The FCN’s ultimate aim is to achieve a level of standardisation and harmonisation across the FCN community that will enable all FCN members to be covered by a single set of accreditations - one for each forensic science capability.
As well as maximising the resilience and flexibility of the FCN, this will dramatically reduce the time and cost involved in achieving and maintaining accreditation. In the short term the challenge will be to help FCN members achieve their current / imminent accreditation requirements, whilst preparing the ground for the future streamlined accreditation landscape.
To help achieve this, Quality will:
- act as the FCN community’s single voice and advocate with the FSR and UKAS. This co-ordination role has already helped accelerate forces’ preparedness for UKAS’s assessment visits and resulted in better assessment outcomes. In the longer term, it will be pivotal in ensuring that the FCN community can both respond effectively to the FSR’s requirements and be able to influence them;
- maintain an overarching accreditation landscape so the FCN community has an accurate and up-to-date picture of accreditation status and activity. This will also enable Quality to work with UKAS to maximise the community’s ability to meet the FSR’s accreditation timetable.
Quality will provide accreditation support to FCN members. This will involve:
- interpreting FSR requirements and providing guidance;
- producing pre-accreditation checklists and other standardised accreditation documents and templates;
- providing advice and guidance and, where needed, undertaking internal assessments prior to the of official UKAS visits;
- sharing learning from other FCN members’ accreditation visits and maintaining a national Risk Register of Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, together with agreed standardised mitigations, to help maximise the probability of success.
Quality will also:
- provide targeted trouble- shooting support where FCN members are recognising difficulties with specific issues that are posing a risk to their accreditation;