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WEEK 16 - ACE-V Methodology, Examination Documentation Best Practices and Conclusions
We started the week with a review of the analysis phase of the ACE-V method, and covered the correlation between ACE-V and the scientific method.  We broke down the evaluation phase, the conclusions that are acceptable in the discipline, and why.  We also discussed the verification phase and discussed pro’s and con’s of verifying all conclusions and also of blind verification.  We covered the Monty Hall Problem as a segue into statistics, error rates, probabilities, and likelihood ratios.  We covered the difference between probabilities and statistics, how statistics are being used in research to try to determine error rates, and some examples of the research that has been conducted.  We also discussed probabilities, and how likelihood ratios are being used to try to develop probability models that look at the likelihood of another individual “sharing” ridge characteristics.  We calculated mean, median, mode, range, and standard deviation.  Then we talked about measurements; what they are and what they aren’t.  We calculated a basic uncertainty of measurement, and discussed how different K values can change the percent certainty of a reported measurement.  Then we hit the standards hard.  We covered ISO/IEC 17020 and ISO/IEC 17025 standards.  We dove into some specific technical standards for ISO/IEC 17025.  We discussed the roles of the accrediting bodies including ANAB, ASCLD/LAB, and A2LA.  We did a practical exercise of each examiner reading their agency’s policies and procedures, and answering ten questions to develop a basic process map for their laboratory and latent print section.  We also covered what information is typically kept in a case file.  Finally, what would a week of ACE-V, documentation, best practices, and conclusions be without a solid look at the NAS report, the role of the DOJ and the National Commission on Forensic Science, the role of NIST and the OSACs, and of course what SWGFAST was, why it existed, and where the discipline of latent prints is headed?  It would be an incomplete week, so we covered it all.

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