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FAQs​​Glossary​​​​
  
Answer
  
An orderly step-by-step procedure designed to ensure operational uniformity and to minimize analyst error.
  
A substance or chemical constituent that is identified and/or measured.
  
Increasing the number of copies of a desired DNA sequence.
  
Certification by a third party that a laboratory is competent to carry out specific tests.
  
A person who performs or technically reviews a forensic analysis, or draws conclusion or interprets a forensic analysis for a court or crime laboratory.
  
An independent review conducted to compare the various aspects of the laboratory’s performance with a standard of performance.
  
The degree of closeness of a measurement to its actual (true) value.
  
A group of samples processed in a single process or series of processes.
  
A sample which contains little or no analyte, that is used to calibrate an instrument, determine the specificity of a method, or trace the source of contamination.
  
A control or standard used to check the quality and metrological traceability of products, to validate analytical measurement methods, or for the calibration of instruments. A CRM is accompanied by a certificate that provides the value of the specified property, its associated uncertainty, and a statement of metrological traceability. ​
  
Confirmation that a product, processes, systems, or persons possess certain qualifications, ability, or quality.
  
A material with known quantitative or qualitative characteristics that is used to calibrate or adjust an instrument or procedure.
  
A document issued by a regulatory or quality assurance entity that confirms the product meets its product specification.
  
A method to determine the concentration of an analyte in an unknown sample by comparison with a set of samples of known concentration.
  
An assessment of technical skills and knowledge necessary to perform specific forensic analysis successfully.
  
The unintentional introduction of material to physical evidence or to an analytical sample.
  
Set of operations that establish, under specific conditions, the relationship between values indicated by a measuring instrument or measuring system, and the corresponding known values of a reference standard. A calibration indicates the error of the instrument and compensates for any lack of trueness by applying a correction.
  
Ability to perform certain tasks or analysis. An analyst may possess competence in few or many areas of forensic science depending on training and experience. Competence is generally determined by passing a competency test.
  
A sample with a known value used in calibration of an instrument or method.
  
An educational activity, such as a lecture, seminar, or conference, that is offered by a recognized organization or individual that brings participants up-to-date in their relevant area of knowledge.
  
Determined by empirical studies or routine practice to require testing on established samples before use in order to prevent unnecessary loss of sample.
  
A standard of comparison for verifying or checking the findings of a test.
  
Tests performed in parallel with experimental samples and designed to demonstrate that a procedure worked correctly. Chemical and Biological forensic analysis typically add control samples to an instrument or method as a quality check.
  
The components of a sample other than the analyte of interest. The composition of the matrix may determine the specific way an analysis is conducted and the quality of the results. Toxicological samples are typically found in a matrix of blood or tissue​.
  
An unexpected or unplanned or undesirable event.
  
An activity performed to eliminate the root cause of an existing non-conformance or other undesirable situation in order to prevent it from occurring again.
  
Any reported result that differs from the consensus results. Discrepancies may be classified as administrative, systematic, analytical, or interpretative.
  
A form filled out to report an unusual event.
  
All tools and instruments used in a process or procedure.
  
A pre-assembled set of reagents that allow the user to conduct a specific procedure. DNA Test Kits contain reagents used for DNA extraction, quantification, amplification, and analysis.
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