Government of Ontario

CFS - Biology - DNA - High Volume Service

Centre of Forensic Sciences

Technical Information Sheets


DNA High Volume Service - PDF, 52 kb


The following Primary or Secondary Designated Offences (as per Section 487.04 of the Criminal Code of Canada) are only accepted into the CFS DNA HVS:

  • 348(1)(d) Breaking and entering a dwelling house
  • ALL Listed and Generic Secondary Offences EXCEPT for:

The following Listed and Generic Secondary exceptions are to be submitted into the CFS DNA Violent Crime Service (VCS) line:

  • 98.1 Robbery to steal firearm
  • 173(1) Indecent Acts
  • 266 Assault
  • 270 Assaulting a peace officer
  • 159(1) Anal Intercourse
  • 160(1) Bestiality
  • 162 Voyeurism
  • 280 Abduction of person under 16
  • 281 Abduction of person under 14
  • 282 Abduction in contravention of custody order
  • 283 Abduction
  • All traffic offences that involve direct impact to a person by a vehicle resulting in injury or death

Client process
Case Acceptance Criteria:

Refer to the National DNA Databank (NDDB) website (Designated Offences List) and section 487.04 of the Criminal Code of Canada to determine if the case under investigation should be submitted to the DNA HVS.

The item will be accepted for analysis provided the Crime Scene Index requirements of the DNA Identification Act (1998, c. 37) are met.

The item can only be submitted for analysis if there is a reasonable expectation that DNA was deposited by the perpetrator during the commission of a designated offence.

Requirement: The following must be documented on the CFS submission form:

  • Confirmation (as per check box provided) that the case qualifies as a DNA designated offence at the time of submission.
  • How the item is potentially related to the commission of the designated offence.
  • The location from where the item was collected e.g. the point of entry; inside a stolen vehicle; inside the structure/grounds of a commercial or residential building.
Client process
Item Acceptance Criteria:
  • Collection instructions are outlined in the DNA HVS Guide.
  • Only cigarette butts, envelope flaps and swabs are accepted. Acceptance of swabs is restricted to swabs of possible:
  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Drink containers (must be used/opened)
  • Food and utensils (food must be partially eaten)
  • Airbags
  • Other (e.g. drug pipes, “spit”)
  • ”Wearer” DNA
  • Headwear/masks
  • Gloves
  • Personal effects: Limited to eyewear, watches and earbuds
  • ”Handler” DNA
  • Weapons: Limited to guns and knives
  • Tool grips/handles
  • The following are examples of item types that will NOT be accepted:
  • Swab of vehicle steering wheel/gear stick
  • Swab of door handle
  • Swab from clothing
Case Submission Criteria:
  • For qualifying offences, the following are accepted:
  • Up to nine items per submission.
  • Only one swab of suspected blood per scene.
  • Comparison samples from all persons of interest, suspects and accused persons.
  • Consultation with HVS Unit is required for:
  • A submission of 10 or more items.
  • All supplemental submissions, excepting comparison samples.
  • Offences that will, or may, require testing by multiple scientific sections (e.g. the Biology and Chemistry Sections).
  • Items should be packaged as follows:
  • All wet swabs should be air dried prior to packaging. Failure to do so will reduce the ability to obtain a DNA result.
  • Package one item per container. Attach a numbered seal to each container or to the outer container if multiple items are submitted.

Exceptions to the standard HVS, as outlined above, require pre-consultation with the HVS Unit.

Submissions that do not meet both the DNA HVS case and item acceptance criteria will be returned to the submitting agency.

National DNA Databank Criteria:

  • As per the DNA Identification Act (1998, c.37):

The crime scene index shall contain DNA profiles derived from bodily substances that are found:

  1. at any place where a designated offence was committed;
  2. on or within the body of the victim of a designated offence;
  3. on anything worn or carried by the victim at the time when a designated offence was committed; or
  4. on or within the body of any person or thing or at any place associated with the commission of a designated offence.
  • It is the responsibility of the police agency to request that the laboratory remove any DNA profiles from the National DNA Databank that do not qualify for upload as a designated offence (as per Section 487.04 of the Criminal Code of Canada).
Biology Section process
  • The DNA High Volume Service is an optimised, high throughput, automated service. The Service targets only those item types which have demonstrated a reasonable scientific expectation of success using current high throughput DNA technologies.
  • When applicable, blood detection is the only body fluid test performed as part of the HVS. If the identification of a body fluid may be critical to an investigation the client should consult with the HVS Unit prior to submission.
  • A client submission receipt will be returned to the submitter once the case/item is logged into the CFS Centre Receiving Office.
  • The following will be routinely discarded on completion of testing:
  • remainder of cigarette butt
  • remainder of portion of envelope flap
  • remainder of swab stick
  • any “possible blood” swab that tests negative for blood
  • original packaging
  • Original packaging and/or any remaining item will only be retained in the following circumstances:
  • when, upon receipt at CFS, it is determined that the integrity of the packaging has been compromised e.g. damage during transit.
  • when, upon receipt at CFS, contamination is observed on the outer packaging or on the inner item.
  • Continuity will be documented using the CFS Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).
  • Extracted DNA from crime scene samples will be retained in storage at the CFS.
  • As the DNA HVS is an automated high throughput system employing optimised parameters, the service does not include repeat analysis of the same item.
  • DNA analysis is only performed on samples that meet a DNA HVS quantitation threshold. Where applicable, the wording in reports will reflect when the amount of DNA detected failed to meet the DNA HVS quantitation threshold.
  • The DNA HVS does not include interpretation of complex mixtures.
  • Results will be reported to the police agency DNA Coordinator using a standardized letter format.
  • The DNA HVS letter issued to the agency DNA Coordinator will indicate:
  • If blood was detected (when applicable)
  • If the DNA result is suitable for comparison
  • Whether or not the DNA profile was uploaded to the Local or National DNA Databank and the date of upload, if applicable
  • If an interpreted single source DNA profile is from a male or a female
  • The reason why a DNA result was not obtained
  • The DNA HVS letter will code the item submission as per the following table:

DNA HVS Letter Codes
DNA HVS codeDescription
ABSairbag swab
BLSPossible blood swab
CBCigarette butt
DCSDrinks container swab
ENVPortion of envelope flap
FDSFood or food utensil swab
GVSGlove swab
HWSHeadwear swab
PESPersonal effects swabs: Limited to eyewear, watches and earbuds
SASPossible saliva/spittle swab
TLSTool grip/handle swabs
WPSWeapon swab
OTHAll other items require pre-consultation with HVS Unit
  • The DNA HVS letter will include internet hyperlinks to the following Information Sheets on the CFS website:
  • The CFS turnaround target for offences processed using the DNA HVS is 90 days. Priority analyses are not offered through the DNA HVS.

For clarification contact the DNA HVS Unit at 647 329-1601 or email at