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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

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 the unique element to this role 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, our professional bodies standards and also respects that there is a public interest and a right to justice. Uniquely, the role of a 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, a 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.

In sexual offence, the 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 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.

In custody, the 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 however practitioners do travel to other venues such as prisons, care homes, hospitals. alleged victims home and court. This person is an autonomous 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:

Sexual offence examiner, Forensic nurse practitioner, Sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), Forensic medical examiner, Forensic physician, Forensic nurse examiner, Healthcare professional, Forensic practitioner, Forensic nurse, Forensic paramedic

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. NC/HCPC/GMC requirement. 

Core Occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Lead and manage a medical emergency

K1 K2 K5

S1 S2 S15 S27

B1 B5 B7 B8

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

K3 K4 K5 K15 K16 K19 K20 K23 K27 K28

S3 S12 S13 S14 S15 S19 S20 S26 S29

B1 B3 B4 B5 B7 B8

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

K5 K6 K7 K8 K12 K28

S4 S5 S6 S7 S12 S13 S23 S33

B1 B7 B8 B9

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

K9 K10 K11 K12 K27

S7 S8 S9 S10 S19 S20

B2 B3 B5 B6 B9

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

K13 K14 K15 K17 K18 K25

S11 S18

B4 B5 B6

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

K5 K14 K16 K19

S12 S13 S14 S15

B1

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

K4 K5 K16 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K24 K26 K29

S12 S13 S14 S15 S30

B1 B7

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

K17 K18

S16 S17 S18 S19 S20

B3 B4 B5 B6

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

K6 K7 K12 K13 K19 K20 K27

S4 S8 S9 S10 S19 S20

B1 B3 B5 B6

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

K16 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K25 K26 K28

S13 S14 S15 S18 S19 S21 S22 S25 S26 S27 S28 S29

B1 B7 B8

Duty 11 Follow robust processes for cross contamination of evidence

K6 K8 K28

S4 S7 S23 S33

B3 B4 B5 B7 B9

Option Duties


Custody care duties

Duty

KSBs

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

K16 K23 K25 K26

S15 S21 S25 S27 S28 S29

B1 B7 B8

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

K12 K14 K27 K28

S13 S28 S29 S31 S32 S33

B1 B3 B4 B7 B9

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

K2 K23 K25 K29

S2 S15 S25 S30

B1 B7 B8

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

K6 K7 K8 K12 K28

S3 S5 S7 S12 S13 S14 S31 S32 S33

B1 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8 B9


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

K3 K4 K5 K14 K15 K16 K19 K20 K23 K24 K25 K27 K28

S3 S13 S14 S15 S18 S19 S20 S24 S25 S26 S31

B1 B3 B4 B7

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

K23 K24 K25 K26

S15 S24 S25 S26 S27

B1 B7 B8

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

K21 K23 K28

S19 S20 S21 S26 S27

B1 B5


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Understand the Resuscitation Council standards for resuscitation Back to Duty

K2: Identify the National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidance for management of medical emergencies Back to Duty

K3: Understand the Sexual Offences Act and pathways related to disclosure Back to Duty

K4: Identify the risk factors in sexual violence, domestic violence, child sexual abuse and wider vulnerability Back to Duty

K5: Understands the legislative and professional frameworks for consent, confidentiality, best interest decisions, public disclosure and sharing information lawfully Back to Duty

K6: Understand the principles of forensic science, locards principle and sample collection techniques Back to Duty

K7: Identify the different injury types and understand their significance as evidence Back to Duty

K8: Identify the forensic regulator guidelines and their relevance to practice Back to Duty

K9: Understand the principles of good statement construction Back to Duty

K10: Understand courtroom etiquette Back to Duty

K11: Understand the difference between a witness of fact and an expert witness Back to Duty

K12: Understand the importance of unconscious bias in the criminal justice system and the need for objectivity Back to Duty

K13: Understand the principles of organisational learning and quality improvement Back to Duty

K14: Understand the professional bodies framework for governance Back to Duty

K15: Understands the evidence base related to improving outcomes in the health and justice setting Back to Duty

K16: Understands the professional bodies requirement for ensuring continuity of care and the lessons learned from not having effective handovers and ongoing care Back to Duty

K17: Understands coaching and mentoring strategies including management of poor performance Back to Duty

K18: Understands how feedback can improve training delivery Back to Duty

K19: Understand how shame, stigma, discrimination and prejudice can impact those in the criminal justice setting Back to Duty

K20: Understand trauma informed care and the impact on individuals who experience trauma and identify strategies to support recovery Back to Duty

K21: Identify the symptoms of common mental health disorders and the evidence based management plan Back to Duty

K22: Understands the evidence base related to undertaking a risk assessment for suicidal ideation and self harm thoughts Back to Duty

K23: Aware of the resources available for ongoing care including: acute symptoms, health promotion including sexual health, advocacy, mental health and emotional distress, alcohol and substance misuse and wider needs Back to Duty

K24: Understands the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV and Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Health guidelines and the evidence base underpinning sexual health Back to Duty

K25: Describe the local medicines management processes of their organisation Back to Duty

K26: Understands the relevant guidelines for acute and chronic healthcare ie National Institute of Clinical Evidence and the evidence base underpinning the management plan Back to Duty

K27: Understands how interviews can be vulnerable and common miscarriages of justice related to false confessions Back to Duty

K28: Understands Police and Criminal Evidence Act, Approved Police Practice and safety measures in a police custody Back to Duty

K29: Understands the evidence base underpinning drug and alcohol dependency including National Institute of Clinical Excellence and Royal College of General Practice resources Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Resuscitate a person who is unconscious. Back to Duty

S2: Manage an acute medical symptoms such as shortness of breath, seizures & chest pain Back to Duty

S3: Assess the patient and identify if there is acute or non recent sexual abuse, domestic violence and wider vulnerability needs utilising appropriate risk assessment tools where appropriate Back to Duty

S4: Identify a forensic strategy which includes consideration of account, cross contamination and evidence base Back to Duty

S5: Take evidential samples competently including skin swabs, intimate samples, toxicology and others Back to Duty

S6: Document injuries accurately including use of camera systems where appropriate Back to Duty

S7: Prepare an exhibit list and ensure chain of evidence process it completed Back to Duty

S8: Construct a written statement for court Back to Duty

S9: Give oral evidence in court Back to Duty

S10: Critically appraise and write objectively Back to Duty

S11: 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

S12: Obtain valid consent and record it effectively Back to Duty

S13: Undertake an assessment of capacity and document the outcome including best interests decisions Back to Duty

S14: Decide how to manage confidentiality in a forensic environment Back to Duty

S15: Ensure continuity of care of patients by effective care plans, referrals and signposting Back to Duty

S16: Teach and supervise others including the wider professional team Back to Duty

S17: Recognise the needs of those who are poorly performing and identify an appropriate performance plan for improvement Back to Duty

S18: Effectively communication within a criminal justice setting Back to Duty

S19: Identify your personal belief systems Back to Duty

S20: Participate in clinical supervision Back to Duty

S21: Assess an individual and identify acute and chronic mental health conditions Back to Duty

S22: Assess an individual and identify acute and chronic mental health conditions Back to Duty

S23: Clean the room in preparation for a forensic examination Back to Duty

S24: Assess, treat and refer for identified sexual health needs including risk of pregnancy and risk of sexually acquired infections Back to Duty

S25: Administer and dispense medication safely, following their local processes regarding safety and medicines Back to Duty

S26: Effectively communicate to patients who have been exposed to sexual violence Back to Duty

S27: Assess, treat and refer for acute and chronic health conditions Back to Duty

S28: Assess an individual for fitness to detain and identify management plan including observations where there is an additional medical need Back to Duty

S29: 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

S30: 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 including demonstrating the use of approved assessment tools in this setting Back to Duty

S31: Identify de-escalation techniques and have knowledge of restraint, taser and other sequlae Back to Duty

S32: Undertake a field impairment test and other road traffic procedures Back to Duty

S33: Apply forensic principles to managing other scenarios Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Empower decision making, respecting individual's diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences Back to Duty

B2: To be professional and confident with presentation of knowledge to court Back to Duty

B3: Honesty and trust ensuring a high standard of professional integrity Back to Duty

B4: Courage to challenge areas of concern Back to Duty

B5: Reflective and open to feedback both positive and negative Back to Duty

B6: Exhibit resilience, self-awareness and demonstrate the ability to change Back to Duty

B7: Work collaboratively with multiple agencies to ensure safe and effective care in ways that respect professional differences Back to Duty

B8: Undertake a confident assessment with knowledge and show respect and empathy Back to Duty

B9: 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
Date updated: 07/01/2020
Approved for delivery: 19 July 2019
Route: Health and science
Minimum duration to gateway: 12 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £4000
Options: Custody care, Sexual offence
Trailblazer contact(s): 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

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Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 07/01/2020 Updated structure Previous version
1 19/07/2019 Assessment plan and funding band published. Approved for delivery

Not available

1 03/02/2019 Standard first published

Not available

1 26/06/2018 Initial creation

Not available