Professional Membership: Continuing Professional Development Policy

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program has been developed as a part of the ANZFSS Professional Member eligibility program. It aims to provide credibility for ANZFSS Professional Members, evidenced through demonstrated engagement within the forensic science industry. It has been designed to quantify a Professional Member’s continued professional development within their general discipline, as well as within their designated area(s) of specialty within that nominated discipline.

In synergy with the ANZFSS Code of Professional Practice, the CPD program provides confidence that all ANZFSS Professional Members, as forensic practitioners[1], display technical, scientific and professional understanding in their application of their profession, and continually strive to develop their knowledge and skills throughout their career.

The ANZFSS has defined in general terms the types of CPD activities which are commensurate with satisfying the eligibility criteria for an ANZFSS Professional Member. Measurement of these activities has been designed to be general in nature and with in-built flexibility to accommodate for the diversity of disciplines and range of topics that forensic science encompasses. See below Activities Counting Toward CPD Points and CPD Activity Codes for further information.

Collectively, these pre-requisite activities form evidence of the candidate fulfilling the requirement for admission into and on-going acceptance of professional membership of ANZFSS.

Prospective and on-going Professional Members are expected to adhere to this CPD program through:

  • provision of evidence of attendance at, and engagement in, industry and discipline-specific initiatives and programs;
  • meeting legal and workplace standards and codes of conduct, and;
  • meeting ANZFSS Code of Professional Practice and Rules of Association.

This scheme is designed to be a minimum requirement for monitoring a Professional Member’s continued professional development within their general discipline, as well as within their designated area(s) of specialisation. The structure has also been designed to be inclusive of operational practitioner duties and management roles, as well as education programs and research activities. Applicants are required to simply provide evidence of a demonstrable link between their operational duties and learning/research activities within their specific professional discipline and relevant to forensic science and forensic medicine as a whole. This is ultimately adjudicated through the ANZFSS Professional Membership Board (the Board).

A total of 60 CPD points is required to have been accrued over the three years (36 months) directly prior to applying for professional membership. To maintain professional membership status 60 CPD points are also required to be accrued over each subsequent 3-year period of professional membership (based on ANZFSS’s financial year beginning 1 July). The Record of CPD Activities requires documentation of the activity and duration, in addition to a topic or theme this activity falls within.

Evidence of CPD point accrual is to be provided at the time of initial application for professional membership, and then every three years at the time of membership renewal. It is the responsibility of the member to supply these documents to the Board at membership renewal time (via email to membership@anzfss.org), along with the ANZFSS Record of CPD Activities.

Generous provision is made in CPD accumulation for extended absences from work, including parental leave.  Contact the ANZFSS Secretariat (membership@anzfss.org) for further details.

The ANZFSS trusts members will accurately report their CPD activities; however, the Professional Membership Board reserves the right to audit CPD submissions periodically. Additionally, the Board reserves the right to review and/or adjudicate if an applicant or renewing member hasn’t provided satisfactory evidence of the required CPD. The prospective or renewing member may be invited to show other proof of maintaining their expertise and continuing education and development.

Activities Counting Toward CPD Points

There are many activities that can potentially count towards professional development. The scheme is not limited to specific education programs or external activities; it allows inclusion of provision of expert evidence within a court of law, in-house training courses and workshops, preparation and/or delivery of presentations/workshops, etc.

To encapsulate the diverse and broad activities that can be incorporated as professional development, a list has been provided as a guide to facilitate measuring CPD.  An ‘other’ category has been included to allow flexibility and consideration of activities not listed. Applicants are required to provide evidence of a demonstrable link between the activity and the applicant’s specific professional discipline and/or forensic science in general, and to suggest the number of CPD points they think are reasonable for any activity in this ‘other’ category. The appropriateness of the activity and suggested points will ultimately be adjudicated through the ANZFSS Professional Membership Board.

Activities undertaken and counting toward CPD points are divided into two broad categories:

(1) Professional/Operational Work and Further Education, to account for at least 75% of CPD points, and

(2) Self Education/Professional Contribution.

It is desirable for members to cover activities within at least three of the seven suggested themes, and in 50% of the suggested activities, as opposed to just one or two themes in one activity, spread over the three years. The purpose of this is to ensure a diversity in skill maintenance and development across various aspects of the applicant’s discipline and the forensic sciences in general.

Applicants who have gained a professional tier of membership within another relevant professional group or attained certification under a scheme that is commensurate with the CPD and education expectations held by ANZFSS, may be eligible to bypass the need for CPD fulfilment by providing evidence of membership or certification under the other organisation. An example of such a program is the ANZPAA/NIFS Australasian Forensic Science Assessment Body (AFSAB) certification program.

Applicants to whom this may apply simply need to provide the name of the professional group and/or relevant CPD program, and evidence of their acceptance into that program and currency of their status (e.g. copy of certificate, email or letter of acceptance etc.) in lieu of a completed ANZFSS Record of CPD Activity. This submission will be adjudicated on by the Professional Membership Board.

Prospective Professional Members who would like further information or to seek clarification regarding their situation with regards to waiving of CPD requirements are encouraged to contact the ANZFSS Secretariat (membership@anzfss.org) with details of the program.

Demonstrated Evidence

As part of the CPD program, applicants and renewing members are asked to provide some form of evidence to support their attestation of engagement within their listed discipline(s) and area(s) of specialisation. This evidence should reflect a relevant, demonstrable link between their operational duties and learning/research activities within their specific professional discipline to the forensic science and/or forensic medicine industry. This is ultimately adjudicated through the ANZFSS Professional Membership Board.

Relevant evidence can take various forms such as demonstrating attendance at, and engagement in, industry and discipline-specific initiatives and programs, in addition to meeting legal and workplace standards and codes of conduct.

To assist members in sourcing evidence, the following list is provided as a guide. It is also recognised that for some CPD activities evidence other than self-proclamation may be difficult to source or provide; ANZFSS provides the capacity for this on the Record of CPD Activities.

With this in mind, ‘demonstrated evidence’ examples could include:

  • Endorsed attendance certificate or other appropriate evidence of attendance, e.g. event program, registration confirmation correspondence);
  • Training/course recorded results transcription;
  • Workplace communication by supervisor, manager, director or training officer attesting to operational practitioner role;
  • Workplace communication by supervisor, management or training officer attesting to satisfactory course completion for in-house training and professional development courses, including mentoring activities;
  • Statutory declaration;
  • Name of course(s) and/or presentations prepared and/or delivered to peers or other groups;
  • Email confirming participation in activity;
  • Calendar invite;
  • Subpoena; or
  • Certificate/letter of membership of a professional body commensurate with the CPD program for ANZFSS professional membership.

General Information

Developed in line with the ISO/IEC 17024:2012 guidelines

The owner of this CPD scheme is the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society Incorporated (ANZFSS Inc.). All activities associated with this scheme, Professional Members, applications, outcomes and processes are subject to and governed by the Society’s Rules of Association and Code of Professional Practice.

This CPD process is designed to monitor activities which the ANZFSS determines are commensurate with a candidate and/or Professional Member fulfilling the required pre-requisite activities towards admission to or renewal of ANZFSS professional membership. These requirements relate to specific occupational or skilled categories of persons.

The scheme includes:

  • Application
  • Assessment
  • Decision of acceptance
  • Renewal of membership
  • Use of professional membership status (certificate, post nominal, logos).

The ANZFSS Professional Membership Board consists of a core group of members, which shall include: the ANZFSS President (or nominee), one of the Vice Presidents, the nominated Branch President (or nominee) and up to two nominated professionals with recognised distinguished careers from within the forensic science industry, representing the academic and the operational forensic science industry. The Board may also opt to seek input from other identified industry professionals appropriate for the discipline of the candidate, and as deemed appropriate by the Board.

The role of the Board is to ensure validity of the CPD assessment process, and that the candidates have fulfilled the specified prerequisites and activities for admission and renewal as a Professional Member of ANZFSS. The Board will operate within the ANZFSS Rules of Association and in accordance with the Code of Professional Practice. Board members will demonstrate objectivity and impartiality, actively protecting against adverse influence on the intended activities and outcomes of this CPD program. To this end, any identified conflicts of interest will be resolved to guarantee all assessments are fair, balanced and demonstrate a lack of prejudice.

The Board will retain records of any meetings, decisions and outcomes related to professional membership applications, including the members present on the Board at the time of acceptance. Signatory confirmation by the ANZFSS President or their nominee on membership application denotes acceptance of a Professional Member. The Board, via the ANZFSS President or their nominee, shall inform the ANZFSS Council of outcomes and issues related to the program, as an ongoing Council meeting agenda item.

All membership outcomes will have a valid, transparent measure of assessment. An applicant or other person related to the CPD scheme may lodge an appeal for reconsideration of the decision; similarly, an applicant or other person related to the CPD scheme may lodge a complaint expressing dissatisfaction with any aspect of this process. This may be done following the ANZFSS Rules of Association.

[1] inclusive of operational staff, research and academic staff, legal and emergency service personnel