Job Specification

Position Title:
Job Code:
15548G - Scientist 4 (G22)
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To perform and oversee forensic toxicological testing and examinations in a wide range of items and samples and to provide scientific interpretation, opinion evidence, expertise, and advice to the courts and investigators related to findings generated at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in support of criminal, coroner and other official investigations; to carry out and oversee research in forensic toxicology; and, to provide client education.

Duties / Responsibilities :

Job Requires:

1. Providing examination and management of cases, items, and samples submitted by official investigative agencies requiring forensic testing; providing interpretation of preliminary findings and expertise to assist in the investigations by these agencies; providing advice regarding testing and examinations and alternative options; determining priorities and directing the work of forensic technologists as required; ensuring that testing, examinations and evidence handling conform to the methods, standard operating procedures, and policies set by the Centre; and, ensuring quality and accuracy of test results through continued participation in proficiency tests and conforming to accreditation requirements.

2. Documenting and processing incoming and outgoing case-related items, materials, information, and documents. Ensuring continuity and integrity of each item within established CFS policies and standard operating procedures. This will entail testing and examination of blood, urine, stomach contents, liver, and other biological and nonbiological matrices for the presence of drugs and toxins, using a range of analytical equipment and techniques involving gas and liquid chromatography, immunoanalysis, and spectroscopy.

3. Providing scientific expertise in the areas of toxicology and pharmacology, through the interpretation and documentation of test findings and preparation of reports of the Centre; providing on site scientific expertise in the investigative stage of cases including attending crime scenes and autopsies as required.

4. Acting as a scientific advisor to clients by maintaining ongoing liaison for case conferencing and providing specialist scientific expertise to government agencies in response to enquiries on forensic sciences.

5. Providing testimony as an expert witness for a range of proceedings (e.g. criminal trials, hearings, tribunals, inquests, civil litigation) and pre-trial conferences; advising on conclusions/results of Centre reports and providing opinion evidence in relation to examinations at the Centre, or to opinions and information presented by other forensic professionals.

6. Participating in the Centres Quality Assurance Program by reviewing ones own work and the work of other Centre staff to ensure quality of products and ensure conclusions are scientifically sound within the particular scientific discipline and the Centres standard operating procedures; providing mentoring and expertise to other scientists and technicians and participating in the laboratory accreditation process.

7. Planning, conducting and co-coordinating original and applied scientific research and developing projects and activities in the field of forensic sciences and related disciplines to facilitate the implementation of new technologies, introduction of new or innovative methods at the Centre, and to prepare original scientific research papers for presentation and publication.

8. Providing training and education to Centre staff, client groups, forensic professionals, and students through presentations, lectures, seminars, and speaking events at national/international meeting on forensic science and related areas of expertise.

9. Providing project management, co-ordinating with other scientists and directing and supervising junior scientists and technologists.

Staffing and Licencing :

Honours B.Sc. degree in major such as pharmacology, toxicology, chemistry, biochemistry or equivalent.

Knowledge :

Job requires knowledge of:

1. Theoretical and analytical forensic toxicology laboratory techniques and standards to develop or modify methods and conduct tests in a forensic laboratory; including knowledge and experience with laboratory instrumentation and techniques (e.g. gas and liquid chromatography, immunoanalysis, spectroscopy) used in analysis and testing for the presence of drugs and toxins in a range of biological and nonbiological matrices.

2. Leading edge and emerging technology in the field and the operations and capabilities of scientifically advanced testing instruments and hardware/software equipment within the Centre to utilize equipment in testing and data analysis.

3. Forensic laboratory accreditation standards to ensure all standards are met.

4. CFS procedures, practices, and policies to ensure compliance in all activities.

5. CFS quality assurance program to run assurance processes to confirm, validate and ensure reliability of test results.

6. Legislative authorities (e.g. relevant sections of the Criminal Code of Canada, Provincial Offences Act, Gaming Act, Coroners Act, Canadian Evidence Act, WHIMIS, FOIPPA, Occupational Health and Safety) to ensure compliance.

7. Current case law practices (e.g. rules of evidence) and the court system and related protocols to ensure compliance when testifying as an expert witness.

8. Scientific research methodologies, practices and techniques to plan, conduct and coordinate original scientific research and development projects and activities and to prepare original scientific research papers.

9. Time management techniques to prioritize and manage cases, and resolve competing pressures and demands.

Skills :

Job requires:

1. Analytical skills to: participate in the early stages of investigations to provide crime scene work, reconstruction of events, evidence collection, preliminary examination, etc.; review case files, select appropriate forensic procedures and accurately conduct examinations on items and samples submitted; determine significance, limitations, and probative value of analytical findings; draw conclusions from scientific data, and make appropriate recommendations; conduct quality assurance through the peer review of reports and case files prepared by colleagues to ensure conclusions are scientifically sound and meet the standards of the Centre.

2. Problem solving ability to identify precautions to be taken when handling potential biohazards, electrical hazards, or other materials that pose a health and safety risk, by applying quality control and laboratory principles and procedures.

3. Written communication skills to: prepare scientific reports for official investigative agencies on results of examinations, significance of findings, and conclusions ensuring reports are presented in clear, accurate, and easily understood language using the proper scientific terminology; and, prepare scientific research papers in the field of forensic sciences and related areas of expertise.

4. Oral communication and presentation skills to: provide expert testimony in court to explain and present complex scientific issues and concepts; and, provide training and education to colleagues and external client groups at seminars and national/international conferences on forensic science and own area of specialty.

5. Interpersonal skills to: maintain ongoing liaison with clients for case conferencing and to provide advice on implications of findings; supervise technical staff and more junior scientists; and, work in a team environment and on a one-on-one relationship with others.

6. Time and project management skills in order to: provide direction and technical guidance in managing a workload of complex cases; and, prioritize, balance and manage cases, court commitments, and training activities, and resolve competing pressures and demands.

7. Effective research and organizational skills to plan, conduct and coordinate original scientific research and development projects and activities in the field of forensic sciences and related disciplines.

Freedom of Action :

This job operates within the Centre of Forensic Science policies, procedures and quality assurance standards, as well as international accreditation standards within own area of specialty.

? Job requires working in situations that may not have established methodology and require the development of new scientific techniques to adapt to a range of unique situations. Job requires independently determining scope of scientific problems or issues within own case and project research and investigations, including anticipating implications and impacts of related areas and determining the appropriate course of action in order to carry out in investigations and research.

? Job requires freedom to manage and prioritize assignments and casework, evaluate and implement appropriate courses of action, and determine methods of analysis to be conducted by technologists.

? Job requires independently reporting and releasing preliminary or final data on findings to clients including interpreting data, drawing conclusions, providing expert opinion on the implications of the findings, and indicating where results may be open to varying interpretations.

Job is accountable for all results, for final decisions on cases and preparation of final products and reports, which are reviewed for quality assurance purposes.

Job requires providing independent peer review of the work of colleagues or other experts in other government laboratories or the private sector.

Job requires providing testimony and opinion evidence at court as an expert scientific witness on behalf of the Centre. Job requires participation on provincial, national and international committees to further ministry objectives and to obtain cooperation for mutual benefit in scientific and technology development and transfer.

Job requires referring to manager problems and suggested solutions, e.g. any deviations from standard methods and protocols, health and safety risks, equipment and other resource needs. Job requires reporting to management as directed in relation to casework, research, laboratory operations, and support of clients and the justice system.

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