Ensuring Competent Performance in Forensic Practice: Recovery, Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ensuring Competent Performance in Forensic Practice

Recovery, Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting, 1st Edition

By Keith Hadley, Michael J. Fereday

CRC Press

256 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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The Need for Professional Competence

For all the attention given to the forensic sciences in the media and the law, there is a glaring deficiency in the promotion of standards of competence. In the midst of fascinating scientific advances in the field, forensic science still suffers embarrassments from highly publicized scientific controversies and shoddy or fraudulent practices. The enactment of the Daubert ruling, which questions the qualification of a scientific “expert”, demonstrates the courts’ attempt to regulate a profession that ought to be self-regulating.  Libraries of books on technique can do nothing to promote forensic science without common governing standards of practice that ensures professional competence.

Common Ground

The first book of its kind, Ensuring Competent Performance in Forensic Practice: Recovery, Analysis, Interpretation, and Reporting promotes a common understanding of competence and demonstrates the application of standards and practice in all aspects of forensic science. Authors Fereday and Hadley, esteemed forensic scientists with forty and fifty years experience respectively, address the method and benefit of establishing occupational standards for collection of evidence, interpretation of scientific analysis, and appropriate methods of testimony.

Training and Assessment

The authors stress the standardization of proper training and testing procedures to ensure that every scientist employed in public and private practice has the credentials they require. They give clear guidelines for effective training programs based on occupational standards that support the development of competent practitioners. The book examines the importance of workplace assessments of competence against occupational standards and emphasizes the role and quality of those involved in the assessment process. The authors include several case studies demonstrating competence in practice and the methods to ensure consistent high standards in the future.


“… put a lot of information into a workable format for many forensic users…gave me a lot to think about. … well written and informative; I will recommend to our membership in AFQAM.”

— Jana Champion, Director. Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory, and President, Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers

Table of Contents

Defining Forensic Science

Personal Accountability


Key Roles in the Forensic Process




Some History

National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications

National and Scottish Vocational Qualifications: levels

Assessment of Workplace Performance against the Standards


Generic Standards


Use of Standards


Using the Standards as a Basis for Training and Learning Programs

Summary of Units and Elements of Competence for the Professional Standards of Competence in Forensic Science

Unit 2: Examine Items and Samples

A Generic Training Program for Forensic Scientists Derived from the Professional Standards of Competence

Translating the Generic to the Specific

Using the Standards as a Basis for the Continual Assessment

of Competent Forensic Practice

Using the Standards as a Basis for Qualifications

Using the Standards as a Basis for Certification or Accreditation


Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners (CRFP)


Why a Register?

Recent Developments

Role of the CRFP

How is Registration Achieved?

A Suggested Model for the Development of Registration

Assessments using National Occupational Standards


Skills for Justice

A Training Strategy

Appendix 1: Occupational Mapping Study for the Forensic.

Science Sector, DG Associates

Appendix 2: Recovery of Material of Evidential Value—Laboratory Based

Appendix 3: Seventy-Eight Uses of Occupational Standards

Appendix 4: Professional Standards of Competence (National

Occupational Standards in Forensic Science), Science Technology and Mathematics Council

Appendix 5: Competency Assessment

Appendix 6: Functional Map for Forensic Science

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science