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 forensic drug investigation 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
244153  Demonstrate an understanding of forensic drug 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 of organic chemistry as applied in the forensic chemistry field of drug identification.

On completion of this unit standard the learner will be able to identify and classify the different types of controlled and uncontrolled substances. The learner will understand the principles underlying the chemical analysis of unknown drug substances found on a scene of incidence and how to collect, transport, preserve and destroy such evidence. The learner will also demonstrate knowledge of a clandestine laboratory investigation and subsequent health and safety regulations in terms of handling drug evidence in forensic investigations.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Describe and classify drugs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of elementary principles of drug identification.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the collection and preservation of evidence in forensic drug investigations. 

  • 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.
  • "New US: Demonstrate and understanding of forensic chemistry analysis".
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Physical Science at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Drugs refer to controlled and uncontrolled substances. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Describe and classify drugs. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Drugs are identified according to their physical appearances. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Physical appearances refer to tablets, powders, plant materials, liquids and solids.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Drugs are classified according to the effects on the central nervous system. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Different types of drugs refer to but are not limited to:
  • Hallucinogens, depressants (narcotic, hypnotic, tranquilisers), and stimulants.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Controlled substances are classified according to current legislation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Classification refers to but is not limited to:
  • Suppressants like narcotic drugs (heroin and morphine, dipianone), hypnotics (barbituarates, mathaqualone), tranualizers (benzodiazepine), stimulants (amphetamine-type stimulants, appetite suppressants, methylphenidate, cocaine and ephedrine) and hallucinogens (cannabis, tryptamines and lysergic acid diethylamide).

    Current legislation refers to:
  • Current and as amended Medicine and Related Substances Control Act 101/65 and Drug and Drug Trafficking Act 140/92.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate knowledge of elementary principles of drug identification. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Screening tests used for presumptive drug identification are described in a given situation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Screening tests include but are not limited to:
  • Colour test, microscopy, thin layer chromatography (TLC), ultra violet (UV), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), immuno-assay.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Confirmation testing is explained in the context of 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 spectroscopy (FTIR).
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the collection and preservation of evidence in forensic drug investigations. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Drugs refer to alleged controlled substances, naturally occurring drugs (Tetrahydrocannabinol), semi-synthetic drugs (heroin) and synthetic drugs (designer drugs such as amphetamine type stimulants).

    Evidence refers to:
  • Tablets, powders, liquids, solids and plant materials.

    Forensic drug investigation refers to the collection of alleged drugs and evidence from clandestine laboratories. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Types of evidence collected on crime scenes are explained in forensic drug investigations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Collection of evidence is explained in forensic drug investigations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Collection refers to:
  • Packaging, transport, preservation and storage.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The destruction of drug evidence is explained according to legal prescripts. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Health and safety requirements are explained for drug scene of incidence investigations and clandestine laboratory investigations. 


    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 relevant occupational health and safety legislation.
  • Elementary concepts of chemistry.
  • Elementary concepts of scientific calculations.
  • Elementary knowledge of laboratory environments and laboratory equipment and consumables.
  • Elementary concepts of forensic science investigations.
  • Elementary concepts of scene of incidence investigations.
  • Current and as amended Road traffic Act (Act 29 of 1989) - transportation of dangerous goods.
  • Current and as amended Hazardous substances Act (Act 15/1973).
  • Current and as amended Explosives Act (Act 26/1956).
  • SABS regulation 0231.
  • Legal prescripts for the destruction of drug evidence. 

  • 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.
  • Rarticipating 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:
  • Depressants: Substances having the ability to induce a non selective, reversible depression of the central nervous system. Two types of depressants are sedatives and hypnotics.
  • Drug: Any substance that is abused due to the effect thereof on the central nervous system.
  • Field testing: Test procedure that is performed external to the laboratory environment as presumptive identification of a substance.
  • Hallucinogens: A substance that has the ability to alter human perception, thought and mood. Psychic effects include disorders of thought associated with time and space.
  • Hypnotic drug: Substances used to induce sleep when sleeplessness is not due to a definite stimulus (such as pain or itching).
  • Stimulants: Substances used to increase physiological and physical activity in the body.
  • Synthetic route determination: Determine the route of manufacturing illegal and legal substances.
  • Tablets: Powdered substances compressed under high pressure in a dye shaft. A tablet normally comprises of a mixture active compounds (diazepam), lubricants (magnesium stearate) and diluents/fillers (potato starch).
  • Powders: A substance in the form of fine dry particles e.g. grandpa-powder.
  • Plant materials: Any material obtained from a plant e.g. Leaves, branches, flowers, roots, seeds etc.
  • Liquids: Having a consistency like that of water or oil, flowing freely but of constant volume.
  • Solids: A substance that is firm and stable in shape, not hollow or containing cavities and having three dimensions.

    List of abbreviations:
  • FTIR; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.
  • GC; Gas chromatography.
  • GC-MS; Gas chromatography mass spectroscopy.
  • HPLC; High performance liquid chromatography.
  • TLC; Thin layer chromatography.
  • UV; Ultra violet. 

  • 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.