The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences is an internationally recognised professional body with almost 3000 members in over 60 countries.
It was originally founded as the Forensic Science Societyback in 1959. Some 50 years later it now boasts a world-wide membership and is internationally recognised as theprofessional body for forensic practice. The Society’spa- tron, The Hon Mr Justice Sweeney, is a High CourtJudge who has a wealth of experience in cases involvingscientific issues.
In 2004, the Society became a professional body and thevoice for forensic practitioners both in the UK and abroad.It was in 2014 that the Society was granted a Royal Charter and became The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. It is a registered charity, not for profit, whose structureis clearly laid out in the Charter and Bye laws.
The Chartered body is committed to integrity and impartiality. It aims to provide opportunities for practition- ers,academics and interested parties to congregate, com- municate and collaborate and is committed to providing opportunities for professional development.
Aims and Objectives of the Society:
Promotes & develops regulation in forensic science& practice:
• Continue to set high professional standards for forensicscience and its practitioners.
• Engage with the Forensic Science Regulator and otherrelevant stakeholders.
• Pursue mandatory membership for forensic sciencepractitioners across a wide range of forensic disciplines
• Continuingly increase its membership generally and inparticular to include all forensic practitioners in the BritishIsles.
• Maintain appropriate panels of assessors.
• Liaise with the key professional organisations in Europeand throughout the world.
Provides opportunities for education, training & development for forensic practitioners.
• Provide a scheme of continuing professional development(CPD) for members, in partnership with other bodies.
• Encourage, and advise, on careers and professionaldevelopment.
• Provide the assessment and accreditation of qualificationsand training programs.
• Create and maintain training links with universities andother key stakeholders.
• Continue to hold professional conferences, training eventsand networking opportunities.
Supports and encourages research & development inthe forensic sciences:
• Have links to appropriate bodies including Home OfficeScience Committee, Forensic Science Regulator, UKASand other relevant regulatory bodies.
• Consider and promulgate information as to required research.
• Provide assistance in the development of forensic sciencein particular by encouraging casework good practicethrough targeted events.
• Support validation of techniques and methods by encouraging the publication of research papers through conferences.
• As a 'not for profit' organisation all of the money earnedby or donated to the Society is used in pursuing the organ-isation's objectives.
Key Roles of the Society:
Qualifications and Academia: Qualifications and academiarefers to activities that encourage education and learningwithin a forensic arena. Currently we coordinate a schemeby which university courses containing forensic informa-tion can become accredited. Graduates from these coursesmay become Associate Members, this is seen as the first stepon the ladder to working towards Professional Membersand where appropriate to work towards becoming aChartered Forensic Practioner status
MSc students studying forensic based degrees may also beeligible for the MSc student prize. Finally, we provide themechanism by which practitioners in specified areas offorensic investigation can study for certificates of profes-sional practice in their respective discipline.
Professional Development: The Society offers a wide rangeof professional development opportunities for individualsworking in the field. We run regular conferences aroundthe country and also partner with others that may be of in-terest to the Society. These events provide an excellentarena for communication collaboration and networkingwith fel- low practitioners, academics and students. It alsogives you the chance to development your knowledge andunder- standing through the high calibre presentations. Wepub- lish a peer reviewed journal (Science and Justice) dedicated to forensic science 6 times a year, which contains highqual- ity cutting edge articles, editorials and meeting reports; CSEye, a quarterly e-magazine aimed at practionersand a quarterly newsletter (Interfaces) for the circulation ofnews from the Society and its members presented in a morein- formal way.
Promoting professionalism: The Society is an independentorganisation, which is not linked to any particular forensicprovider. We aim to contribute to initiatives that are aimedto improve quality in forensic science and fully support theForensic Science Regulator. The Society has taken the leadin ensuring quality in education, particularly university degree courses containing a forensic element and we have developed a robust accreditation scheme for such courses.These measures all contribute to an overall aim of promoting ethical practice.
International forensic voice: The Society has nearly 3000members, coming from over 60 different countries. We arean international society and welcome members from allareas of the world. We work in collaboration with other in-ternational forensic societies, such as the California Associ-ation of Criminalists and the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) and provide joint con- ferences and conferences abroad. In addition, our publica-tions are circulated around the world, particularly Scienceand Justice. We are a dynamic, forward-looking society,which provides a foren- sic voice, not only in the UK, butinternationally.
April Robson -Training Manager
I am absolutely delighted to be in post as Training Manager for the CSFS. I also feel extremely lucky to have joinedat such an exciting and busy time with the develop- ment ofthe new GQMS for SME’s and Sole traders and the training opportunities it will present to the society when morepractitioners and organisations recognise their need to comply. This will continue to help maintain the quality stan-dards within the forensic sector.
I have 28 years’ experience as both practitioner and trainer,working for the FSS (Wetherby), Forensic Alliance (LGCForensics), Forensic Access Ltd and Axiom InternationalLtd. I have vast experience in effectively developing, deliv-ering and managing new training programmes to meet theindividual needs of the customer.
With the ever changing world, it is recognised that peoplewant access to training at a time to suit them, so E-learning is the future. The virtual learning environment is relativelynew but an obvious developing area so we will be consid-ering this very carefully going forward. To help fully understand exactly what our members require, we have puttogether a short survey to collate feedback and will subse-quently develop appropriate online training sessions andprogrammes accordingly.
Chartered Forensic Practitioner Status ChFP
CSFS is delighted to announce the launch of a pilot schemefor the award of Chartered Forensic Practitioner status.We are developing this new award which is open toboth Pro- fessional and Fellow members aimed at demonstrating forensic practitioner expertise to be recognisedInternationally.
In the fullness of time, we believe all forensic practitionersshould aim to gain Chartered Status, which will be our in-dustry standard.
So who can apply?
A Professional member, (MCSFS or FCSFS), with relevantindustry experience, who as a practitioner has been certifiedcompetent as an Expert Witness. Applicants can either havedemonstrated competence via the CSFS CPC scheme orthrough their own organisation. They should be able todemonstrate attendance at a suitable expert witness trainingprogramme. For those requiring such training, this will beavailable separately, delivered by CSFS.
What is the process?
In line with other Chartered bodies, the applicant will be required to demonstrate technical ability (as an Expert Wit-ness) and Professional awareness. This will involve two separate panel interviews.
We will be initially taking 6 eligible members through thepilot scheme with the intention to award successful appli-cants at our annual dinner in November 2018. Thereafter,the scheme will be open to all other eligible practitioners. We hope you agree that the CSFS has a huge amount ofpotential to progress this training role and continue to helpthe forensic sector. As the professional body representingForensic Sciences worldwide, we have the skills and knowl-edge to provide the industry with robust, fit for purposetraining programmes to test both knowledge and compe-tence to practice.