Forensic Practitioner

Forensic Practitioner

On a forensic practitioner apprenticeship course, you’ll help gather evidence for the police through forensic sampling, toxicology, documentation of injuries and provision of a statement.

As a forensic practitioner in sexual offence, you will provide victims of sexual assault with crisis intervention and empowerment. This entails a trauma-informed assessment of healthcare needs in the areas of sexual health and pregnancy prevention, mental health and emotional distress, drugs and alcohol, safeguarding, broader vulnerability, and ongoing therapy.

You will develop a tailored strategy for each client and provide expert testimony to assist jurors in understanding the evidentiary foundation for sexual assault. 

It will also be your obligation to establish the individual’s fitness to interview and detain, as well as to ensure the individual’s human rights and needs are addressed while in custody.

What you’ll learn

On a forensic practitioner apprenticeship course, you’ll learn to:

  • Examine the patient using approaches like DASH and CSE to discover sexual abuse, domestic violence, and other areas of vulnerability.
  • Skillfully collect evidence samples such as skin swabs, intimate samples, toxicological, and others following the FFLM Recommendations for the Collection of Forensic Samples from Complainants and Suspects.
  • Use an exhibit list to ensure that the chain of evidence method is followed.
  • Make a written statement for the judge.
  • Give evidence in court and respond to cross-examination.
  • Critically examine the evidence in written claims and write objectively.
  • Conduct governance activities like audits, clinical incident reporting, and feedback and adhere to rules and procedures, especially infection control, medication management, and health and safety.
  • Conduct a capacity assessment and document the findings, including best interests judgements.
  • Maintain secrecy in a forensic setting.
  • Create a patient duty of care and continuity of treatment, develop care plans, referrals, and signposting.
  • Mentor, coach, and supervise others, including the whole professional team.
  • Recognise the needs of underperforming and plan and implement an appropriate performance improvement approach.
  • Following the Forensic Science Regulator’s Legal Guidance, speak in a criminal court setting (FSR, 2020).
  • Determine and document an individual’s acute and chronic mental health diseases and disorders.
  • Conduct a suicide/self-harm risk assessment.
  • Clean the room in preparation for a forensic investigation.
  • Administer and distribute medicine following local medication and safety guidelines.
  • Apply forensic principles to various scenarios, such as hospital patients, inmates, and others.
  • Recognise and act objectively in the face of their own unconscious bias.
  • Make decisions based on facts.
  • Determine the different types of injuries and their significance as evidence.
  • Treat any acute medical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, seizures, or chest pain.
  • Evaluate a person’s fitness to detain and create a management plan, including observations of any further medical requirements.
  • Determine an individual’s fitness to interview and charge, as well as if an appropriate adult is required, and interview strategies in situations when there is an additional medical necessity.
  • Assess, treat, and refer people addicted to drugs or alcohol using authorised assessment procedures (CIWA/COWS), such as treating withdrawal symptoms, transferring them to ongoing care, and adopting harm reduction measures.
  • Recognise de-escalation strategies, including restraint, Taser, and other aftereffects.
  • Assess, treat, and refer for recognised sexual health concerns, including pregnancy risk and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Communicate with patients who have been assaulted sexually.
  • Determine strategies to help in the recovery of traumatised individuals.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • Must be a registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council or a registered paramedic with the Healthcare Professionals Council.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level before taking the end-point assessment.

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment consists of two distinct assessment methods: 

  • Practical demonstration with question and answer session
  • Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Duration and level

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Level: 7 – Degree Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 7 Forensic Practitioner Apprenticeship standard can be found here.

Apprenticeship end point assessment

For more information about the End Point Assessment Process, please read the Institute of Apprenticeships’ information page.

Updated on October 1, 2022

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