CFS 2015 Client Satisfaction Survey Report

Centre of Forensic Sciences

2015 CFS Client Satisfaction Survey Report

  1. Introduction

The Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) provides independent scientific laboratory services to support the administration of justice and public safety programs across the province.  The clients of the CFS include law enforcement officers, crown attorneys, defence counsel, coroners, pathologists and other official investigative agencies.  Forensic science services include the provision of analytical test reports in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Documents, Firearms, and Toxicology.

The CFS has measured client satisfaction on an annual basis since 2000. Client satisfaction measures are used by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) to assess CFS performance. Obtaining feedback from clients is also a requirement of the accreditation standards that CFS adheres to. 

  1. Executive Summary

The annual CFS Client Survey is used to evaluate the performance of the CFS against the organisational commitment to provide high quality forensic laboratory services in support of the administration of justice and public safety programs for the citizens of Ontario.

In 2015, 2,284 invitations to complete the survey were successfully delivered and 563 responses were received (25% response rate).  This rate is unchanged from 2014 and 2015 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1: Response rate 2006-2015 2006: 41% 2007: 29% 2008: 32% 2009: 23% 2010: 24% 2011: 33% 2012: 31% 2013: 29% 2014: 25% 2015: 25%

Respondents to the 2015 survey (see Figure 2) are considered to be representative of the CFS client base, based on evidence submissions.  The police interact most frequently with the organisation and as such, they were the largest client group surveyed and provided the highest number of responses to the survey.

Figure 2

Figure 2: 2015 Percent breakdown of Respondents (total respondents 563) Police Officers: 81% Crown attorneys: 9% Coroners: 4% Fire investigators: 2% Defense attorneys: 2% Conservation officers: 1% Pathologists: 1%

Client satisfaction is one of the performance measures that the CFS reports to the Ministry each year through the Program Review, Renewal and Transformation (PRRT) process.  Client satisfaction increased from 89.7% in 2014 to 91% in 2015.

The CFS sets a target of 87% client satisfaction and this target has been exceeded since 2007.  Figure 3 shows the overall client satisfaction for the years 2007 to 2015.

Figure 3

Figure 3: Client satisfaction with overall quality of service 2007-2015 (% satisfied or very satisfied) 2007: 87.4% 2008: 88.4% 2009: 89.3% 2010: 88.4% 2011: 92.7% 2012: 91.2% 2013: 89.7% 2014: 89.7% 2015: 91.0%


The following are some key highlights from the 2015 survey:

  • Report turn around time (TAT) continues to be of high importance to clients.  The average TAT for 2015 was 34 days and 85.6% of survey respondents agreed that the TAT met their needs. 
  • Of the 563 survey responses received, 178 included individual comments (31%).  The CFS evaluates specific comments in light of current services or upcoming initiatives. The CFS hopes to see a continued positive response rate for this element of the survey as it is an opportunity for clients to provide input on issues of importance to them.    
  • 108 comments were about what clients liked and 70 comments were about areas requiring improvement.

Tables 1 and 2 list the top 3 categories in both the Liked and Requires Improvement comments.

Table 1: “Liked” Categories

Table 1


% Response 2015

1. Professionalism, responsiveness and availability of staff


2. Overall lab experience


3. TAT


Table 2: “Requires Improvement” Categories

Table 2


% Response 2015

1. TAT


2. Submission Process


3. Ease of understanding reported results


Looking Ahead – CFS Actions and Responses

The CFS is proactively addressing the 2015 top three areas identified as requiring improvement:

  1. Reduction in report TAT

Continued evaluation of incoming evidence in order to prevent unnecessary analyses, streamlining the analytical processes, and implementing new technologies and laboratory management systems are actions underway that will support efficient report TAT.

  1. Evidence submission process

Implementation of the new online case submission system in early 2017 will focus on reducing the time required for case intake with the objective of reducing the turnaround time for this process.  Clients will benefit from a more efficient and effective submission service, where only those items which have been pre-approved for acceptance are delivered to the laboratory.

  1. Understandable reports

CFS will review the format and content of reports, in consultation with clients, to ensure results and conclusions are both scientifically accurate and understandable.