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The need for research-based tools for personnel selection and assessment in the forensic sciences

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International: Synergy Volume: Online Dated: December 2021
Date Published
December 2021

This article describes how industrial/organizational psychology develops methods and tools to improve workforce selection; describes some tools currently in use in forensic science; and advocates for research and development of better tools for use in forensic science.


The popularity of forensic science television programs has created a hiring challenge for forensic science laboratories. Laboratories receive unprecedented numbers of applicants, yet struggle to identify highly-qualified candidates. Forensic examiners must possess a unique set of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) plus other characteristics. They must be critical thinkers, detail-oriented, decisive, and self-regulated; be able to communicate clearly and effectively within the laboratory, with customers (typically investigators or attorneys), and in the courtroom; and demonstrate the required core competencies. Currently, no validated instruments, standardized job descriptions, or lists of KSAs exist to aid in forensic science personnel recruitment and assessment, often resulting in high turnover leading to costly new recruitment and training cycles. (Publisher Abstract)


Date Published: December 1, 2021