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 analytical principles of forensic toxicology investigation 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
244146  Demonstrate an understanding of the analytical principles of forensic toxicology investigation 
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 demonstrate knowledge and understanding of elementary principles the forensic chemistry field of toxicological identification. Learners will be understand the scope of forensic toxicology and know the types of investigations that are conducted in this field of application.

On completion of this unit standard the learner will be able to identify and describe the different types of poisons that are found. The learner will understand the principles underlying the forensic chemical analysis of unknown poisons found on a scene of incidence and how to collect, transport and preserve such evidence. The learner will also demonstrate knowledge of types of laboratory examinations that can be conducted on probable poisons and subsequent health and safety regulations in terms of handling toxicological evidence in forensic investigations.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Classify common poisons.
  • Explain elementary principles of poison identification.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the collection and preservation of toxicology evidence. 

  • 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.
  • "Demonstrate an understanding of forensic chemistry analysis."
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Physical Science at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Classify common poisons. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Common poisons are defined and grouped according to their chemical properties. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Common poisons refer to but are not limited to:
  • Industrial substances, agricultural substances, drugs (controlled and uncontrolled), household substances, plant material and animal tissue.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The terminology associated with the description of toxic compounds is explained in context of a forensic toxicology investigation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Terminology refers to but is not limited to:
  • Classification by mechanism of action, international toxicity classes, dose response relationship, rate of administration and route of administration.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Typical manifestations of poisoning are identified according to the type of poison. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Manifestations refer to but are not limited to:
  • Symptoms (acute and chronic) resulting from poisoning.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain elementary principles of poison identification. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Screening tests used for presumptive toxin identification are described in a given situation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Screening tests include but not limited to:
  • Immuno-assay, colour test, thin layer chromatography (TLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), inductive coupled plasma (ICP), ultraviolet (UV).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Confirmation testing is explained in context to screening testing. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Confirmation testing refers to instrumental analysis to identify a specific substance and here is not limited to:
  • Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), high performance liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy (HPLC-MS), inductive coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS), X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the collection and preservation of toxicology evidence. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Toxicology evidence here refers to:
  • Body fluids, food, stomach contents, fluids, original containers, tissue, preparations and formulations. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Types of evidence collected on incidence scenes are explained in relation to forensic toxicology investigations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Collection of evidence is explained in context of forensic toxicology investigations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Collection refers to but is not limited to:
  • Packaging, transport, preservation, storage and health and safety requirements.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Disposal of toxicology evidence is explained according to legal prescripts. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Legal prescripts must also include the Occupational Health and Safety act.
     


    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 and as amended Medicine and Related Substances Control Act 101/65.
  • Current and as amended Drug and Drug Trafficking Act 140/92.
  • Current and as amended Inquests Act (Act 58 of 1959).
  • Current and as amended Human Tissues Act (Act 65 of 1983).
  • Current and as amended Fertilizers, Farm feeds and Agricultural remedies Act (Act 36 of 1947).
  • Current relevant occupational health and safety legislation.
  • Elementary concepts of chemistry.
  • Elementary knowledge of laboratory environments and laboratory equipment and consumables.
  • Elementary concepts of forensic science investigations.
  • Elementary concepts of scene of incidence investigations.
  • Elementary principles of biochemistry and physiology relating to the human and animal reactions to poisons.
  • Elementary principles of botany relating to reactions of plants to poisoning.
  • Understanding of the field of forensic toxicology, such as analytical, identification of possible toxin, cause death (pharmacology, physiology, dose response related). 

  • 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:

    Dose response relationship:
  • Toxicity is a function of the substance, the amount present and the span of time over which it is ingested (Bell, 2004).

    Poison:
  • Any substance capable of causing a toxic (harmful) response in an organism (Bell, 2004).

    Toxic compounds:
  • The compound of a substance that can cause harm to an organism (Bell, 2004).

    Presumptive testing:
  • Screening tests to determine the probable identity of a substance.

    Immuno-assay:
  • A group of techniques used in forensic investigations for the detection of drugs in body fluids (Bell, 2004).

    Colour test:
  • Preliminary chemical tests widely used for the screening of drugs (Bell, 2004).

    X-ray fluorescence:
  • When X-rays interact with the electrons surrounding an atomic nucleus, they can cause inner shell electrons to be ejected completely from the atom. When an electron "falls" into an empty orbital, it releases energy in the form of a X-ray. The pattern of emitted X-rays is characteristic of a given element (Bell, 2004).

    X-ray diffraction:
  • The scattering of X-rays by the regular lattice of atoms or molecules in a crystal.

    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy:
  • Mirror movements create a series of waves that undergo periodic constructive and destructive interferences before reaching the sample resulting in a signal curve to be decomposed into signals at individual wavelengths and an infrared spectrum (Bell, 2004).

    Gas chromatography:
  • A chromatography technique that separates a mixture of organic components on the basis of the components' affinity for a specific stationary phase and where the mobile phase consists of a gas.

    Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy:
  • Use of a mass spectrometer detector in gas chromatography to provide definitive identification of compounds along with quantitative information (Bell, 2004).

    High performance liquid chromatography:
  • A chromatography technique that separates a mixture of components on the basis of the components' affinity for a specific stationary phase and where the mobile phase consists of a liquid. A high pressure is applied to the liquid phase in order to speed up the movement of the liquid phase trough the stationary phase.

    High performance liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy:
  • Use of a mass spectrometer detector in high performance liquid chromatography to provide definitive identification of compounds along with quantitative information(Bell, 2004).

    Inductive coupled plasma:
  • A method used to convert a sample to its constituent atoms or ions (Bell, 2004).

    Inductive coupled plasma mass spectroscopy:
  • The detection of wavelengths generated by a sample through the Inductive Coupled Plasma method in which the plasma is the source of elemental ions (Bell, 2004).

    Thin layer chromatography:
  • A chromatography technique in which the solid phase consists of a thin layer of granular material on a suitable inert plate and where the mobile phase is a liquid.

    Ultraviolet:
  • Ultraviolet energy lies on the high-energy side of visible light.

    List Of Abbreviations:
  • FTIR: Fourier transform infrared.
  • GC: Gas chromatography.
  • GC-MS: Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy.
  • HPLC: High performance liquid chromatography.
  • HPLC-MS: High performance liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy.
  • ICP: Inductive coupled plasma.
  • ICP-MS: Inductive coupled plasma mass spectroscopy.
  • TLC: Thin layer chromatography.
  • UV: Ultraviolet. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  57651   National Certificate: Forensic Science  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  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.
     
    NONE 



    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.