The Education and Training document recommends minimum education,
training, and experience for analysts practicing in laboratories
that conduct seized drug analyses. This document describes the types
of activities necessary to continue professional development and
reference literature required in laboratories where analysts practice.
Recommendations listed in this document are intended to apply to
any analyst who
Independently has access to unsealed evidentiary material
in order to remove samples from the evidence for examination.
Examines and analyzes seized drugs or related materials or
directs such examinations to be done.
||As a consequence of such examinations,
signs reports for court or investigative purposes.
2. Education and Experience
The aim of this recommendation is that all analysts recruited in
the future should have at least a bachelor's degree, while
allowing existing analysts without degrees to be retained as analysts.
The minimum educational requirements for analysts are one of the
A bachelor's degree (or equivalent, generally a three
to four year postsecondary or tertiary degree) in a natural
science or in other sciences relevant to the analysis of seized
The degree program shall include lectures and associated
laboratory classes in general, organic, and analytical chemistry.
||By January 1, 2005, a minimum of
five years' practical experience in seized drug analysis
and demonstrated competency following the completion of a formal,
documented training program and posttraining competency assessment.
3. Continuing Professional Development
All forensic scientists have an ongoing responsibility to remain
current in their field. In addition, laboratories should provide
support and opportunities for continuing professional development.
Minimum continuing professional development requirements for a laboratory
analyst are as follows:
Twenty contact hours of training every year. Contact is defined
as face-to-face interaction with an instructor or trainer
in a classroom or laboratory setting. It does not include
self-paced learning or distance education where the instructor
has no active interaction with the student.
Training must be relevant to the laboratory's mission. This
statement is purposely broad to embrace the laboratory's needs
such as ancillary duty assignments and supervision and/or
||Completed training must be documented.
||Training can be provided from a variety
of sources including but not limited to the following:
|Chemistry or instrumental courses taught at the
postsecondary educational level.
||Instrument operation or maintenance courses taught
||In-service classes conducted by the employer.
||In-service training taught by external providers.
||Participation in relevant scientific meetings
or conferences (e.g., presenting a paper, attending a workshop,
providing reports on conferences).
4. Initial Training Requirements
These minimum requirements allow laboratories to structure
training programs to meet their needs as related to type of
casework encountered, analytical techniques, available instrumentation,
and level of preparedness of trainees.
There must be a documented training program, approved by
laboratory management, that focuses on the development of
theoretical and practical knowledge, skills, and abilities
necessary to examine seized drug samples and related materials.
The training program must include the following:
||Documented standards of performance and a plan
for assessing theoretical and practical competency against these
standards (e.g., written and oral examinations, critical reviews,
analysis of unknown samples, and mock casework in specific topic
||Training syllabus with descriptions of the required
knowledge and skills in specific topic areas in which the analyst
is to be trained, milestones of achievement, and methods of
testing or evaluating competency.
||Period of supervised casework representative of
the type the analyst will be required to perform.
||Verification document demonstrating that the analyst
has achieved the required competence.
Topic areas in the training program will include, as a minimum,
|Relevant background information on drugs of abuse
(e.g., status of control and chemical and physical characteristics).
|Techniques, methodologies, and instrumentation
used in the examination of seized drug samples and related materials.
|Expert and/or court testimony and
|| Laboratory policy and procedures
(e.g., sampling, evidence handling, safety, and security) related
to the examination of seized drug samples and related materials.
A person qualified to provide instruction must have demonstrated
competence in the subject area and in the delivery of training.
5. References and Documents
The following references and documents must be available and accessible
||College- or university-level textbooks for theory
and practice in key subject areas (e.g., general, organic, and
||Reference literature containing physical, chemical,
and analytical data. Such references include the Merck Index,
Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons, laboratory manuals
from the United Nations Drug Control Program, in-house produced
spectra, and published standard spectra, (e.g., Mills and
Roberson's Instrumental Data For Drug Analysis, or compendiums
from Pfleger or Wiley).
||Operation and maintenance manuals for each analytical
||Relevant journals (e.g., Analytical Chemistry,
Forensic Science International, Microgram, Journal of Forensic
Sciences, Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science,
Journal of the Japanese Association of Science and Technology
||Laboratory quality manual, standard operating
procedures, and method validation and verification documents.
||Relevant jurisdictional legislation (e.g., statutes
and case law relating to controlled substances and health and