|All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.|
|SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY|
|National Certificate: Forensic Biology|
|SAQA QUAL ID||QUALIFICATION TITLE|
|57977||National Certificate: Forensic Biology|
|SGB Forensic Science|
|PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY||NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK|
|SAS SETA - Safety and Security SETA||OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework|
|National Certificate||Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security||Safety in Society|
|ABET BAND||MINIMUM CREDITS||PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL||NQF LEVEL||QUAL CLASS|
|Undefined||121||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||Regular-Unit Stds Based|
|REGISTRATION STATUS||SAQA DECISION NUMBER||REGISTRATION START DATE||REGISTRATION END DATE|
|LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT||LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT|
|In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.|
This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification.
|PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION|
This qualification will formalize a learning pathway in the field of forensic biology, and will assist in setting the standard of competence required for entrance into this professional field.
Moreover, it will allow other professions that are linked to forensic science the opportunity to obtain knowledge of this specific field and its multiple sub-fields. The qualification will be a vehicle of transformation within the forensic biology sector.
Qualifying learners will be equipped with the underpinning detailed knowledge in forensic science required to examine forensic exhibit material. This will support the learner to understand the principles required for performing forensic examinations and analyses. They will be able to specialise in fields of forensic science such as performing DNA analyses or entomology or forensic anthropology or hair comparisons. The learners will be equipped to explain findings contested which are based on the underlying principles used in forensic molecular biology.
Qualified learners will be able to apply their skills in a forensic science laboratory in either the public or private sectors. The qualified learner will be able to work as a forensic examiner and operate within a laboratory to analyse forensic evidence in order to determine its evidential value for a specific case. Qualified learners will be able to present specialised forensic evidence in support of the expert evidence in a court of law. The principles of forensic science can be applied to the field of law enforcement. In the private and public sectors qualified learners will be able to deliver efficient forensic services by implementing good business practice. Learners accredited with this qualification will also be able to identify, investigate, analyse, justify and implement solutions for problems that traverse the different specialised fields within forensic science.
Qualifying learners will be able to:
In addition to the above a learner will be able to specialize in one of the following three learning areas:
The challenges of safety in society are multi-levelled and complex, especially in the forensic scientific arena. Forensic science plays an important role in the South African judicial system and therefore has to be developed to its full potential. It has to fulfill its role as a specialized field within the physical sciences and its role within the law enforcement service. However, it is in its role as a scientific instrument to serve the judiciary that forensic science has much to offer South Africa.
The sector of forensic science requires skilled persons to deliver on the increasing demand for competencies within this sector. The forensic science sector is a diverse sector with many areas of specialization. This qualification addresses the demand within the specialization area of forensic biology. Forensic biology is used primarily within the field of law enforcement and also within certain health related environments. The sector demands highly skilled and knowledgeable persons who have extensive knowledge of biology as used within forensic examinations. This theoretical knowledge must be applied within the practical field of forensic science.
Physical evidence collection is of the utmost importance and has an influence on judicial and legal processes. In the field of forensic biology forensic, examiners are required to examine exhibit material and make findings for the judicial process. Biological evidence may exonerate a person thought to be involved in a scene or may place them as being present. This qualification will enable learners to work and function within the forensic biological environment.
A national objective is to develop a competent professional group of personnel to perform forensic science examinations and make findings which will assist the courts of law to exonerate the innocent or successfully prosecute the guilty. The qualification will allow the forensic science fraternity to provide a more effective service that will improve community satisfaction and position them to fulfil their mission of creating a safe and service environment for all who live in South Africa.
|LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING|
Recognition of Prior Learning:
This qualification may be obtained through the Recognition of Prior Learning. This qualification may therefore be achieved in part or completely through the Recognition of Prior Learning, which includes formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience.
Learners who have met the requirements of any unit standard in this Qualification may be assessed against the assessment criteria and specific outcomes for the relevant unit standard/s. Evidence for Recognition of Prior Learning can be presented in various ways, including international and/or previous local qualifications, products, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.
Access to the qualification:
FETC at NQF Level 4 or equivalent.
It is preferable that the learner has completed the National Certificate: Forensic Science at NQF Level 5 or a BSc in Molecular Biology.
Learners with certain physical disabilities, such as colour blindness, may not be able to successfully complete this qualification, because some of the forensic science techniques require the learner to make distinctions between different colours.
|RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING?|
Blood spatter patterns specialization:
> 243245: "Evaluate bloodstain pattern evidence", Level 6, 5 Credits.
> 243243: "Justify the quality of collected bloodstain pattern evidence", Level 6, 10 Credits.
> 243257: "Reconstruct events using bloodstain pattern analysis", Level 7, 10 Credits.
> 243246: "Perform blood spatter pattern analysis", Level 6, 5 Credits.
Facial reconstruction specialization:
> 243250: "Perform facial reconstructions", Level 6, 15 Credits.
> 243254: "Perform forensic anthropology examinations", Level 6, 15 Credits.
> 243258: "Perform forensic art", Level 6, 10 Credits.
Forensic Entomology specialization:
> 243248: "Apply entomological principles in forensic investigations", Level 6, 10 Credits.
> 243247: "Perform forensic microscopic identification and individualisation of hair", Level 6, 20 Credits.
> 243255: "Demonstrate knowledge of forensic DNA typing", Level 6, 10 Credits.
> 243256: "Isolate DNA", Level 6, 10 Credits.
> 243249: "Quantify DNA Isolates", Level 6, 15 Credits.
> 243244: "Amplify DNA with the polymerase chain reaction", Level 6, 10 Credits.
> 243259: "Separate DNA fragments", Level 6, 13 Credits.
and one of the following:
> 243251: "Evaluate quality of DNA data", Level 6, 5 Credits.
> 243252: "Interpret DNA results from a statistical perspective", Level 6, 10 Credits.
|EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES|
|1. Apply current legislation, regulations, standards and ethics in performing forensic biological examinations.
2. Apply scientific principles in forensic biological examinations.
3. Gather, preserve and present evidence and information in support of forensic biological examinations.
4. Perform forensic biological examination on exhibit material.
Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
|ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA|
> Range: Standards refer to the current SA National Accreditation System standards.
The applied competence (practical, foundational and reflective) of this qualification will be achieved if a learner is able to achieve all exit level outcomes of the qualification. The identification and solving of known problems, team work, organising self, using of data, implication of actions and reactions in the world as a set of related systems must be assessed during any combination of practical, foundational and reflective competencies assessment methods and tools to determine the individual development and integration of applied knowledge and skills.
Certain exit level outcomes are measurable and verifiable through assessment criteria assessed in a single assessment. Applicable assessment tool(s) to establish the foundational, reflective and embedded knowledge to problem solving and application of the world as a set of related systems within the Policing environment. Competence will be assessed when conducting formative and summative assessment.
The assessment criteria for formative assessment are described in the various unit standards. Formative assessment takes place during the process of learning and assessors should use a range of assessment methods and tools that support each other to assess total competence.
The assessment methods and/or tools used by the assessor must be fair in a sense that they do not hinder or advantage the learner, valid in a sense that they measure what they intend to measure, reliable in a sense that they are consistent and delivers the same output across a range of learners and practical in a sense that they take into account the available financial resources, facilities, equipment and time.
Summative assessment and terminal assessment are carried out at the end of the learning programme to assess the achievement of the learner. A detailed portfolio of evidence is required to prove the practical, applied and foundational competencies of the learner.
|This qualification was compared to courses presented in Europe, North America, South America and Africa on the basis of their content and the respective aspects or fields addressed. Currently Europe and North America are regarded as the leaders within the field of forensic biology. A comparison was also done with developing continents such as Africa and South America.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Report:
The NIJ published a report that embodies the best practice, entitled "Education and Training in Forensic Science: A Guide for Forensic Science.
Laboratories, Educational Institutions, and Students", in June 2004. The Technical Working Group for Education and Training in Forensic Science consisted of forty eight (48) representatives of "forensic science educators, laboratory directors, forensic science trainers, education professionals, prosecutors, and defence attorneys" from the United States.
The Technical Working Group identified the following professional skills as "essential to an individual's effectiveness as a forensic science professional": critical thinking (quantitative reasoning and problem solving), decision making, good laboratory practices, awareness of laboratory safety, observation and attention to detail, computer proficiency, interpersonal skills, public speaking, oral and written communication, time management and prioritisation of tasks. In addition the following knowledge, skills and abilities were deemed as essential for pre-employment preparation: quality assurance; ethics; professional standards of behaviour; evidence control; report writing; scientific method, inductive and deductive reasoning; statistics, and safety.
The following core elements were identified for a forensic science curriculum: introduction to law/justice system, ethics/professional practice, forensic science specialty overview, evidence identification, collection, and processing, quality assurance, courtroom testimony, technical or scientific writing. Model criteria for training programmes were identified as:
> "Standards of conduct" - includes professional ethics training.
> Safety - includes biological, chemical, and physical hazards.
> Policy - includes such administrative and laboratory policies as standard operating procedures, quality assurance, accreditation, and security.
> Legal - includes expert testimony, depositions, rules of evidence, criminal and civil law and procedures, and evidence authentication.
> Evidence handling - includes interdisciplinary issues; recognition, collection, and preservation of evidence; and chain of custody.
> Communication - includes written, verbal, and nonverbal communication skills; report writing; exhibit and pre-trial preparation; and trial presentation."
The above guidelines represent international best practice in the field of forensic science education and training. All of the above aspects are extensively addressed in the proposed National Certificate: Forensic Science Qualification (NQF5) in separate unit standards. The proposed National Certificate: Forensic Biology (NQF6) builds on the core elements, at higher levels of competency, of the above forensic science curriculum by integrating them in various unit standards to ensure that these competencies support the specialized forensic science examinations.
Furthermore, after the above criteria are addressed, training/ learning programmes then focus on specialized examinations of forensic science. The elective component of the proposed National Certificate: Forensic Biology (NQF6) addresses the specialized forensic examinations.
In addition to the NIJ report twenty-seven (27) forensic science qualifications from seventeen (17) education and training providers were compared to the qualification. The qualification compares well with qualifications from North America in terms of the scope and depth of the qualification. Aspects included in the core of the qualification were also identified as essential in qualifications from this continent.
Qualifications from the following countries were compared: United Kingdom and British Isles, Turkey, Italy, India, Switzerland, Germany and Poland. Europe and the United States are regarded as the world leaders of forensic science training and education. Twenty-two (22) forensic science qualifications and sixteen (16) unit standards from thirteen (13) education and training providers were compared to the qualification. The qualification is in line with the level of training and education of this continent, and address the common core and elective components of qualifications in this region. The electives components of the National Certificate: Forensic Biology level 6 such as the DNA elective unit standard cluster reflects most of the competencies fond in Europe as the unit standards reflect internationally accepted standards, techniques and equipment.
Chile has the most comparable infrastructure and socio-economic development levels to that of South Africa. It is thus an excellent benchmark for this qualification in terms of the development of specialised services and the training of specialised forensic science officers. As in this qualification, the training programmes in Chile also address the formative and holistic development of the learner (such as conduct research and presenting evidence in a court). The training programmes in Chile compare well with the qualification, and both address formative aspects, developmental aspects, as well as specialised courses (i.e. the electives of the qualification) for specialised examinations.
No formal forensic science education and training currently exists on the continent. Twenty three (23) universities from sixteen (16) African countries were investigated for forensic science training programmes. In 2004 an African Forensic Sciences Service Workshop was hosted by South Africa, and representatives from the following countries attended: Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The meeting determined that no forensic science education and training programs existed in Africa. All the countries in attendance indicated a need for a qualification in forensic biology. The National Certificate Forensic Biology qualification could therefore be used as a benchmark for entry level Forensic Science qualifications and the proposed National Diploma Forensic Science qualification (NQF6) for specialization in the field of forensic science and as chosen by the learner from the electives.
The proposed qualification was consulted at a session held at the 1st African Forensic Science Conference. The qualification features internationally articulation at the first degree level or as a post graduate diploma or at some countries elements thereof are addressed in a Master of Science degree together with a research dissertation.
|This qualification articulates horizontally with:
This qualification articulates vertically with:
|CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS|
|For an applicant to register as an assessor, the applicant needs:
|As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015.|
|ID||UNIT STANDARD TITLE||PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL||NQF LEVEL||CREDITS|
|Core||114301||Optimise laboratory activities||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||16|
|Core||243260||Audit and review forensic findings||Level 7||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7||5|
|Core||117434||Conduct research||Level 7||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7||15|
|Core||117435||Provide expert evidence in court||Level 7||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7||15|
|Fundamental||243253||Reconstruct an incident scene||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||20|
|Elective||243244||Amplify DNA with the polymerase chain reaction||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||243248||Apply entomological principles in forensic investigations||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||243255||Demonstrate knowledge of forensic DNA typing||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||243245||Evaluate bloodstain pattern evidence||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||5|
|Elective||243251||Evaluate quality of DNA data||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||5|
|Elective||243252||Interpret DNA results from a statistical perspective||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||243256||Isolate DNA||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||243243||Justify the quality of collected bloodstain pattern evidence||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||243246||Perform bloodstain spatter pattern analysis||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||5|
|Elective||243250||Perform facial reconstructions||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||15|
|Elective||243254||Perform forensic anthropology examinations||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||15|
|Elective||243258||Perform forensic art||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||243247||Perform forensic microscopic identification and individualisation of hair||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||20|
|Elective||243249||Quantify DNA Isolates||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||15|
|Elective||243259||Separate DNA fragments||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||13|
|Elective||243257||Reconstruct events using bloodstain pattern analysis||Level 7||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7||10|
|LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION:|
|PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION:|
|This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
|1.||STRATEGIC INVESTIGATIONS AND SEMINARS|