The new Manual has been published by the FCN on behalf of the NPCC and the Home Office National DNA Database. It sets out current best practice and signposts other critical publications so practitioners are equipped with the knowledge to apply the DNA process successfully to solve crimes and gather criminal intelligence. It supersedes the previous version (Version 7) issued by FINDS on behalf of the NPCC in 2017.

Emily Burton, Chair of the DNA Operations Group said:

“Science and technology never stand still and we have to ensure that the guidance we provide is fit for purpose. That’s why we commissioned the FCN to carry out a comprehensive review, with the aim of producing a new manual. I hope everyone involved with forensics and the criminal justice system will take note and benefit from the updates that have been provided"

The guidance has been brought up to date with new content on international searches, elimination databases, samples from vulnerable persons, the Voluntary Attendee (VA) process, consent and retention of subject DNA samples. It also explains the weight of DNA evidence and the very latest advances in DNA technology.

Dr Deborah Sharp, FCN Lead Scientist said:

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the review, especially key stakeholders from policing, FINDS, forensic service providers, the NCA, Dstl and the Home Office. At the FCN we’re very proud to have played our part in developing such an important document.

Keeping the guidance up to date is an on-going process, for example we’re currently seeking legal advice via the FIND Strategy Board for the definition of ‘unsuitable’ and ‘insufficient’ as applicable to PACE, and the ability to re-sample individuals without consent in the event of a failure

This is a collaborative effort, so I hope anyone with an interest will get involved with the discussion.”

The document can be accessed via good practice groups on Knowledge Hub:

Knowledge Hub Blue Zone – For Policing & Law Enforcement

Library - FCN | DNA Good Practice - Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub Green Zone – For Academia, Local Government and Commercial Organisations

Library - FCN | DNA Good Practice - Knowledge Hub (

If you have any problems accessing our Knowledge Hub pages, please email for support and advice.