» Forensic Cell Site Analysis

Cell Site Update April 2020

UKAS is continuing to develop accreditation for Cell Site Analysis. A pilot assessment programme was started in 2016 with a number of assessments undertaken. Since the original applications a number of the participants withdrew from the pilot and an issue was identified relating to the lack of groundtruth data (access to controlled CDRs) used in the validation. The pilot programme subsequently stalled. More recently, a mechanism has been established to gain access to controlled call data records from the network providers and the Forensic Science Regulator is keen for the pilot to be restarted.

UKAS invited new expressions of interest in April 2019 to participate in a new pilot assessment programme. The scope of the pilot will cover surveying and the evaluation and interpretation of cell site data.

The Forensic Science Regulator Office has obtained test call data and generated a number of scenarios which can be used by cell site organisation to support their validation. The FSR office finalized the scenarios and data in late February. However, due to the lockdown restrictions due to COVID 19 the FSR office has not released the dataset. The FSR Office has been discussing the issue of timing for this work and the current plan is to make the CDRs and scenarios available when the lockdown has finished, with a three month period from then for the work to be completed.

Once the validation exercise has been completed, a new set of timelines for the pilot will be agreed and organisation will be able to apply to participate in the pilot programme to gain accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025

Call for Expression of Interest for the Relaunch of the Cell Site Analysis Pilot – 2nd April 2019


June 2016

UKAS is developing an assessment approach for the accreditation of Cell Site Analysis (CSA) at the request of the Forensic Science Regulator (FSR). Accreditation is planned to be progressed using the international standard ISO/IEC 17025 – General requirements for the competency of testing and calibration laboratories. The technical assessment of the CSA activities will also take into consideration the requirements of the Forensic Science Regulators Appendix – Digital Forensic Cell Site Analysis (FSR-C-135 – published June 2016).

UKAS invited expressions of interest from UK based bodies who undertake Cell Site Analysis (including surveying activities), to participate in a pilot assessment programme in June 2016. A number of organisations signed up to the pilot with the following progressing through the first part of the project :

  • Metropolitan Police

It has been agreed with the Forensic Science Regulator that the scope of the Cell Site pilot will now focus on the surveying activities and a separate project will be established at a later date to cover the analysis and interpretation of Cell Site data. It is anticipated that current pilot activities (surveying) of the development project will run until early/mid 2018.

Further information on this new area of accreditation can be found in the paper ISO/17025 Accreditation for Cell Site Analysis - An overview

Further information on the pilot assessment programme can be obtained from David Compton David.Compton@ukas.com