The Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers “AFQAM” is hosting their annual meeting at the Hilton Providence Resort, Providence, Rhode Island October 9th – 12th 2018. The Hilton Providence Resort is a stylish hotel resort and conference centre and offers its guests many amenities. Dining includes the “Vig” a vintage sports parlor which serves upscale American cuisine offering a creative menu, craft beers and a hand-crafted cocktail menu. Also, on hand is a snack shop, the hotel lounge for coffee and an on- site Starbucks. The hotel also offers a fitness room and an indoor pool.
Founded in 1636, Providence is Rhode Island’s capital city and one of the oldest in North America. It is also one of the original thirteen states. Providence has a small town feel but big city sophistication, offering a wide range of cultural, dining, entertainment and shopping experiences.
The mission statement of AFQAM is to promote standardized practices and professionalism in quality assurance management for the forensic community with a vision to support and enhance quality assurance practices to provide the criminal justice system with the highest quality of laboratory results and service. The yearly meeting is an exciting gathering from all across North America and around the world of forensic laboratory professionals, reconnecting or meeting anew to explore new technologies and procedures.
“AFQAM 2018” offers the opportunity for professionals to increase their expertise with several hands-on and in-depth workshops. This year they are hosting a large number of topics over the four days of the meeting. Some of the more general topics this year include:
ISO/IEC 17025;2017 and the ANAB forensic accreditation requirements (AR 3125) in a nutshell – How to crack that nut!
Safety in the Laboratory
Leadership and Softskills – Obtaining Buy-in
Leadership and Softskills – Dealing with difficult people
QA Toolbox – Investigations (Reviewing Records and Conducting Interviews)
Opening ceremonies include a welcome and a keynote speech, followed by updates and the annual business meeting. This year the planned evening event is a private dinner and tour of the “Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular” at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. This unique event features an incredible display of over 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns each uniquely carved and shown in scenes to illustrate the theme of the year. The display takes place on the zoo’s wetland trails. The annual meeting concludes by Friday lunch time.
As well as forensic professionals attending a large number of exhibitors will also be attending “AFQAM 2018” giving attendees a chance to see and experience new products and services relevant to their field. Paradigm 3 Compliance Management Software will again exhibit at the event, and we have been attending for the past several years and have had the chance to interact with many of North America’s forensic and criminal laboratory professionals. Features of the software that are helpful in a forensic lab environment include:
● Compliance to regulatory requirements
● Confidence info is accurate, up to date and readily available
● Controls any file format allowing users to work in known formats
● Complete document control for reviews, approvals and changes to documents within the system.
● Extensive security system which limits users to see only what they have authority to see.