University Course Accreditation Scheme - The Society provides an accreditation system for academic institutions which deliver forensic science undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The Society's accreditation scheme is available both within the UK and overseas and we would welcome any enquiries in relation to this.
A number of universities in the UK currently hold the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences accreditation which meets the Society’s component standards which provide a quality endorsement of the courses offered.
More information on the Society's accreditation scheme can be obtained from contacting the Society offices on +44 (0)1423 506068 or email.
CRITERIA & STANDARDS
All accredited courses will need to meet the Interpretation, Evaluation & Presentation of Evidence (IEPE) Component Standard. This covers the essentials of a forensic course with specific standards for particular areas e.g. Digital.
Forensic and Crime Scene Sciences
The accreditation process focuses on the three essential elements of a forensic case, Crime Scene Investigation, Laboratory Analysis and Interpretation of the scene/laboratory results.
All three areas (including IEPE) will be assessed in general courses (i.e. BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation), although it is possible to be accredited for only two elements should the course be more focused (i.e. BSc (Hons) Forensic Biology may not contain crime scene components). This decision will be made by the Chair of the Accreditation Sub-Committee and the assessment team.
The accreditation process focuses on the three essential elements of a digital forensic case, which are Computer Network Evidence Recovery and Analysis and Digital Evidence Analysis, Recovery & Preservation and Interpretation of the information in a forensic context.
All three areas (including IEPE) will be assessed in specific digital/computer type courses (i.e. BSc (Hons) Digital Forensics), although it is possible to be accredited for only two of the standards, it is generally expected that accreditation will be against all 3.
This decision will be made by the Chair of the Accreditation Sub-Committee and the assessment team.
UNIVERSITY COURSE ACCREDITATION PROCESS
In the first instance, the university should make contact with the Chair of the Accreditation Sub-Committee by email email@example.com to briefly discuss the course. Alternatively, you can call the Society offices on +44 (0)1423 506 068 for general information.
The university is required to prepare an outline of the courses that are being presented for scrutiny and the component standards that are to be assessed. This document will enable the Society to determine the resources that will be required for the assessment and provide a pricing statement.
The Society needs to know how many courses are to be accredited, at what level (undergraduate or postgraduate) and the extent, if any, of overlap between those courses e.g. duplication of modules.
Preparing A Matrix
The university will then be required to prepare an in-depth matrix for each course showing how the component standards are met by the course material. The format of this is flexible, but typically consists of a Microsoft Excel document mapping the relevant module codes / titles to teach of the component standards and a copy of each of the module outlines/handbooks to allow for more detailed scrutiny.
Matrices templates and the application form can be obtained by clicking here. Alternatively please contact the Society Office.
An assessment panel consisting of a chair (professor), one academic and one practitioner will scrutinise the documents, inform the university of other documentation and materials they may wish to consult and then visit the university to assess the resources available.
Result of Assessment
The Chair of the Accreditation Sub-Committee will endeavour to communicate the decision of the assessment panel to the university as soon as practical and no later than 2 weeks after the next Society's Accreditation Sub-Committee meeting.
The university courses that receive accreditation will be reviewed on an annual basis by an assessor.
For more information on university course accreditation, contact the Chair of the Accreditation Sub-Committee on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Guide for Course Providers and copies of all the Component Standards can be accessed below:
Guide for Course Providers
Click here for a list of accredited university courses