Certification of forensic practitioners in the UK has gained momentum in recent years although it has proven to be more challenging to achieve for the independent practitioner. This is true for the discipline of forensic anthropology and to address this, the British Association for Forensic Anthropology was formed in 2011. This association has undergone an intensive period of standard setting and validation in partnership with the Royal Anthropological Institute as its professional body. The RAI has a Forensic Anthropology Committee whose main role is to provide oversight of the professional certification process.

The work to date has included the development of:

The certification process aims to provide two things; a transparent, fit-for-purpose guide to end users on the required skill set of the forensic anthropologist and a career pathway for the forensic anthropology professionals of the future. The certification process and its development will be presented within the framework of appropriate scientific quality standards now being demanded by the Forensic Science Regulator and the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom.

Certification of forensic anthropologists in the UK are separated into 3 categories which permit police, judiciary or other clients to select a level of experience that is suitable for their needs and to identify geographically local capabilities.

  • Forensic Anthropologist I - The highest level of certification and is chartered status. These are highly experienced practitioners who have court room experience.
  • Forensic Anthropologist II - This level includes practitioners who have evidenced competence in both their practical and theoretical knowledge of forensic anthropology. They may not yet have given evidence in a courtroom but they will be mentored by an FAI to assist them in this regard.
  • Forensic Anthropologist III - The practitioners in this level have evidenced that they have some experience and knowledge in the field of forensic anthropology. They may not have yet had real field experience of a case but they will be mentored by either an FAI or an FAII practitioner.

A list of those already certified as FAI is available here

A list of those already certifies as FAII is available here

A list of those already certified as FAIII is available here

Forensic Science Regulator legal guidance

If you have any additional queries, please communicate these to the examination board via the email address fac@therai.org.uk.


Forensic Anthropology Events

Anthropology Communicates: Sue Black on Forensic Anthropology

BAFA Virtual Winter Conference

Presidential Address 2020 - Sue Black

Presidential Address 2019 - Sue Black

RAI Research Seminar: Caroline Wilkinson

RAI Research Seminar: Lucina Hackman

Scottish Student Forensic Research Symposium

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