SAQA 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 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of the field of forensic questioned documents 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
244147  Demonstrate an understanding of the field of forensic questioned documents 
ORIGINATOR ORIGINATING PROVIDER
SGB Forensic Science   
QUALITY ASSURING BODY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Safety in Society 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2012-07-01  2015-06-30  SAQA 0695/12 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2016-06-30   2019-06-30  

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 unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
On completion of this unit standard the learner will be able to understand the elementary components of the field of forensic questioned documents. This unit standard is intended as an introduction to the specialized field of forensic questioned documents.

On completion of this unit standard the learner will understand elementary concepts of handwriting, signatures and printing processes that underlie the examination of disputed documents for the purpose of forensic investigations. The learner will also be familiar with the concepts of marks and indentations as indicators of forged documents and have a background to the falsification of documents for purposes of identification.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of handwriting and signatures used in questioned document examinations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of printing processes related to questioned document examination.
  • Explain the use of marks and indentations on documents in terms of forensic questioned document examinations.
  • Document forgery methods are described in context to forensic questioned document examinations.
  • Explain the falisfication of documents for purposes of identification. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • "Demonstrate an understanding of forensic science", ID 242712.
  • "Demonstrate an understanding of the specialised fields in forensic science", ID 242708.
  • Communication at NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of handwriting and signatures used in questioned document examinations. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Characteristics refer to elementary characteristics and not detailed aspects of handwriting and signatures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The development of handwriting is explained in terms of the history of handwriting. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The concept of handwriting refers, but is not limited to:
  • The origin, history and development of handwriting, print writing and cursive writing in general, with specific reference to handwriting development in South Africa.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Handwriting characteristics are described in terms of forensic questioned documents examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Characteristics refer to, but are not limited to:
  • Arrangement, breaks, design, diacritical marks, line quality, ornamental strokes, pen position, punctuation, shading, size and size ratio, slope, spacing, and strokes (initial, connecting and terminal).

    Line quality refers to, but is not limited to:
  • Include rhythm, movement, writing instruments, tremor.

    Movement refers to, but is not limited to:
  • Movement of:
    > Finger, hand, forearm, whole arm.

    Tremor refers to, but is not limited to:
  • Illiteracy or clumsiness, self-consciousness or nervousness, unusual writing position, weakness as a result of illness or age, and intake of liquor.

    Pen position refers to, but is not limited to:
  • Writing surface, writing instrument, speed.

    Arrangement refers to, but is not limited to:
  • The size, style, position, replication, accentuation, frequency and character of:
    > Spacing, baseline, margins, symmetry of width, line directions, relationship of sub-sections (letterheads, introductions and conclusion) to content and other sub-sections, paragraphing, margins, use of symbols and signs, insertions, connections between words, number of words, punctuation marks and underlinings.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Variation of handwriting is demonstrated in terms of forensic questioned document examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors causing variation in handwriting here refer to, but are not limited to:
  • Position of writing, writing instruments, carefulness, drunkenness and state of health.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Disguised (distorted) handwriting is explained in terms of forensic questioned documents examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Methods of disguise refer to, but are not limited to:
  • Change of slope, writing instrument, writing method and design of letters.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Principles of forgery in signatures are described in terms of forensic questioned document examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Principles of forging signatures refer to, but are not limited to:
  • Authenticity, imitations limitations, tracings, falsifications, and supported or hand-guided signatures.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Initials and marks in handwriting and signatures are explained in terms of forensic questioned documents examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Initials and marks are defined according to the nature, use and styles thereof.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Influences on signatures are demonstrated in terms of forensic questioned document examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Influences refer, but are not limited to:
  • Internal and external influences, such as old age, sickness, stress, alcohol and drugs.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    Different writing instruments are explained according to its effect on handwriting and signatures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Writing instruments refer to but are not limited:
  • Pencils, ballpoint pens, fountain pens, fiber pens and pens with plastic nibs.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    Different types of inks are described according to its physical and chemical qualities. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Inks refer to but are not limited to:
  • Indian ink, sepia ink, iron nut-gall ink, synthetic types of ink for use in fountain pens, erasable ink, printer's ink and typewriter ribbon ink.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of printing processes related to questioned document examination. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Printing processes are explained according to the printing methodologies. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Printing processes must include, but are not limited to:
  • Letter press printing, intaglio, photo engraving (gravure), embossment, screen printing, thermo-graphic printing, flexo-graphic printing, and litho-graphic printing.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The development of typewriters is explained in terms of elementary functioning principles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Printers are described in terms of elementary functioning principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Printers refer to but are not limited to:
  • Printers with direct impact on paper (drum and chain printers, dot-matrix printers) and printers with no direct impact on paper (thermal printers, ink jet printers and laser printers).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Copiers are described in terms of elementary functioning principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Copiers refer to but are not limited to:
  • Photostat machines, direct electrostatic copiers, xerography/direct electrostatic copiers, analogue copiers and digital copiers.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The facsimile apparatus is described in terms of elementary functioning principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Functioning principles refer to but are not limited to: thermal printing and ink jet printing.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain the use of marks and indentations on documents in terms of forensic questioned document examinations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Latent marks on documents are described according to forensic document examination principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Latent marks include, but are not limited to:
  • Fingerprints, writing, marks, indentations, and impressions.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Paper binding methods and folds are described according to their impact on questioned documents in forensic examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Paper binding methods include, but are not limited to:
  • Staples, paper clips and pins.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The impact of ink transfer on documents is explained in context to forensic questioned document principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Use refers to, but is not limited to:
  • Deciphering of writing on carbon paper by using different techniques, i.e., photographic or oblique light, and different types of carbon paper.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Stamp types are explained in context to disputed documents in forensic investigations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Stamp types refer to but are not limited to:
  • Metal stamps and rubber stamps.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Document forgery methods are described in context to forensic questioned document examinations. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    This specific outcome only refers to forging of documents by erasure and alterations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Erasures and alterations to original documents are described in context of forensic examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Types refer to, but are not limited to:
  • Mechanical, chemical, removal or excision, additions and insertions, and transfer by means of copying.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The effect of different types of paper tears and cuts on documents is described in context to forensic examinations of questioned documents. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Paper tears and cuts here refer to, but are not limited to:
  • Haphazard, straight, and perforated.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The impact of damage to documents is explained in context of forensic questioned document examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Damage refers to but is not limited to:
  • Burned/charred, stained, torn and perforated documents.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Explain the falsfication of documents for purposes of identification. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Types of documents for purposes of identification are named by using examples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Security characteristics in passports and identity documents are described in context to forensic questioned document examinations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Methods of falsification of documents for purposes of identification are explained in context to forensic questioned document examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Methods refer to but are not limited to:
  • Methods that can documents forged in their entirety, genuine documents which are altered and particulars in a genuine document which has been changed.

    Documents refer to but are not limited to: identity documents and passports.
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Any individual who wishes to be assessed against this unit standard (including assessment of RPL) may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA. Assessors must be competent in the outcome of the Unit Standard.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard or assessing this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the relevant ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Current and as amended Civil Proceedings Evidence Act (Act 25 of 1965).
  • Current and as amended Section 212 (4) (a) of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Current relevant occupational health and safety legislation.
  • Principles of forensic investigation.
  • Overview of the fields of forensic science.
  • Principles of investigations.
  • Principles of scene of incidence investigation.
  • Elementary science principles. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions, using critical thinking, have been made. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical, and/or language skills in the modes of written and/or oral presentation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically, show responsibility towards the environment and the health of others. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large, by making it the underlying intention of any programme of learning to make an individual aware of the importance of:
  • Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
  • Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
  • Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE QUALITY ASSURING BODY
    Elective  57651   National Certificate: Forensic Science  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2015-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Elective  66869   National Certificate: Home Affairs Services  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2015-06-30  PSETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    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 Quality Assuring Bodies 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 Quality Assuring Body should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Hadassah Security Consultants Cc 
    2. STRATEGIC INVESTIGATIONS AND SEMINARS 
    3. The Department of Home Affairs Learning Centre 



    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.