FOR5023 - Quality management in the forensic sciences - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Forensic Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Richard Bassed


Alastair Ross

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email or phone 03 9684 4115.

Not offered in 2019


Quality management (QM) is a key part of forensic science operations. It is critical to the value and integrity of, and confidence in the results issued by a forensic science service provider.

The aim this unit is to introduce students to the concept of QM, its various components and its role in the accreditation and certification processes.

Accreditation to International Standards such as ISO 17025 has become the norm for forensic science laboratories as a demonstration of their competence.

Accreditation criteria (ISO 17025) cover, for example:

  • Management requirements;
  • Management system
  • Control of records
  • Internal audits and management reviews
  • Technical requirements;
  • Method verification and validation
  • Reference standards and materials
  • Test and calibration methods
  • Proficiency testing
  • Reporting results

Although part of the forensic science stream, QM has broad implications across all streams within the Master's degree program and indeed, work places in general.

This on-line Unit will explore components of QM such as quality assurance and quality control, expand on the requirements for accreditation and explain the benefits of the QM process.

Contemporary articles/texts on QM will be provided.


At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Comprehend and critically evaluate the principles of quality management and relate these to a forensic investigation
  2. Critically evaluate how International Quality Managementstandards in forensic science are applied within the workplace
  3. Review and evaluate the underlying principles for International Standards on which QM in the forensic sciences is based.
  4. Articulate the management and technical requirements of formal quality accreditation in forensic science laboratories.
  5. Comprehend and evaluate the reasons/need for institutionalised QM practices in the context of forensic practice.
  6. Explain the role and positioning of quality management in the criminal justice system.


  • Written assignment: History of Quality Management and its application in forensic + medicine (2,000 words) (35%)
  • Analysis: Implementation and development of Quality Management (2,000 words) (35%)
  • Case study (2,000 words) (30%)

Hurdle Requirement

A pass in all elements of assessment is required. Students must obtain at least 50 % of the available marks for each element of assessment to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

It is expected that students will need to undertake approximately 12 hours of study per week over the Semester.

This will include private study (text and readings), assessment tasks (case studies, assignments), and may include involvement in case work.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study