2020 Annual Training Conference

The 2020 Annual AFQAM Training Conference will be held virtually this year. See below for more details on registration and programming!


Registration closes Friday October 9th at 6:00pm Pacific! Any requests after that time should be directed to president-elect@afqam.org.

Program Agenda

All times are in Eastern Standard Time

Date Time Topic Speaker
Oct. 13, 2020 10:30am-11:00am Vendor presentation (JusticeTrax) David Epstein
  11:00am-12:30pm QAS update/follow-up Sandy Shaffer
  12:30pm-2:00pm Blind Testing & Blind Verification in a Forensic Laboratory Madison Neuman and Callan Hundl
Oct. 14, 2020 10:30am-11:00am NIST update Mark Stolorow
  11:00am-12:00pm Accreditation Programs update Brittney Bryant
  12:00pm-1:00pm Accreditation Programs update Patti Williams
  1:00pm-1:15pm Vendor presentation (CTS) Catherine Barden
  1:15pm-2:30pm Business Meeting  
Oct. 15, 2020 10:30am-11:00am Vendor presentation (A2LA) Timothy Osborne
  11:00am-12:30pm Misunderstood Standards Patti Williams
  12:30pm-2:00pm Leadership/Change Management Dean Gialamas


QAS Update/Follow-up

Sandy Shaffer, NDIS Audit Review Pane Chair, FBI

The Quality Assurance Standards (QAS) for Forensic DNA were updated July 1, 2020. This presentation will give an overview of those changes including common findings or issues laboratories are seeing as they are working to meet these new standards, as well as, an opportunity for Q&A.

Blind Testing & Blind Verification in a Forensic Laboratory

Madison Neuman and Callan Hundl, Houston Forensic Science Center and CSAFE

In 2015, the Houston Forensic Science Center (HFSC) implemented a blind quality control program based on recommendations outlined in a 2009 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report regarding the state of forensics in the United States. The Quality Division facilitates and maintains the program, which spans six disciplines: toxicology, latent prints, forensic biology, multimedia, firearms and seized drugs. The program’s purpose is to create mock cases that mimic real casework and submit them into the section’s normal workflow to be analyzed like any other case. The analysts are unaware they are working a blind case, which removes any potential bias from how it is handled. This in return allows HFSC to gauge the performance of every aspect of the process, from evidence handling and submission to analysis and report completion, and identify possible opportunities for improvement.

NIST Update – Implementation of Standards

Mark Stolorow, NIST

Updates, discussion, and Q&As on standards implementation by forensic science service providers.

Accreditation Programs Update

Patti Williams, ANAB; Brittney Bryant, A2LA

Accreditation program updates, including how assessment activities are being handled in light of COVID.

Misunderstood Standards

Patti Williams, ANAB

This presentation will highlight several accreditation requirements, explain their intent and provide a better understanding.  The requirements chosen for this presentation arise from several sources:

  • Conformance files where forensic service providers have referenced management system documentation when the requirement is N/A for their operation
  • Frequency of nonconformities in the past year
  • Questions sent to Qualitymatters@anab.org
  • Accreditation Managers discussions with forensic service providers
  • Topics arising during assessment activities

Leadership/Change Management

Dean Gialamas

QA Managers often have to lead staff through changes in standards, procedures, and now changes that have arisen due to COVID. This presentation will provide insight on how to effectively lead staff through these times of change.