Job Specification

Position Title:
Job Code:
16063 - Technologist 2, Medical Lab
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To conduct forensic toxicology testing and examinations of a variety of case-related items and samples in support of criminal and other investigations; to maintain and troubleshoot assigned laboratory instruments and equipment to ensure their effective operation, use, and repair and to provide related training and expertise in their use; to participate in forensic research as directed.

Duties / Responsibilities :

Job requires:

1. Conducting forensic toxicology testing and examinations of a variety of case-related items and samples (e.g. bodily fluids, tissue, blood) for qualitative identification and comparisons, and quantitative or semi-quantitative measurements of various analytes, components, or attributes by applying scientific techniques and utilizing sample processing and preparation systems and advanced analytical instrumentation. This will entail testing and examination using a range of analytical equipment and techniques involving gas and liquid chromatography, immunoanalysis, spectroscopy, and ancillary laboratory instrumentation.

2. Ensuring continuity and integrity of each item within established CFS policies and standard operating procedures; documenting and processing incoming and outgoing case-related items, materials, information, and documents.

3. Generating and collecting test results, analyzing preliminary findings, and applying quality assurance processes to confirm findings, ensure reliability and validity of results and ensure results conform to standards and procedures prior to providing observations, data findings, and detailed notes of observations of tests for interpretation and reporting by forensic scientists, or other authorized laboratory personnel as required. Ensuring quality and accuracy of test results through continued participation in proficiency tests and conforming to accreditation requirements.

4. Setting up, operating, maintaining, calibrating and validating assigned instrumentation and equipment to ensure effective operations and production of accurate and reliable results; installing new hardware; developing and maintaining the proficiency necessary to use computer application for instrument control, handling of items and samples, and data manipulation, storage and retrieval; drafting testing, validation, and operational procedures for new equipment; providing training to scientists, students and colleagues in the operation of assigned equipment; troubleshooting and performing repairs on equipment and arranging for service.

5. Maintaining the laboratorys inventory of supplies and purchasing supplies and equipment up to authorized limit; providing technical input to the preparation of specifications for the acquisition of major equipment.

6. Participating in validation of new instrumentation, development and validation of methods and improvements to existing methods and processes, and other in-house research in various aspects of forensic science and laboratory methodology as directed.

7. Providing testimony in a court of law, when required, regarding laboratory procedures, methods and protocols followed in the conduct of tests.

Staffing and Licencing :


Knowledge :

Job requires knowledge of:

1. Laboratory practices and techniques and scientific theories in such disciplines as chemistry, pharmacology, biology, bio-chemistry and their application to forensic toxicology to conduct the testing of a variety of forensic case exhibits and samples; knowledge and experience with laboratory instrumentation and techniques (e.g., gas and liquid chromatography, immunoanalysis, spectroscopy) used for the analysis and testing for the presence of drugs and toxins in a range of biological and nonbiological matrices.
2. Evidence handling procedures to ensure the preservation evidence in order to meet evidence requirements (e.g. continuity, chain of custody) of the courts of law of Ontario and accreditation protocols.
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. WHMIS, Occupational Health and Safety) to ensure compliance.
7. The Ontario justice system and rules governing giving evidence in order to in order to testify in court on matters related to laboratory procedures, protocols and continuity.
8. Leading edge and emerging technology in the field and the operations and capabilities of scientifically advanced testing instruments and hardware/software equipment, to set up, operate, maintain, calibrate and validate assigned instrumentation; install hardware; write and edit macros and draft validating operational procedures.

Skills :

Job requires:

1. Analytical reasoning skills to: consider available procedures and to determine optimal methods of testing materials by referring to procedural manuals and related literature or by discussing with scientific staff; analyze preliminary results of laboratory tests of forensic evidence and to conduct quality assurance processes to confirm findings, ensure reliability and validity of results and ensure results conform to standards and procedures; and, identify and resolve issues or problems related to samples or instruments, (e.g. when a test result may be erroneous, inadequate or un-interpretable) and ensure appropriate logical interpretable scientific conclusions are arrived at to assist scientists in assessment of a case.
2. Skills to recognize, troubleshoot and rectify instrumental problems by assessing performance and doing required maintenance, or making recommendations about external repairs.
3. 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.
4. Manual dexterity to manipulate sensitive instruments and samples with precision. Requirement to pass colour blindness testing.
5. Time management skills necessary to ensure efficient work flow of assigned tasks.
6. Interpersonal skills necessary to work in a team environment, and on a one-on-one relationship with others.
7. Written communication skills to: prepare data findings and detailed notes of observations and tests; draft analytical procedures; and, assist in the publication of research.
8. Oral communication skills to: discuss with scientific staff and manager detailed test findings and observations, and interpretation of test results which will form the basis of the case reports and testimony in court; demonstrate operation, and provide training on the use, of analytical instrumentation; and, provide testimony in a court of law, when required, regarding laboratory procedures, methods and protocols followed in the conduct of tests.
9. Research skills to participate in internal research of new instrumentation, validation of methods and improvements to existing methods and processes.

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.

This job requires freedom in organizing ones own work to meet established case priorities, and in determining what types of techniques and analytical instrumentation to use to achieve results. Job requires working independently under the general supervision of the case scientist who reviews work for progress and results.

Job requires making recommendations to managerial or scientific staff on difficult or unusual test procedures or results; 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.

The incumbent in this job may be the technical person responsible for an assigned instrument or system and is expected to ensure it is maintained and fully operational. It is the responsibility of the incumbent to ensure all test results are properly checked to ensure conformity with the CFS quality assurance program.

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