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Overview of the role

Gathering evidence through forensic sampling, toxicology, documentation of injuries and provision of a statement to support the criminal justice system.

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Advanced forensic practitioner (custody or sexual offence)

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in Sexual Assault Referral Centres and within pathways for sexual violence services and police custodial settings. 

The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide evidence for the police, understanding the ethical frameworks which healthcare in the criminal justice system encounters and ensure complex decision making takes into account the individuals rights, professional bodies standards and also respects that there is a public interest and a right to justice. Uniquely, the role of a advanced forensic practitioner includes evidence gathering through forensic sampling, toxicology, documentation of injuries and provision of a statement to support the criminal justice system. This is required to be impartial and objective. The role of an advanced forensic practitioner includes evidence gathering through forensic sampling, toxicology, documentation of injuries and provision of oral and written testimony to support the criminal justice system. In both environments, an advanced forensic practitioner works as an autonomous individual undertaking triage, assessment and care plan formation which meets the needs of the criminal justice system, healthcare and safeguarding.

This is a core and options Apprenticeship Standard, to reflect the roles that come under this occupation. All apprentices will undertake the core element of the apprenticeship, and then they will choose to specialise in one of the two options.

Option 1 - Sexual Offence: In sexual offence, the advanced forensic practitioner provides crisis intervention and empowerment of those who have been subject to sexual violence. This includes trauma informed assessment of acute healthcare needs primarily around sexual health and avoidance of pregnancy, mental health and emotional distress, drugs and alcohol, safeguarding and wider vulnerability and ongoing care. This leads to a unique care plan for each individual. The core element of the advanced forensic practitioner will be to provide clients with choices on routes to report crimes or to be a 'self referral' pathway. In addition, the role will be to provide expert opinion on the interpretation of injuries and other key areas for juries to understand the evidence base underpinning sexual assault.

Option 2 - Custody: In custody, the advanced forensic practitioner supports the welfare of detainees whilst in custody. These include physical assessment of acute and chronic health needs, mental health and emotional distress, drugs and alcohol dependency, safeguarding and wider vulnerability and ongoing care. Part of the role is also to ascertain fitness to interview and detain and ensure the human rights and needs of the individual are managed in custody setting where complex needs are common place.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with police, independent sexual violence advisers, crisis workers, sexual health services, mental health, substance misuse, acute trusts namely Emergency Departments, legal teams including Crown Prosecution Services, GPs, social workers, third sector organisations, safeguarding roles, court staff, detention staff (who may be a private provider), liaison and diversion teams, mental health, substance misuse, ambulance trusts and court transfer teams, 'appropriate adult' services, language line, lay visitors, Independent Office for Police Complaints, Inspectorate of Justice, probation and Youth Offenders Teams. The custody role is carried out in police custody however practitioners do travel to other venues such as hospitals and court.


In sexual violence, this role is carried out in the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) however advanced forensic practitioners do travel to other venues such as prisons, care homes, hospitals. alleged victim's home and court. This person is an autonomous advanced forensic practitioner who has responsibility for the health and well-being of individuals who are within the criminal justice system. They undertake decisions related to the fitness to be processed through the criminal justice system, forensic examination, mapping injuries and the collection and storage of forensic samples for court and attend court to give evidence. They work as the lead professional supporting a team, with access to senior advice through remote contact with a senior practitioner. Alongside this role, they make autonomous decision regarding the health and wider social needs of the person. They would report to a line manager, either a clinical lead or SARC Manager.

Typical job titles include:

Advanced forensic practitioner Forensic medical examiner Forensic nurse Forensic nurse practitioner Forensic paramedic Forensic physician Forensic practitioner Healthcare professional Sexual assault nurse examiner (sane) Sexual office examiner

Entry requirements

This occupation requires you to be a Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council or a Registered Paramedic with the Healthcare Professionals Council or Registered Medical Practitioner with the General Medical Council. 

Core occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Lead and manage a medical emergency.

K1 K14 K24 K30

S13 S30

Duty 2 Assess and identify risks related to safeguarding and vulnerability in patients and signpost, refer and identify appropriate interventions for each area.

K2 K3 K13 K14

S1 S13 S18

B3

Duty 3 Identify a forensic strategy and undertake an assessment including: collection and storage of forensic samples, toxicology, documentation of injuries and other relevant evidential outcomes, with a robust chain of evidence.

K4 K5 K6 K22 K23

S2 S3 S4 S5 S29

B7

Duty 4 Review and analyse the evidence base of key finds and provide written and oral evidence for court.

K5 K7 K8 K9 K10

S6 S7 S8 S16 S27 S29

B1 B2 B4

Duty 5 Comply with local and national governance processes to ensure the safety of the client such as audit, clinical incident reporting and quality improvement.

K11 K12

S9 S25

B3 B4 B5

Duty 6 Obtain valid consent from client and manage those individuals who lack capacity to consent and ensure confidentiality and public disclosure framework are met.

K3

S10 S12 S21 S26

Duty 7 Work collaboratively with multiple agencies to ensure safe and effective care of client by effective care plans, referrals and signposting.

K3 K14

S4 S13 S16

B6

Duty 8 Teach and supervise others including junior members of staff and training of the wider professional team.

K15 K16

S14 S15

B3 B4

Duty 9 Due to the impact of bias within the criminal justice system be able to review their practice to remain impartial and objective.

K10 K17

S17 S18

B4

Duty 10 Assess an individual and identify acute and chronic mental health conditions and undertake a suicide\self-harm risk assessment and formulate a management plan prior to release or discharge.

K18 K19 K20

S19 S20

B6

Duty 11 Follow robust processes for cross contamination of evidence.

K6 K23

S2 S21

B7

Option duties


Custody duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 12 Assess and identify acute and chronic conditions of individuals whilst in custody including fitness to release.

K18 K19 K20 K21 K24 K25 K27

S13 S19 S20 S22 S28 S30 S31 S32

B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 13 Assess an individual for their fitness to interview and charge and identify if an appropriate adult or additional medical needs are required.

K17 K18 K19 K26 K27

S16 S17 S19 S20 S28 S33

B3 B4 B6

Duty 14 Assess, treat and refer those who are dependent on drugs alcohol including management of symptoms of withdrawal, brief interventions and referrals to ongoing services and harm reductions strategies.

K13 K14 K20 K21 K28 K29

S22 S34

B6

Duty 15 Undertake wider skills in assessment of victims, officers, road traffic procedures, intimate searches and taser/restraint sequelae.

K4 K6 K22 K23 K30

S3 S5 S23 S24 S26 S35 S36

B1 B6 B7


Sexual Offence duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 16 Identify pathways of care for both acute and non recent sexual abuse, domestic violence and wider needs individuals and empower them to choose the pathway which best fits their needs.

K12 K13 K17 K20 K31 K32 K33

S2 S3 S11 S12 S23 S37 S38 S39

B4 B5 B6

Duty 17 Assess, treat and refer individuals for identified sexual health needs including risk of pregnancy and risk of sexually acquired infections.

K14 K20 K21 K33

S13 S22 S37

B6

Duty 18 Identify trauma in individuals and use empowering and re framing techniques to improve the experience of individuals.

K17 K32

S16 S17 S18 S38 S39

B4 B5


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Core. The Resuscitation Council Standards for resuscitation. Back to Duty

K2: Core. Risk factors in sexual violence, domestic violence, child sexual abuse and wider vulnerability. Back to Duty

K3: Core. Legislative and professional frameworks for consent, confidentiality, best interest decisions, public disclosure and sharing information lawfully. Back to Duty

K4: Core. Principles of forensic science, Locards principle and sample collection techniques in accordance with the the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine (FFLM) Recommendations for the Collection of Forensic Samples from Complainants and Suspects. Back to Duty

K5: Core. Different injury types and their significance as evidence. Back to Duty

K6: Core. Forensic Science Regulator (FSR) Guidelines and their relevance to practice. Back to Duty

K7: Core. Principles of good statement construction. Back to Duty

K8: Core. Courtroom etiquette. Back to Duty

K9: Core. Difference between a witness of fact and an expert witness. Back to Duty

K10: Core. Know unconscious bias and its importance in the criminal justice system and the need for objectivity. Back to Duty

K11: Core. Principles of organisational learning and quality improvement. Back to Duty

K12: Core. Professional bodies framework for governance. Back to Duty

K13: Core. The evidence base related to improving outcomes in the health and justice setting. Back to Duty

K14: Core. Professional bodies requirement for ensuring duty of care and continuity of care and the impact from not having effective handovers and ongoing care. Back to Duty

K15: Core. Coaching, mentoring and supervision strategies, including management of poor performance. Back to Duty

K16: Core. How feedback can improve training delivery. Back to Duty

K17: Core. How shame, stigma, discrimination and prejudice can impact those in the criminal justice setting. Back to Duty

K18: Core. Symptoms of common mental health disorders and the evidence-based management plan. Back to Duty

K19: Core. The evidence base related to undertaking a risk assessment for suicidal ideation and self-harm thoughts. Back to Duty

K20: Core. The resources available for ongoing care including acute symptoms, health promotion, such as: sexual health, advocacy, mental health and emotional distress, alcohol and substance misuse and wider needs. Back to Duty

K21: Core. The local medicines management processes of their organisation. Back to Duty

K22: Core. Forensic principles to managing community and off-site examinations in accordance with the FFLM Recommendations for the Collection of Forensic Samples from Complainants and Suspects. Back to Duty

K23: Core. Forensic strategy for cross contamination and evidence base. Back to Duty

K24: Custody. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance for management of medical emergencies. Back to Duty

K25: Custody. The relevant guidelines for acute and chronic healthcare according to National Institute of Clinical Evidence (NICE) and the evidence base underpinning the management plan. Back to Duty

K26: Custody. How interviewees can be vulnerable and common miscarriages of justice related to false confessions. Back to Duty

K27: Custody. Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984), Approved Police Practice and safety measures in police custody. Back to Duty

K28: Custody. The evidence base underpinning drug and alcohol dependency including National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) resources. Back to Duty

K29: Custody. Drugs & alcohol management, symptoms of withdrawal, brief interventions and referrals to ongoing services and harm reductions strategies, according to NICE and RCGP. Back to Duty

K30: Custody. De-escalation techniques: restraint, Taser and other sequelae. Back to Duty

K31: Sexual Offence. The Sexual Offences Act (2003) and pathways related to disclosure. Back to Duty

K32: Sexual Offence. Trauma informed care and the impact on individuals who experience trauma and strategies to support recovery. Back to Duty

K33: Sexual Offence. The British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) and Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Health (FRSH) guidelines and the evidence base underpinning sexual health. Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Core. Using appropriate tools such as DASH and CSE to assess the patient and identify sexual abuse, domestic violence and wider vulnerability needs. Back to Duty

S2: Core. Identifies a forensic strategy, which includes consideration of account, cross-contamination and evidence base in accordance with the FFLM Recommendations for the Collection of Forensic Samples from Complainants and Suspects. Back to Duty

S3: Core. Take evidential samples competently such as: skin swabs, intimate samples, toxicology and others in accordance with the FFLM Recommendations for the Collection of Forensic Samples from Complainants and Suspects. Back to Duty

S4: Core. Document injuries accurately including use of camera systems where appropriate. Back to Duty

S5: Core. Use an exhibit list and ensure chain of evidence process is completed. Back to Duty

S6: Core. Construct a written statement for court. Back to Duty

S7: Core. Give oral evidence in court and respond to cross examination. Back to Duty

S8: Core. Critically appraise the evidence in written statements and write objectively. Back to Duty

S9: Core. Undertake governance processes such as audit, clinical incident reporting, feedback and to follow policy and processes, especially related to infection control, medicines management and health and safety. Back to Duty

S10: Core. Obtain valid consent and record it. Back to Duty

S11: Core. Undertake an assessment of capacity and document the outcome including best interests’ decisions. Back to Duty

S12: Core. Manage confidentiality in a forensic environment. Back to Duty

S13: Core. Establish duty of care and continuity of care of patients by creating care plans, referrals and signposting. Back to Duty

S14: Core. Mentor, coach and supervise others, such as the wider professional team. Back to Duty

S15: Core. Recognise the needs of those who are poorly performing and identify and implement, an appropriate performance plan for improvement. Back to Duty

S16: Core. Communicate within a criminal justice setting in accordance with the Forensic Science Regulator Legal Guidance (FSR, 2020). Back to Duty

S17: Core. Identify your personal belief systems. Back to Duty

S18: Core. Participate in clinical supervision. Back to Duty

S19: Core. Assess an individual and identify and record acute and chronic mental health conditions and disorders. Back to Duty

S20: Core. Undertake a suicide/self-harm risk assessment. Back to Duty

S21: Core. Clean the room in preparation for a forensic examination. Back to Duty

S22: Core. Administer and dispense medication, following their local processes regarding safety and medicines. Back to Duty

S23: Core. Apply forensic principles to managing other scenarios such as: hospital patients, those in prison or other environments. Back to Duty

S24: Core. Acts in accordance with legislation, standards, policies, guidelines, professional frameworks and procedures. Back to Duty

S25: Core. Manage organisational learning and quality improvement. Back to Duty

S26: Core. Respect individual's diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences.  Back to Duty

S27: Core. Identify their own unconscious bias and act with objectivity. Back to Duty

S28: Core. Make decisions using evidence base. Back to Duty

S29: Core. Identify the different injury types and their significance as evidence. Back to Duty

S30: Custody. Manage acute medical symptoms including: shortness of breath, seizures & chest pain. Back to Duty

S31: Custody. Assess, treat and refer for acute and chronic health conditions. Back to Duty

S32: Custody. Assess an individual for fitness to detain and identify a management plan, including observations where there is an additional medical need. Back to Duty

S33: Custody. Assess an individual for fitness to interview and charge, and identify if an appropriate adult is required and interview strategies where there is an additional medical need. Back to Duty

S34: Custody. Using approved assessment tools (CIWA/COWS), assess, treat and refer those who are dependent on drugs\alcohol, such as: manage symptoms of withdrawal, referrals to ongoing services, harm reduction strategies. Back to Duty

S35: Custody. Identify de-escalation techniques such as restraint, Taser and other sequelae. Back to Duty

S36: Custody. Undertake a field impairment test and other road traffic procedures Section 4/Section 5 and Section 5a of the Road Traffic Act (1988). Back to Duty

S37: Sexual Offence. Assess, treat and refer for identified sexual health needs such as, risk of pregnancy and risk of sexually acquired infections. Back to Duty

S38: Sexual Offence. Communicate to patients who have been exposed to sexual violence. Back to Duty

S39: Sexual Offence. Identify strategies to support recovery for individuals who experience trauma. Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Core. Be professional and confident with knowledge for court. Back to Duty

B2: Core. Honest and trustworthy ensuring a high standard of professional integrity. Back to Duty

B3: Core. Challenge areas of concern. Back to Duty

B4: Core. Reflective and open to constructive feedback. Back to Duty

B5: Core. Exhibit resilience, self-awareness and ability to adapt. Back to Duty

B6: Core. Work collaboratively with multiple agencies to ensure safe and effective care in ways that respect professional differences. Back to Duty

B7: Core. Shows attention to detail, accuracy and precision. Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


Additional details

Occupational Level:

7

Duration (months):

12

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0788
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 02/07/2021
Approved for delivery: 19 July 2019
Route: Health and science
Minimum duration to gateway: 12 months
Typical EPA period: 6 months
Maximum funding: £5000
Options: Custody, Sexual Offence
Trailblazer contact (for apprenticeship standard content and trailblazer membership queries only): vanessa.webb2@nhs.net
Employers involved in creating the standard: Mountain Healthcare Limited, Northamptonshire Foundation Trust, Mitie Care and Custody, CRG Medical Services, Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, Survivors In Transition, G4S, Kent Police Force, Dorset Healthcare NHS University Foundation Trust, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust, St Marys SARC, Havens SARC, Lime Culture, Forensic Regulator, UKAFN, FFLM, NHS England, Staffordshire University, Teeside University
LARS Code: 489
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 Funding band revised. End-point assessment plan and standard revised (published 2 July 2021). 19/07/2019 Not set Not set
1.0 Approved for delivery 19/07/2019 20/05/2021 Not set