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Understanding Exclusion and Sufficiency Decisions

November 18 - November 21

fingerprint on glass, latent print examination

Course Description
This 32-hour intermediate/advanced level course explores in depth and breadth the two concepts of “sufficiency” and “exclusion”. Examiners routinely struggle with these concepts and this course offers both theoretical and practical learning tools to better understand these concepts. The course will explore sufficiency for “value” determinations, as well as “sufficiency for conclusions”. The instructors will utilize current SWGFAST standards and ISO requirements when providing guidance on these topics. Students will explore several approaches for reducing erroneous exclusion rates and guidance is provided in the course for best practices based on the current research and literature available.

Target Audience
This course, the first of it’s kind in the friction ridge community, deals with the critical concepts of exclusion and sufficiency and will benefit examiners at all levels of experience and skill. However, to fully appreciate and grasp the complexity of the issues surrounding these difficult decisions – made by examiners every day – comparison experience is not only preferred but strongly recommended. Unit supervisors and quality managers are also encouraged to attend this course to gain a better understanding of the complexity of the current state of friction ridge examination.

Course Objectives
After attending this course the student will:
– Understand how thresholds and strategies affect decision making.
– Understand how utility function plays a role in decision making.
– Understand the different approaches to determination “of value”.
– Understand how agency policy will shape examiners’ approaches to sufficiency.
– Understand how knowledge, ability, and experience can impact sufficiency decisions.
– Understand how Bayes theory and utility function impact sufficiency decisions.
– Understand how sufficiency is expressed in other (non-forensic) domains.
– Understand what the “One Discrepancy Rule” is and its role (if any) in exclusion decisions.
– Understand the different ways in which an “exclusion” decision can be expressed.
– Understand how error rates apply to conclusions.
– Recognize the different ways that exclusions are conducted.
– Understand methods and approaches to reduce erroneous exclusions

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