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Advanced Standards for Education and Training (ASET) in Forensic Practice


How would you like the opportunity to deliver professionally badged and endorsed education and training within forensic practice?


UKAFN has developed Advanced Standards for Education and Training in forensic practice (ASET) and is now able to offer education providers the opportunity to deliver courses that meet the ASET standards under licence.

This means as an education provider you can still be innovative and create your own course, while ensuring your successful students will be leaving with a professionally recognised qualification by a UK association with international acclaim. You will also have the freedom to price your course as you see fit.


What are the core elements of ASET?

  • Completion of a UKAFN approved competency document in either custody or sexual assault
  • Students are assessed providing written and oral evidence for court
  • Courses meeting these standards are underpinned by theoretical aspects of forensic practice
  • If your course meets these ASET standards, you will be eligible, subject to license, to market your course as professionally badged by UKAFN
  • Students successfully completing courses meeting the ASET standards and approved by UKAFN, will receive a UKAFN ASET certificate
  • Accredited at Postgraduate Level


Why is the ASET needed?

  • Nurses and Paramedics working in police custody and sexual offence are undertaking the majority of work. From Freedom of Information requests, between January and March 2015 police custody nurses and paramedics undertook
  • The Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine in their document ‘Quality standards for nurses and paramedics’ state that “All nurses and paramedics should obtain the UKAFN Advanced Standards for Education and Training (ASET) … within 3 years of commencing custody work.”
  • Nurses and Paramedics working in these settings are doing so at an ‘Advanced Practice’ level
  • Police custody especially is currently subject to intense scrutiny at a national level.  It is widely recognised that their needs better standardisation.


What will we get?

When you take a license to deliver a course meeting the ASET standard, you will receive the UKAFN developed detailed competency framework to assess health practitioners within in both Custody and Sexual Assault Arenas. The competency documents were developed by highly experienced forensic practitioners representing a cross-section of service commissioners. We can also provide the opportunity for you advertise your ASET course using the UKAFN website, Newsletters and Email bulletins at no extra costs.


What competencies will be measured?

  • Clinical aspects of the role, such as first contact, initial assessment, collection and storage of forensic samples, on-going management and psychological care
  • Professional conduct
  • Leadership
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Teaching and supervision


Am I eligible to apply for a license?

  • Any higher educational institution can apply
  • Students will be expected to identify a preceptor meeting the criteria set by UKAFN, within their workplace that can assess them in practice.


What are the benefits?

  • There is a movement towards professional organisations taking responsibility to set minimum competency standards in order to set National Benchmarks in education and training. UKAFN is raising the profile of forensic nurse practitioners and allied health care professionals, improving quality care and best practice.
  • Marketing UKAFN approved courses will be more attractive to an increasingly career minded and savvy student customer base.
  • Using this framework, your institution could apply to UKAFN for accreditation of your course, which is the first in the UK.


How much does it cost?

The Introductory Offer for this accreditation will be:

Annual licence £1,000 per pathway (police custody and sexual offence examination)

3 Year Licence, which will include annual update of documentation £2,500 per pathway (police custody and sexual offence examination)


Please complete the ASET Flyer and email to the address indicated.

ASET Standards

Advanced Standards in Education and Training in Forensic Practice

In order to meet the UKAFN ASET Standards a forensic practice course must include the following:

  • Be accredited by an HEI at Masters Level

  • Assessed in Clinical Practice utilising the UKAFN ASET Competency Document in either Custody or Adult Sexual Offence, whichever is applicable

  • Clinical Competencies must be assessed by Preceptor meeting the UKAFN Preceptor criteria (see below)

  • Must include the delivery and assessment of the fundamental principles of Forensic Practice, which includes:

    • Appreciation of Locard’s Principle of ‘Every contact leaves a trace’

    • Identification and recording of unique individual features and injuries

    • Understanding of the importance of anti-contamination

    • Understanding of maintaining the chain of evidence

    • A collegiate approach in working within a crime scene involving multi-disciplinary individuals

  • Must be assessed in providing both oral and written evidence for Court

  • Must include a Reflective piece demonstrating the ability to work at an Advanced Level of Practice

  • Must include a Reflective Case Study demonstrating their Competencies covering the following six cases:

    1. Capacity, consent and confidentiality; Must include an assessment of capacity, how this case may impact on the individual’s confidentiality and how a valid consent was obtained

    2. Safeguarding: children and/or vulnerable adults; Must include a safeguarding referral of an individual

    3. Mental health issues. Must include a Mental Health Assessment of an individual

    4. Documentation of significant injuries; Must include detailed documentation of the injuries

    5. Reflection on aftercare; Must include an onward referral and how this was followed up in this case

    6. Development of Clinical Practice; A reflection on either a completed Clinical Audit, or a completed Clinical Incident Form, which must be included in the appendices of this reflection.

No part of the ASET course can be APELed in any way. Students have to complete the whole course and are assessed by a UAKFN approved Preceptor in practice

Students must be fully employed to enable them to undertake forensic examinations independently and not employed through a third party, or on an ad hoc basis.

UKAFN must be invited to the Validation Events of such Courses to ensure the UKAFN ASET Standards are being met.

UKAFNP Preceptor Criteria

  • Have at least 2 years experience in sexual offence or custody (dependant on workplace area)

  • Possess a professional qualification: medicine, nursing, paramedic

  • Provide a reference from their line manager to say they are competent and have current expertise in their field, while also attesting that safer recruitment requirements have been met.

  • Sign to confirm they have read and understood the Preceptors Handbook – to demonstrate familiarity with the syllabus, understanding competency framework and standards and NMC accountability if signing off

  • Be aware that NMC Mentors must be on the same part, or sub-part, of the register as the student they are to assess and must be registered for at least one year before taking on this role.

  • Cannot be a current student on any stage of the MSc Advanced Forensic Practice

  • Preceptors who have completed an ASET Certificate are particularly suitable to act as Preceptors

  • Must not be a close relative or in a relationship with the student