About NIFS

Our Strategic Intent

Deliver high quality and innovative products, services, and advice to enhance capability, efficiency, and reliability of the forensic sciences for police, justice, and the community.

Our History

Founded in 1992, the National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS) was overseen by a Board of Control consisting of a Chair nominated by the Federal Attorney-General, three Police Commissioners and the heads of three forensic science laboratories. The Honourable John Harber Phillips AC, QC was the nominated Chair from 1992 to 2008. In 2009, following a decision by the Ministerial Council for Police and Emergency Management, NIFS became a directorate within ANZPAA, an agency that is hosted by Victoria Police and governed by the ANZPAA Board of Police Commissioners.

In 2013, the ANZPAA Board directed an independent review of NIFS. The review was completed in 2014 by The Honourable Frank Vincent AO, QC to inform decisions on the future governance and funding arrangements of NIFS.This review resulted in the establishment of the Australia New Zealand Forensic Executive Committee (ANZFEC) to provide funding and oversight of NIFS. In 2016, the existing Senior Managers of Australia New Zealand Forensic Laboratories (SMANZFL) voted unanimously to amalgamate its membership to ANZFEC and transfer management of the Specialist Advisory Groups to ANZPAA NIFS. More information on the history of SMANZFL can be found in the 2008 journal article by Mr Alastair Ross, A brief history of SMANZFL on the 21st anniversary of its formation (Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences 40:1, 31-35).



Build cross-jurisdictional forensic science capability, effectiveness, and adherence to best practice through collective investment, focus, networking, and support.


Contribute to a deep and innovative forensic science body of knowledge and enhance the way we assess, adopt, and implement new forensic capabilities and procedures.

Information Exchange

Promote and facilitate information-sharing and cross-jurisdictional dialogue and events.
Education & Training

Education & Training

Maximise opportunities for forensic science skills and knowledge development.
Education & Training


Deliver quality assurance programs, develop standards and manage the practitioner certification program.
Education & Training

We deliver:

  • Extensive networks of specialist and technical advisory groups and project working groups.
  • A central point of information for police, the judiciary, academia, the media and the public.
  • Research and innovation support, prioritisation, co-ordination and advice.
  • Representation of Australia and New Zealand forensic science interests at national and international forums.
  • Cross-jurisdictional capability development, policy instruments, advice, education and training products and workshops.

  • Strategic forums for leaders in forensic science across Australia and New Zealand.
  • Promotion of quality, standards, and adherence to best practice.
  • Professional and robust proficiency test and expert certification programs.
  • Secure cross-jurisdiction information exchange.
  • The Engender Change diversity and inclusion program.

  • High priority specialist forensic science projects as agreed by the forensic science sector.
  • Environment scanning, foresight and gap analysis.
  • Collaborative procurement.
  • Forensic science awards and recognition programs.
  • Corporate communications for stakeholders.