Training

Tailor-made Forensic Science Training and Mentoring Programmes

Axiom designs and delivers training courses across all forensic science disciplines, and associated areas of policing and legal practice. These can extend the range of services provided by a laboratory, the quantity of work a laboratory can process and the time taken to achieve results. They can ensure that forensic science activities are properly understood and integrated within an overall investigation, and that the scientific findings are properly understood and presented in the most effective way at court.

Delivered by highly experienced forensic scientists

These courses are all delivered by highly experienced forensic scientists with many years operational practice in UK forensic science laboratories behind them. This means that students are provided with a real understanding of the use of forensic science in day-to-day criminal investigations, and not watered down text book versions of this which fail at the first challenge.

INTRODUCTION TO FORENSIC SCIENCE

providing awareness of the full range of forensic science disciplines from crime scene to courtroom, and how they can be used and combined to form powerful investigation strategies

BLOOD & OTHER BODY FLUIDS & DNA ANALYSIS

transferring the knowledge and skills to locate, identify and take samples of biological fluids and tissue samples, analyse them using DNA profiling techniques and interpret, compare and report the results to court standards

BLOOD PATTERN ANALYSIS (BPA)

training in how to recognise different elements of blood patterns and interpreting their significance in determining eg. sequence of events at crime scenes, and likely involvement of suspects, sampling for DNA analysis, interpretation of results and presentation of evidence at court

MARKS & CHEMICAL TRACES

training in how to recover, examine and compare a range of particulate traces including textile fibres, and glass, paint, plastics and other building materials, and examination, enhancement and comparison of a range of marks including shoe, tool and manufacturing marks, assessment of results and reporting

FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY

learning the fundamental techniques and procedures for successful analysis of body samples for the presence of drugs and poisons in cases of suspected drug overdoses and suspicious death

DRUGS & NARCOTICS

providing the skills and knowledge to undertake the range of techniques and procedures needed to successfully analyse and investigate common drugs of abuse, paraphernalia associated with them and materials in which they are packaged

FIRE INVESTIGATION

transferring the necessary skills to safely and systematically investigate the causes of fires including identifying seats of fire, likely causes of ignition, burning times and awareness of other associated evidence types to assist investigations

FIREARMS, BALLISTICS & GUN SHOT RESIDUE

training in the identification, examination and classification of weapons, cartridge cases and projectiles and all aspects of ballistics including test firing, comparison of projectiles and data-basing, locating and analysing gunshot discharge residues and all Health and Safety aspects of handling weapons

QUESTIONED DOCUMENTS

the knowledge and skills required for examination of all types of questioned documents and forgery including alterations/obliterations, handwriting/forged signatures, and inks comparisons, also investigating and comparing office equipment outputs

DIGITAL FORENSICS

transferring the necessary knowledge and skills required for effective data capture, data processing and data investigation from a range of storage devices including telephones, computers, and CCTV and other imaging systems, and strategies to maximise its use in investigations

FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS

providing a complete understanding of the identification, recovery and enhancement of finger and palm prints, and pattern definition, pattern coding and the identification and comparison process including core knowledge and competencies required in a fingerprint bureau

 

FORENSIC ECOLOGY

a series of specialist courses aimed to provide the necessary expertise to exploit outdoor traces and investigate crimes committed out of doors. These include forensic archaeology, forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, vegetation and palynology (pollen grains), and soils analysis

FORENSIC ECOLOGY

a series of specialist courses aimed to provide the necessary expertise to exploit outdoor traces and investigate crimes committed out of doors. These include forensic archaeology, forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, vegetation and palynology (pollen grains), and soils analysis

QUALITY MANAGERS

building on the Quality Management content, specifically for those destined for managerial responsibility for quality assurance. Providing the skills to design and implement robust and compliant business and technical processes and systems

QUALITY MANAGEMENT

ensuring a full understanding of relevant internationally recognised quality standards ISO 9000:2000, ISO 17025:2005 and ISO 17020:2012 and how to create and manage a robust Quality Management System based on effective Standard Operating Procedures

Courses can be designed singly or as part of a larger package, and from basic through to advanced level. They can be delivered in the UK or in-country and be certificated either through a British awarding body or locally. If required, associated English Language training can be provided – both beforehand and for the duration of a course when it will include all necessary technical terms.

Axiom’s longer courses tend to be delivered through partnerships with UK universities providing a powerful combination of:

Academic knowledge for depth of understanding and with internationally recognised academic qualifications up to MSc degree level, and
Operational skill and expertise (to the international ISO 17025 Standard) enabling students quickly to start providing a practical forensic service capable of withstanding the closest scrutiny by the courts
MSc degrees can then be used as the basis for applications for UK PhDs

In-country Mentoring

In-country Mentoring is a much overlooked part of training because it tends to be assumed that students will be able immediately to translate everything they have learnt during a course to their own working environment at home. Similarly, it tends to be assumed that training provided by instrument manufacturers during installation and commissioning of new instruments is sufficient to enable staff at a laboratory to get operations up and running effectively.

In reality, additional support in the form of in-country mentoring is usually required to make the transition from analysing ‘test’ as opposed to real life forensic samples, and to establish effective laboratory Quality and management systems and processes in the local environment.

The lack of good mentoring can be seen in many good and well equipped laboratories around the world which, despite considerable investment, never deliver the operational services promised for them.

Track record example

Assisting one African country to establish a new forensic science service from scratch

Thirteen of the students have just started their PhD studies in the UK

We are also due to start training a further, much larger cohort of students – again across all areas of mainstream forensic science, to staff the new facility when it is completed

Training an initial cohort of 107 scientists to become forensic scientists in thirteen separate forensic disciplines to MSc level

As part of Axiom’s support, we assisted with the design and development of a temporary laboratory facility and are now providing advice and guidance with the much larger permanent laboratory

Most of the course was run in the UK in conjunction with a UK university but the last part consisted of a five month period of in-country mentoring where a carefully planned succession of Axiom trainers helped the students to start to apply their new found knowledge and skills in their own law enforcement and criminal justice environment.

The course was extremely successful with 85 students awarded MSc degrees, 45 of these with Merit, and 14 with Distinction.

Access an unparalleled combination of forensic science, policing and criminal justice expertise

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