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GEDNAP – Stain Commission

Organising international DNA profiling proficiency tests

  1. History
  2. Who can apply
  3. Registration for the proficiency test
  4. Submission of DNA test results
  5. Annual stain DNA workshop
  6. Certification of successful laboratories

1. History

The Stain Commission was founded by the German Society for Legal Medicine in the 1980s with the purpose of organising laboratory proficiency testing for stain analysis (Rand et al. 2002, 2004). Later, Prof. Bernd Brinkmann (University of Münster) invented GEDNAP (German DNA Profiling) as term for the DNA Proficiency Test.

Initially designed for German-speaking (and a few Dutch and Scandinavian) laboratories, widespread participation by other nations has made the GEDNAP proficiency tests the largest stain-DNA profiling quality control exercise in Europe and possibly internationally.

Successful laboratories receive proficiency certificates. Results and typical errors are presented (anonymously) at the annual Stain Workshops.

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2. Who can apply?

Participation in the GEDNAP proficiency tests is open to any laboratory, whether a private institute, university institute or governmental laboratory, from any country worldwide.

Any participant using a substitute or affiliated laboratory is welcome to participate but is not eligible for final certification.

In 2012, over 220 laboratories from 38 countries participated in GEDNAP.
There are 2 GEDNAP proficiency tests per year. It is optional to choose one, but it is recommended to participate in both tests.

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3. Registration for the 2013 proficiency test

This 2013 registration deadline is 2013 Oct 31. Please use the on-line registration form [Link].

Anonymity
Each incoming registration is assigned a code number (laboratory number) in chronological order of receipt for that year. This ensures an unbiased treatment of each laboratory, and enables laboratories to maintain anonymity at all stages of the subsequent evaluation process.

4. Submission of DNA test results

The test samples are prepared in the organising laboratory according to the recommendations laid down by the ISFG.

Each participating laboratory receives, by mail, a set of stains, along with documentation necessary for returning the results.

Participants are requested to return the results by the closing deadline of 4th December of this year in question to allow the organising laboratory sufficient time to evaluate, the evaluation to be reviewed by the Stain Commission and present the results at the Workshop in February of the following year.

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5. Annual stain DNA workshop

The results of the proficiency test are presented to the participating laboratories at the annual Stain Workshop, generally held in February.

The next Stain Workshop will be held in Innsbruck (Austria), 20-22 Feb 2014.

Summary statistics or laboratory codes are used throughout the presentations to ensure the anonymity of each laboratory.

Participation in the workshop is recommended but optional. At the workshop, all participating laboratories receive a closed envelope, labelled with their anonymous laboratory code, containing their individual result scores.

Laboratories not attending the workshop receive their individual results by mail, after the workshop.

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6. Certification of successful laboratories

A certificate is issued by the organising laboratory, stating that the participating laboratory has successfully passed the proficiency test for the specified loci.

False results (errors) are not explicitly mentioned but are excluded from the list of successfully typed loci.

The certificates are completed by the organising laboratory based on the final evaluation of the Workshop and include all alterations which have been agreed and validated after making the results public, counter-checked by the head of department and signed by the Chairman of the Stain Commission.

Laboratories have the right to appeal at this stage if a typographical error has been made by the organising laboratory. When the certificate is sent out, information to this effect is included in the accompanying letter.