Skip to content

Perceptions of blind proficiency testing among latent print examiners

Conference/Workshop:
https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/Dw8822Ww
Journal: Science & Justice
Published: 2023
Primary Author: Brett O. Gardner
Secondary Authors: Maddisen Neuman

In recent years, scholars have levied multiple criticisms against traditional proficiency testing procedures in forensic laboratories. Consequently, on several occasions, authorities have formally recommended that laboratories implement blind proficiency testing procedures. Implementation has been slow, but laboratory management has increasingly expressed interest in initiating blind testing in at least some forensic disciplines, with some laboratories conducting blind testing in almost all disciplines. However, little is known about how a key population perceives blind proficiency testing, i.e., forensic examiners. We surveyed active latent print examiners (N = 338) to explore perceptions of blind proficiency testing and determine whether beliefs varied between examiners who work for laboratories with and without blind proficiency testing. Results suggest that examiners do not hold particularly strong beliefs about such procedures, but that examiners who work in laboratories with blind proficiency testing procedures view them significantly more positively than those who do not. Further, examiner responses provide insight into potential obstacles to continued implementation.

Related Resources

What’s in a Name? Consistency in Latent Print Examiners’ Naming Conventions and Perceptions of Minutiae Frequency

What’s in a Name? Consistency in Latent Print Examiners’ Naming Conventions and Perceptions of Minutiae Frequency

Fingerprint minutia types influence LPEs’ decision-making processes during analysis and evaluation, with features perceived to be rarer generally given more weight. However, no large-scale studies comparing examiner perceptions of minutiae…
An alternative statistical framework for measuring proficiency

An alternative statistical framework for measuring proficiency

Item Response Theory, a class of statistical methods used prominently in educational testing, can be used to measure LPE proficiency in annual tests or research studies, while simultaneously accounting for…
Examiner variability in pattern evidence: proficiency, inconclusive tendency, and reporting styles

Examiner variability in pattern evidence: proficiency, inconclusive tendency, and reporting styles

The current approach to characterizing uncertainty in pattern evidence disciplines has focused on error rate studies, which provide aggregated error rates over many examiners and pieces of evidence. However, decisions…
Statistical Interpretation and Reporting of Fingerprint Evidence: FRStat Introduction and Overview

Statistical Interpretation and Reporting of Fingerprint Evidence: FRStat Introduction and Overview

The FRStat is a tool designed to help quantify the strength of fingerprint evidence. Following lengthy development and validation with assistance from CSAFE and NIST, in 2017 the FRStat was…