. They will also discuss how to interpret the data collected and what type of conclusions can be made from your findings. Finally, our presenters will provide example case scenarios to demonstrate the methodology of industrial forensic analysis.
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Free Webinar: Intro to Forensic Analysis for Civil Product Liability Claims
Event Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Time: 1 p.m. EST
Duration: 30 min.
Presenter: David Exline, Senior V.P. & Court-Qualified Trace Evidence Expert at Gateway Analytical
Host: Shawn Wilhelm, Marketing Coordinator, at Gateway Analytical

Product liability issues have become increasingly important to industrial and pharmaceutical companies, as every product presents the potential for liability. Stringent quality control and processes are imperative when manufacturing a quality product to insure that product failures, such as contaminations, discolorations and product defects do not occur. However, even the best run systems cannot control all manufacturing and production issues.

This webinar is designed for attorneys and engineers involved in civil product liability claims. During this webinar, our presenter will provide a general overview of product liability testing within the laboratory and discuss basic analytical testing methods and technologies used for testing different types of materials. Our presenter will also provide a unique forensic approach to the investigation, testing and defense of analytical information related to products and product testing and provide details on how to interpret the data and what conclusions can be made from the results.

> REGISTER HERE: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=nh1957ornf9g

Highlighted Topics Covered:
- General overview of product liability testing within the laboratory
- Basic analytical testing methods and technologies used for testing different types of materials
- Forensic approach to investigating, testing and defending analytical information related to products  and product testing
- Interpretation of the data and what conclusions can be made from the results[/li][/list]
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Forensics in the News / USA - The Power of DNA
« Last post by JC on February 19, 2013, 01:47:51 pm »
The first rigorous analysis of the crime-fighting power of DNA profiling finds substantial evidence of its effectiveness.

According to the study from the University of Virginia, violent offenders whose DNA is collected and stored in a database are 23.4 percent more likely to be convicted of another crime within three years than their unprofiled counterparts.

 In other words, profiled offenders, especially those under age 25 and those with multiple convictions, continue to commit new offenses, but are caught much more often than those not in the database. DNA databases reduce crime rates, especially in categories where forensic evidence is likely to be collected at the scene -- murder, rape, assault and vehicle theft.

Estimates of the marginal cost of preventing each crime suggest that DNA databases are orders of magnitude more cost-effective than alternatives like hiring police or locking people up longer. Though it may come as a surprise to viewers of the popular TV show "CSI" or professionals who work in the criminal justice system, this is the first rigorous analysis of the crime-fighting benefits of DNA profiling, said the study's author, Jennifer Doleac, an assistant professor of public policy and economics at U.Va.'s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The study, "The Effects of DNA Databases on Crime," is published in the Batten School's new working paper series, and currently under review at a peer-reviewed journal. Since 1988, every U.S. state has established a database of criminal offenders' DNA profiles, and these databases have been periodically expanded -- for instance, to include individuals convicted of an additional type of felony. Such expansions are often in response to widely publicized "if only" cases where terrible crimes could have been prevented if only a particular offender had been required to submit a DNA sample based on a previous conviction, Doleac said.

She used state database expansion events between 1988 and 2008 to compare when very similar offenders were released from prison just a few weeks apart -- some before the effective date of the DNA database expansion and others afterward. Crucially, in all other characteristics that might affect recidivism risk, the offenders were a homogenous set, so any subsequent differences between the two groups could be attributed to the effect of DNA profiling.

Drawing on corrections department administrative data from seven states, Doleac assembled a data set of 3,949 offenders. Of those, 1,993 were released before before a database expansion (the control group) and 1,956 were released afterward.

On average, Doleac found that DNA profiling does help identify suspects, just as proponents have assumed. Profiled offenders are 23.4 percent more likely to be convicted of another crime within three years than their unprofiled counterparts.

Among offenders, this effect is particularly large for those profiled after multiple convictions and for offenders released before age 25 -- prime crime-committing years, according to much past research. The effect is much smaller for those profiled after their first incarceration.

This suggests that the higher probability of getting caught outweighs the deterrent effect -- if there is any -- of DNA profiling, Doleac said. Larger DNA databases were associated with lower crime rates from 2000 to 2008, the study finds. The estimated magnitudes imply that one common policy proposal -- expanding databases to include individuals arrested (but not convicted) for serious felonies -- would result in a 3.2 percent decrease in murders, a 6.6 percent decrease in rapes, a 2.9 percent decrease in aggravated assaults, and a 5.4 percent decrease in vehicle thefts. (The absence of any significant impact on robbery or burglary rates suggests more limited use of DNA evidence from property crime scenes, or high turnover among perpetrators of those crimes, Doleac said.)

The probability of arresting a suspect in new crimes falls significantly as databases grow, for all types of offenses except rape. This result is consistent with two hypotheses, Doleac said: First, as DNA databases grow, "easy to catch" offenders are deterred or incarcerated quickly, so new crimes are committed by more elusive offenders, resulting in new crimes that are more difficult to solve. Second, as police officers become more familiar with DNA and other forensic evidence, they grow more aware of the limited accuracy of tools they once relied upon -- like eyewitness testimony -- and are increasingly selective in whom they arrest, resulting in fewer but more accurate arrests.

Other studies have estimated the marginal cost of preventing a serious offense (felony homicide and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft) by imposing longer jail sentences (about $7,600) or by hiring more police officers ($26,300 to $62,500). In contrast, the marginal cost of preventing a serious offense using DNA profiling is only $70 -- and falling, Doleac said. "My back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that DNA databases are between 100 and 1,000 times more cost-effective than these other common law enforcement tools."

The cost of collecting and analyzing each DNA sample is less than $40, according to a U.S. Department of Justice estimate, and less than $20 in several states. The marginal cost of analyzing new DNA samples continues to fall as technology improves, and DNA databases exhibit tremendous returns to scale: There are large startup costs for crime lab equipment and computer databases, but the cost of expanding the program is relatively small.
Doleac's untested calculation, based on an existing estimate of the social costs of crime, suggests that DNA databases result in dramatic savings. Each profile resulted in 0.57 fewer serious offenses, for a social cost savings of approximately $27,600, she said; extrapolating from that estimate, in 2010 state and federal governments spent approximately $30.5 million adding 761,609 offender profiles to DNA databases, but saved $21 billion by preventing new crimes.

"I found that DNA-profiling provides huge bang for the buck in reducing crime," Doleac said.


Working paper: http://www.batten.virginia.edu/content/2013-001-effects-dna-databases-crime-jennifer-doleac-860
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The Forensic Science Society / Fine Art Forensics Workshop - 19 April 2013
« Last post by Keshia on February 18, 2013, 11:41:37 am »
Fine Art Forensics Workshop
19 April 2013 at the Lancaster Hall Hotel, London
Start time: 09.30         Finish time: 16.30 


I would like to bring to your attention details of a one day workshop which will look at the scientific aspects involved in looking at works of art and the specialist knowledge necessary for establishing their authenticity. This workshop will be suitable for anyone working in the area of fine art fraud investigation and those with an interest in art conservation, history and provenance. Presented by Dr Nicholas Eastaugh, co-founder of Art Access and Research an organisation whose aims are to further the application of science in art history and widen access to the scientific methods used in authenticity studies.

Dr Eastaugh’s current role is as Director of Research and leading on authentication and academic research projects.

The online booking portal is now open (http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Events/2013/FineArtForensics/Registration).
As places are limited, please book early to avoid disappointment.


Kind regards
Keshia McGuire
Event Management Organiser

The Forensic Science Society | Clarke House | 18a Mount Parade | Harrogate | HG1 1BX
Tel: +44 (0)1423 506068 or +44 (0)1423 566973 | Fax: +44 (0)1423 566391
www.forensic-science-society.org.uk
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The Forensic Science Society / Expert Evidence and the law - developments & challenges
« Last post by Keshia on February 08, 2013, 10:06:19 am »
Expert Evidence and the law - developments & challenges
20 March 2013 at the Apex International Hotel, Edinburgh


A definitive source of information on the developments and challenges facing those who give expert forensic evidence in court, this one-day programme aims to create a draft ‘Agenda for Change’ in how expert evidence is delivered in UK and Scottish Courts.

Speakers on the day will include:

•            Dr David Parratt, Director of Training, The Faculty of Advocates
•            Gerald Sinclair, Chief Executive, Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
•            Andrew Rennison, Forensic Science Regulator
•            Professor Christophe Champod, Professor of Forensic Science, University of Lausanne           
•            Sheriff Tom Welsh, Director of Judicial Studies, Judicial Studies Committee
•            Professor Fiona Raitt, Professor of Evidence and Social Justice, University of Dundee
•            Professor Sue Black, Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, University of Dundee 
•            Professor Niamh NicDaeid, Professor of Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde
•            Representative of Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)

The full programme can be viewed on The Forensic Science Society website (http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Events/2013/Expert%20Evidence). The online booking portal (http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Events/2013/Expert%20Evidence/Registration) is now open. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

I look forward to welcoming you to Edinburgh on 20th March for this exciting and thought provoking event.   


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The Forensic Science Society / Abu Dhabi 2013
« Last post by Keshia on January 17, 2013, 02:14:16 pm »
The Forensic Science Society, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Police, GHQ) will be presenting a three day programme covering issues in forensic practices moving forward including contamination, first response and crime scene presentation.

Taking place on 16-18 April in Abu Dhabi, the aim of this conference is to support the development of individuals involved in the field of crime scene investigation/forensic science in the broader sense and to introduce them to new techniques and technologies. 

Sponsorship . .  . the conference provides a unique marketing opportunity for your organisation to increase its brand awareness in Abu Dhabi and the surrounding Gulf states.

For further information on this exciting collaborative conference and the unique marketing opportunities available, please visit http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Events/2013/Abu%20Dhabi
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The Forensic Science Society / Forensic Horizons 2013
« Last post by Keshia on January 17, 2013, 02:05:59 pm »
Your definitive source for information on research and development in forensic science practice used to support the investigative process and justice system. Plenary speakers from Police, Forensic Sciences, R&D and the Law have already agreed to speak. Complementing the programme will be presentations from key note speakers covering a variety of themes including Crime Scene, DNA, Fingerprints, Biometrics, Human Identity (anthropology, archaeology, podiatry, pathology), Quality, Digital Identity and the catch all category – R&D I just wish.  In addition, the Technology Strategy Board which recently launched the Special Interest Group in Forensic Science will lead their own themed one day event during the conference.

Why YOU need to attend:

•            Analyse what gaps there currently are in the research and development arena
•            Perceive what new opportunities there are for research & development in the UK and Internationally
•            Understand and Tackle some of the on-going issues and irritations through facilitated debate.
•            Discover how research and development in forensic science practice has moved on since the conference in November 2012. 


Information on the conference including which plenary and keynote speakers are confirmed can be found by visiting The Forensic Science Society website (http://www.forensic-science-society.org.uk/Events/2013/RD%202013)
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