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The UK forensic science regulator: Fit for purpose?

Nsiah Amoako, Emmanuel; McCartney, Carole

The            UK            forensic science regulator: Fit for purpose? Thumbnail


Authors

Emmanuel Nsiah Amoako

Carole McCartney



Abstract

The role of Forensic Science Regulator (FSR), created in 2007, was established to assure the achievement and maintenance of forensic science service (FSS) provision that commands public confidence. The FSR works at an organizational level, to assure, and improve the quality of forensic service provision and manage the risks of quality failures by Forensic Service Providers (FSPs). Despite this apparent introduction of “regulation,” forensic science provision in the United Kingdom has continued to receive a critical assessment. FSPs are meant to voluntarily adopt the Regulator's quality standards, achieve and maintain accreditation, and comply with regulatory requirements and guidance, including reporting complaints and quality failures to the Regulator. The effectiveness of the FSR thus cannot be gauged by examination of the actions of the Regulator alone, but also requires evidence of impact upon FSPs. Using public data, supplemented by interviews with FSS providers, to facilitate an initial assessment of whether the FSR's role is “fit for purpose,” we outline five demands made of FSPs in delivering FSSs to the criminal justice system and the five objectives of the FSR to support and enhance the ability of FSPs to meet these demands. We provide a prefatory commentary on whether the FSR is able to effectively fulfill this purpose. It is argued that the FSR role in its current form cannot be considered “fit for purpose” when evidence of the impact
of regulation is lacking. Finally, we briefly summarize “inhibitors” that prevent the FSR from being more effective.

Citation

Nsiah Amoako, E., & McCartney, C. (2021). The UK forensic science regulator: Fit for purpose?. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Forensic Science, 3(6), e1415. https://doi.org/10.1002/wfs2.1415

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 25, 2021
Publication Date 2021-11
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 21, 2021
Journal WIREs Forensic Science
Print ISSN 2573-9468
Electronic ISSN 2573-9468
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 6
Pages e1415
DOI https://doi.org/10.1002/wfs2.1415
Keywords accreditation, forensic science providers, forensic science quality, forensic science regulation, quality standards
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/8277612
Additional Information Received: 2020-08-06; Accepted: 2021-01-26; Published: 2021-02-25

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Licence
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Under the CC BY 4.0 license this is the published version of the following article Nsiah Amoako, E., & McCartney, C. (2021). The UK forensic science regulator: Fit for purpose?. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Forensic Science, 3(6), e1415. https://doi.org/10.1002/wfs2.1415, which has been published in final form at
https://doi.org/10.1002/wfs2.1415





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