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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of the specialised fields in forensic science 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
242708  Demonstrate an understanding of the specialised fields in forensic science 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Forensic Science 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
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 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

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 
This unit standard is intended for learners who will be required to be informed of forensic science fields in order to make decisions with regard to further career development in the field of forensic science. It is intended to differentiate between the specialised areas of forensic science.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the components of forensic science fields.
  • Describe the types of examinations in the forensic science fields.
  • Describe the legal framework in which forensic science operates. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Physical Science on NQF level 4.
  • Mathematical literacy on NQF level 4.
  • Unit Standard: Demonstrate an understanding of forensic science. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    This unit standard refers to specialised fields in forensic science which include, but is not limited to: Ballistics, Biology, Chemistry, Questioned Documents, and Criminalistics. In this unit standard the term Ballistics refers to internal, external, intermediate, terminal ballistics and toolmarks, Biology refers to crime samples analysed by biochemical techniques for the purpose of identity determination in order to serve justice, Chemistry refers to the identification and characterisation of a compound related to a crime scene or evidence that is introduced in legal cases. It involves the detection and characterisation of drugs, poisons and toxins using analytical techniques. Questioned Documents refers to documents analysed with forensic document examination methods and techniques for the purpose of individualisation and identification and Criminalistics refers to crime scene investigation and management. It includes the processing of crime scenes for physical evidence, record and visually represents the crime scene, reconstructs the event and correctly identifies the role players, administrates and presents all findings in court. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the components of forensic science fields. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Forensic science fields are defined within the area of physical science. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    In this context, definition refers to a short explanation of the specific field, and not to an extensive explanation of the contents of the field.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Forensic science fields are identified with reference to their components. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Components refer to the sub-divisions that exist within fields.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The functions within the forensic science fields are described in relation to their effect on the criminal justice system. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The role players within each forensic science field are identified in terms of their roles and responsibilities. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the types of examinations in the forensic science fields. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Quantitative and qualitative examinations are differentiated in terms of their uses. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Qualitative examinations used within the different forensic science fields are described with examples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Quantitative examinations used within the different forensic science fields are described with examples. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe the legal framework in which forensic science operates. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The impact of the Bill of Rights as defined in the South African Constitution on the field of forensic science is described with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Reference to the Bill of Rights must include the following: reference to victims, suspects and accused.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The principles which influence the operations of forensic science as contained in the Criminal Procedure Act are described with examples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    National and international guidelines pertaining to the field of forensic science is described with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Reference to guidelines must include, but is not limited to: international standards organisation guidelines.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Forensic science and law of evidence is explained in terms of their inter-relationship. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The current Human Tissue Act is described in terms of its impact on the field of forensic science. 


    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 
  • Quantitative and qualitative concepts.
  • Scientific method of analysis.
  • Principles on which examinations are based.
  • Justice system.
  • Chapter two of the South African Constitution.
  • Chapter twenty four of the Criminal Procedures Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Current international standards organisation guidelines related to forensic science.
  • South African Law of Evidence.
  • Current Human Tissue Act. 

  • 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. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Glossary of terminology

    External ballistics:
  • This refers to the external atmospheric bullet trajectory, from the muzzle of the firearm to the point where the bullet strikes a target. The atmospheric trajectory includes, but is not limited to, wind, atmospheric pressure, air resistance and the influence of gravity.

    Forensic auditing:
  • Application of auditing skills to legal situations such as fraud.

    Forensic ballistics:
  • Forensic ballistics refers to the following five fields: internal ballistics, external ballistics, intermediate ballistics, terminal ballistics, and tool marks.

    Forensic biology:
  • Crime samples analysed by biochemical techniques for the purpose of identity determination in order to serve justice.

    Forensic chemistry:
  • Forensic chemistry involves the identification and characterisation of a compound related to a crime scene or evidence that is introduced in legal cases. It involves the detection and characterisation of drugs, poisons and toxins using analytical techniques.

    Forensic criminalistics:
  • Science of crime scene investigation and management. It includes the processing of crime scenes for physical evidence, record and visually represents the crime scene, reconstructs the event and correctly identifies the role players, administrates and presents all findings in court.

    Forensic questioned documents:
  • Documents analysed with forensic document examination methods and techniques for the purpose of individualisation and identification.

    Intermediate ballistics:
  • Refers to the transition process from internal to external ballistics where gasses and the residue will have an influence on intermediate targets.

    Internal ballistics:
  • This field refers to all the internal processes of the launching mechanism (firearm). The transfer of individuality to bullets and cartridge cases.

    Terminal ballistics:
  • This refers to the interaction between the bullet and the target.

    Legal

    Specific legislation recorded in this unit standard is left open ended, for additional legislation to be assessed. Wherever legislation is referred to in this unit standard, current legislation is implied.
  • Section 37 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Sections 208 to 253 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Bill of Rights as defined in the Constitution of the RSA Act (Act 108 of 1996).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993). 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  57651   National Certificate: Forensic Science  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Elective  61729   National Diploma: Policing  Level 6  NQF Level 06  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    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 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 



    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.