The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) has been accrediting the forensic content of full degree courses in forensic science since 2006.
The Accreditation Scheme now covers both BSc and MSc programmes. However, the Society acknowledges that there are many combined undergraduate courses (foundation degree, diploma, BTEC certificate etc.) on offer where forensic science forms a significant but lesser proportion of the overall programme.
The quality of the forensic science delivered in such cases is still important and so the Society has developed a Recognition Scheme to provide an endorsement of this content.
Recognition by the CSFS, as the professional body for forensic practitioners provides an assurance of quality to prospective students and employers. It also provides students with reduced rates at the Society’s conferences qualifying for CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points to build up individual professional portfolios. Students on recognised courses may enrol as Student Members of the Society.
Additional benefits of Recognition include website marketing since all recognised courses and their institutions are listed on our website. Recognised institutions also have access to online resources which may be used in teaching/ education of students. Reduced rates for job vacancy advertisements in connection with teaching posts related to the forensic aspects of the recognised course(s), are also made available.
Presentations from conferences and events, including:
Material relevant to the forensic arena and Higher Education provision (reports, articles, comments, good practice)
The CSFS Website:
Each Institution has the opportunity to nominate a Link Person to:
There are two main criteria, one relating to student contact hours for the forensic-related content and a second relating to the nature of the forensic-related content.
Providers are expected to deliver a variety of learning opportunities including practical classes as well as formal/informal teaching with formative and summative assessment. Please note that this not limited to on campus courses and can include blended learning and online learning which will also be considered. Online programmes should demonstrate an equivalent number of learning hours. Consideration may be given to practitioners’ prior learning as part of the course design.
Course providers must supply the following:
Following an application, the CSFS will review the documentation submitted and will contact the University/Institution to arrange for an assessor to visit. The visit will be conduced before Recognition can be granted. There will also be subsequent annual renewals with a visit being held again in the third year.
Examples of non-compliance in the following areas may lead to the award of Recognition being withheld:
If the award of Recognition is withheld and the Institution wishes to lodge an appeal they must do so in writing within fourteen days of having been informed of the decision. The grounds of the appeal must be specified and sent to the Honorary Secretary of the Society.
The award is valid for a period of three years after which renewal is required.
Costs will include the review of all documentation and requests for further information if necessary, as well as discussion between the Assessors who will document the decision to award or not to award. Please contact the Society for current fees.
In addition to the visit following the formal application, and in the third year, the CSFS reserves the right to audit Recognised Courses by calling on Institutions with the minimum of notice to talk with students and staff on the course. Should the course not comply with the original specification as detailed in the original application, Recognition may be withdrawn. Good practice would dictate that links with potential employers would be forged by institutions running Recognised Courses and opportunities for training placements, work experience and potential employment would be considered.
Recognition Scheme Brochure Printable Version.
The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
Copthall Bridge House, Station Bridge
Telephone +44 (0)1423 790 391