Basic Hair Screening

The FTS Basic Hair Screening proficiency test is designed to challenge forensic biologists or trace evidence examiners who perform limited microscopic hair examinations and do not compare and exclude human hairs from subsequent DNA analysis due to microscopic characteristics in relation to a known source. Analysts are asked to determine if a hair is human, the somatic origin of the hair and whether the hair may be suitable for subsequent nuclear DNA analysis. Microscopic quality control work is performed on each distributed test by two court-qualified hair examiners at the FTS laboratory facility. These hair examiners are subcontracted by FTS and we are responsible for their work.

Basic Hair Screening
Bulb Examination for ON/OFF

This test is designed to test the forensic examiner who may examine automotive bulbs to determine On/Off status at the time of an impact. Bulb impact is produced mechanically to improve precision in filament deformation. Tests consist of two automotive bulbs. Each distributed bulb is examined by a court qualified examiner to ensure homogeneity of filament characteristics. This test is offered in even numbered years and will next be offered in 2016.

Bulb Examination for ON/OFF
Chemical Unknown

This test is designed to test the forensic examiner who may be asked to identify liquid form chemical unknowns, such as suspected adulterated beverages, household chemicals or solvents. This test is offered in even numbered years and will next be offered in 2016.

Chemical Unknown
Clandestine Laboratory Chemical

Test samples will be prepared utilizing commercially available chemical products. These chemical products may include precursors (chemicals that form some part of the parent molecule of the final drug product) or other chemicals commonly utilized in the manufacture of drug product. This test is approved to meet ASCLD/LAB external proficiency test requirement in the drug chemistry discipline. This test is offered in odd numbered years and will be offered in 2015.

Clandestine Laboratory Chemical
CUSTOM TESTS

FTS can provide custom produced forensic proficiency tests in most disciplines. These tests can be known external tests to meet a lab’s special quality assurance needs or as a blind test, where the evidence will be submitted by one of the laboratory’s customers as evidence. The following custom tests are included in our ISO 17043 scope of accreditation and may be used to meet ISO 17025 accredidation requirements: Controlled Substances Analysis (Qualitative or Quantitative), Flammables, Glass, Paint, Fibers, Footwear, Tape, GSR, Chemical Unknown, Clandestine Laboratory Chemical, Tape, Bulb, Lubricants, Physical (Fracture) Match, Fabric Damage, Hair Examination, Basic Hair Screening, Low Explosives, Tire Impressions. Please contact us for a quotation regarding our custom testing services.

CUSTOM TESTS
Drug Analysis- Synthetic Cannabinoid

This test is designed to challenge the forensic drug analyst in the identification of chemicals produced and marketed as synthetic cannabinoids. Participants will be asked to identify any synthetic cannabinoids contained in items, regardless of their controlled status in their jurisdiction.

Drug Analysis- Synthetic Cannabinoid
Fabric Damage

This test is designed to test the forensic examiner whose duties include the determination of whether damage to a fabric is due to a cut, tear, burn or seam separation and if the material was laundered after damage. Subscription deadline for this test is February 1, 2014. FTS has not yet sought ASCLD/LAB approval for this test.

Fabric Damage
Gunshot Residue (Stub and Swab substrates)

This test is designed to challenge the forensic examiner who may be asked to identify particles of gunshot residue via bulk elemental or scanning electron microscopy techniques. Samples are distributed on pin-type aluminum SEM stubs with carbon adhesive tabs or Sirchie® brand swabs. Positive GSR samples are screened prior to distribution. This screening may be subcontracted to a ISO 17025 accredited laboratory and FTS is responsible for their work.

Gunshot Residue (Stub and Swab substrates)
Hair Comparison

This test is designed to challenge the forensic trace evidence analyst or biologist that routinely compares and screens human hair samples to determine whether two samples could have a common origin. It is designed for the trace evidence or biology examiner who may exclude hairs from subsequent DNA analysis due to their microscopic characteristics in relation to a known source. Samples consist of groups of questioned human hairs to compare to groups of known human hairs. Analysts are asked to determine if there is tissue present on the human hairs. All distributed samples are examined and compared at the FTS laboratory facility by two court qualified examiners to ensure homogeneity between test samples. These hair examiners are subcontracted by FTS and we are responsible for their work. There are a limited number of this test available, please order early to ensure availability.

Hair Comparison
Low Explosives

The FTS Low Explosives proficiency test is designed to challenge the explosive analyst in the identification of low explosives, oxidizers and fuels that may be used in an explosive device. Questioned samples may consist of unburnt powders or partially burned explosive residues.

Low Explosives
Lubricant Examination

This test is designed to challenge the examiner that may be asked to analyze and compare lubricants, such as those utilized in condoms and other commercially available products. **Please note that while 2014 will be the fourth year FTS has produced this test and in-house QA/QC is performed on the samples, FTS has not yet sought ASCLD/LAB approval for the test.**

Lubricant Examination
Microscopic Spermatozoa Identification

This test is designed to challenge the forensic biology analyst in the microscopic identification of spermatozoa. Participants will be asked to identify whether or not spermatozoa are present in biological smears distributed on unstained glass slides. Participants should utilize their own staining and microscopic identification protocols.

Microscopic Spermatozoa Identification
Physical (Fracture) Match

The FTS Physical (Fracture) Match proficiency test is designed to challenge the forensic examiner in the comparison of broken edges of three dimensional surfaces. This test is approved to meet ASCLD/LAB external proficiency test requirement in the trace evidence discipline. This test is offered in odd numbered years and will be offered in 2015.

Physical (Fracture) Match
Quantitative Chemical (Cocaine)

This test is designed to test forensic examiners that perform quantitative chemical analyses of cocaine. Participants will be asked to report the results of quantitative analysis, as well as measurement uncertainty. Laboratory performance will be assessed by z-score and En-score using statistical methods described in ISO 13528:2005(E). This test is approved to meet ASCLD/LAB external proficiency test requirement in the drug chemistry discipline.

Quantitative Chemical (Cocaine)
Quantitative Chemical (Methamphetamine)

This test is designed to test forensic examiners that perform quantitative chemical analyses of methamphetamine. Participants will be asked to report the results of quantitative analysis, as well as measurement uncertainty. Laboratory performance will be assessed by z-score and En-score using statistical methods described in ISO 13528:2005(E). Subscription deadline for this test is February 1, 2014. This test is approved to meet ASCLD/LAB external proficiency test requirement in the drug chemistry discipline.

Quantitative Chemical (Methamphetamine)
Tape Examination

This test is intended to challenge the forensic tape examiner in the analysis and comparison of duct and other types of tape. Variation in rolls of tape may include physical characteristics, such as scrim count, machine markings and measurements as well as chemical variations in the polymer backings and adhesives.

Tape Examination
Tire Impression

The FTS Tire Impression Proficiency is intended to challenge the forensic examiner who routinely examines tire impressions in forensic casework. Samples will consist of two digital photographs of questioned tire impressions and scans of at least four ~12” segments of known tire impressions along with digital photographs of each segment. All scans and photographs will be distributed on CD-ROM in high resolution .jpg or.tif format. This test is approved to meet ASCLD/LAB external proficiency test requirements.

Tire Impression