Our Roles and Programs

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Our strategic programs were developed in close collaboration with key forensic leadership and subject matter expert groups.  They are designed to address priority needs and issues in forensic science.  A summary of our Roles and Programs is provided below:

NIFS Roles 2017.PNG

Our Programs


Operational Capability Program: Supporting and strengthening current forensic science services

Ongoing activities include:

- Maximising opportunities for engagement with stakeholders such as the Australia New Zealand Forensic Executive Committee (ANZFEC); the ANZPAA Board; the International Forensic Strategic Alliance (IFSA); the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and a range of academic institutions.

- Facilitating and supporting forensic capability groups such as the ANZPAA Disaster Victim Identification Committee (ADVIC) and the Chemical Warfare Agent Laboratory (CWALN).

Project activities include:

- Investigating the underpinning science requirements for forensic science services provided by government laboratories in Australia and New Zealand and undertaking gap analyses to inform the ANZPAA NIFS Research and Innovation Roadmap.

Operational Effectiveness Program: Improving the way forensic science services are delivered

Ongoing activities include:

- Co-ordinating procurement options to realise cost savings to agencies through undertaking annual DNA consumables negotiations and facilitating centralised access to drug reference standards.

Project activities include:

- Informing forensic science policy through the development of training and education materials to assist in the implementation of the National Policy for Cross-Jurisdictional Familial DNA Searching for the Investigation of Crime in Australia.

- Facilitating and co-ordinating Australia and New Zealand forensic science projects such as Evaluative Reporting and Rapid DNA Workflow Assessment.


Research and Innovation Strategy Program: Driving strategic research and innovation forward planning

Ongoing activities include:

- Providing guidance on current and emerging research and innovation through attendance at national and international forensic science conferences.

Capability Development Program: Enhancing the way we assess, adopt and implement new forensic science tools

Project activities include:

- Facilitating the adaption and integration of new research, technology and innovations such as Facial Identification.

- Assessing new and emerging technology and innovations.

Engagement and Recognition Program: Encouraging and recognising forensic science excellence

Ongoing activities include:

- Encouraging and recognising forensic science excellence through the management of the John Harber Phillips Award and NIFS Best Paper Awards.

Information Management

Specialist Advice Program: Maximising the exchange of forensic science information and enhancing communication

Ongoing activities include:

- Co-ordinating and managing the Specialist Advisory Groups.

- Providing opportunities to share forensic science information through the provision of the ANZPAA NIFS website and quarterly newsletter.

Education and Training

Education and Training Program: Identifying and delivering national forensic training needs

Ongoing activities include:

- Facilitating specialised forensic science workshops such as the Ian Riebeling New Practitioners Workshop and workshops developed by the Specialist Advisory Groups.

Project activities include:

- Identifying and delivering national forensic training needs such as the SMANZFL Strategic Leadership Workshop.


Certification Program: Promoting and delivering certification of forensic science experts

Ongoing activities include:

- Providing a robust mechanism for forensic science practitioner certification through management of the Australasian Forensic Field Sciences Accreditation Board (AFFSAB).

Proficiency Testing Program: Ensuring the production and delivery of the proficiency testing programs

Ongoing activities include:

- Facilitating the development and release of the After the Fact (AtF) crime scene proficiency test.

- Co-ordinating the procurement and distribution of proficiency tests to provide substantial cost savings to forensic science agencies.

Standards Program: Leading the development and supporting the application of forensic science standards

Ongoing activities include:

- Participating in the development of and promoting the application of Australian and International Standards.

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