We've been working with the SARC community to identify key risks and challenges being faced nationally by SARCs as they work towards meeting the ISO 15189 standard and FSR requirements. In response, the FCN has developed 5 projects that will address these challenges, benefiting every SARC in England and Wales.

Project 1: Centralised SARC Forensic Cleaning Validation

The aim of this project is to conduct a central validation of forensic cleaning to identify and validate an effective cleaning process that can be used in every SARC in England and Wales, validating 6 cleaning products against different body fluids on the different surfaces used within the forensic medical examination rooms. This project will also provide benefit to Custodies nationally, whereby the validated forensic cleaning process can be adopted in their forensic medical examination rooms.

Project 2: Centralised Forensic Medical Examination (Intimate DNA Recovery) Validation

This project involves using SARC case data to demonstrate that the FFLM best practise processes for the recovery of forensic evidence in SARCs is fit for purpose.

Project 3: Centralised Non Intimate DNA Swabbing Validation

Validating the recovery of DNA from various body fluids from human skin, this project aims to further benefit Custody and CSI major crime.

Project 4: SARC End to End Verification

All SARCs will be required to demonstrate that the validated processes they follow remain fit for purpose when conducted within their facility, by their personnel, following their procedures. This project aims to provide a step by step verification process, with set scenarios and props, to all SARCs to enable them to complete verification of all of their processes within their scope of accreditation. 

Project 5: Environmental Monitoring Study Phase 3-Airflow

This study involves testing the air within SARC forensic medical examination rooms to assess the risk of DNA contamination from different airflows. The results from this study will provide the data required by the FSR to determine the requirements for SARC air flow.

Michelle Gaskell, FCN Quality Specialist said:

“Huge thank you to everyone in the SARC community who have contributed to the development of these projects. I am delighted that we have been granted the funding to enable us to carry out these projects which will bring all the SARCs in England and Wales that step closer to improving quality standards and achieving UKAS accreditation”

If you would like to find out more on these projects please contact Michelle GaskellQuality Specialist & SARC Accreditation National Lead.