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6th April 2009, 9:18am
Forensic Science makes its case with national recognition
Professor Peter White Forensic Science students at the University of Lincoln have been given good evidence that their course is providing the skills they will need in the workplace.

The University has been acknowledged as a recognised provider of Forensic Science education and training programmes by Skills for Justice - the sector skills council for employers, employees and volunteers working in the UK criminal justice system.

Skills for Justice has been working with the Forensic Science Society to introduce a Skillsmark quality mark for Forensic Science courses as a way of assuring employers that the quality of learning really prepares those studying for employment in Forensic roles. This week (6 April) they launched the Forensic Skillsmark accreditation scheme, which provides evidence of excellence.

Having secured Skillsmark Recognition, the University of Lincoln - already one of the first three universities in the UK to be fully accredited by the Forensic Science Society - will now be fast-tracked towards winning full Skillsmark Endorsement. If successful, it would be the first university in the country to achieve this status.

Professor Peter White, Professor of Forensic Science at the University of Lincoln’s Department of Forensic and Biomedical Sciences, said one of the programme’s strengths was its firm foundation in science – as shown in its recognition by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

He said: “We want our students to be employable and to have every opportunity for success. The course covers the full judicial process, from the crime scene right the way through to court. We do crime scene investigation so they understand what happens at a crime scene. We then take that into the laboratory, so they will know as a forensic scientist how the evidence has been gathered.

“At the end of it, our graduates will have the investigative, problem-solving skills and critical thinking that are needed to serve as a credible expert witness.”

Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of Skills for Justice, said: “When employers in the justice sector told us they wanted a guarantee of excellence in education and training provision, we took up the challenge and in consultation with employers, we developed Skillsmark - an accreditation scheme that helps employers to identify education and training that meets their needs.
“Skillsmark is awarded to learning providers who have gone through a rigorous assessment process and have been recognised as providing high quality learning programmes relevant to the needs of employers.  It’s great to see the University of Lincoln gaining Skillsmark Recognition, particularly in relation to Forensic Science as there is a real need for these courses to give learners the skills they need to be job-ready.”

Professor Peter White worked as a forensic scientist for the Metropolitan Police for more than 15 years. He is the author of From Crime Scene to Court: The Essentials of Forensic Science, a key textbook for students of the subject around world.

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