The Society has main roles, which can be divided into four main areas, as shown below.
Qualifications and Academia
Qualifications and academia refers to activities that encourage education and learning within a forensic arena. Currently we coordinate a scheme by which university courses containing forensic information can become accredited. MSc students studying forensic based degrees may also be eligible for the MSc student prize. Finally, we provide the mechanism by which practitioners in specified areas of forensic investigation can study for a professional qualification, known as a Society professional diploma. Individuals are required to have three to five years experience in the field before they can be accepted onto the course.
In addition to the professional diplomas mentioned above, the Society offers various professional development opportunities for individuals working in the field and those possessing an interest in forensic science. These include convening Society conferences and investigating and advertising other conferences that may be of interest to the Society. These conferences provide an excellent arena for communication and collaboration with fellow practitioners, academics and students, in addition to the development of knowledge and understanding through the high quality presentations. We also publish a peer reviewed journal (Science and Justice) dedicated to forensic science, which contains high quality cutting edge articles, editorials and meeting reports and a newsletter (INTERfaces) for the circulation of general forensic articles. Finally the Society is in constant communication with external organisations, such as the Forensic Regulator and Skills for Justice in order to aid the development of best practice guidelines.
The Society is an independent organisation, which is not linked to any particular forensic provider. We aim to contribute to initiatives that are aimed to improve quality in forensic science and fully support the recruitment of the Forensic Science Regulator by the Home Office ensuring the quality of practitioners. The Society have taken the lead in 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 over 2000 members, coming from over 60 different countries. We are an international society and welcome members from all areas of the world. We work in collaboration with other international forensic societies, such as the California Association of Criminalists and often provide joint conferences and conferences abroad. In addition, our publications are circulated around the world, particularly Science and Justice and the new Wiley forensic book series. We are a dynamic, forward-looking society, which provides a forensic voice, not only in the UK, but internationally.