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Forensic archaeology matrix guide

The IfA Forensic group has developed a specialist matrix using CRFP criteria. This should be used as a guide when writing your Statement of competence and applicants should note that the Validation committee will use the standard matrix to score the application but will refer to the specialist matrix as a guide.

Forensic matrix


Practitioner (PIfA)
Knowledge Autonomy Coping with Complexity Perception of Context
Ability to understand archaeological problems, excavate, record, plan and draw sections rapidly Limited task autonomy - may be assigned role of assisting. Basic knowledge of police structure, criminal investigation, and scene of crime infrastructure Understands role in team, and limitations of role
Understand the role of photography in an investigation and direct photographers accordingly Understands issues of confidentiality and sub- judice
Basic knowledge of human skeletal components and their anthropological significance, familiarity with skeletal terminology
Ability to keep up to date with developments in the field and to take active steps to maintain competence


Associate (AIfA)

Knowledge Autonomy Coping with Complexity Perception of Context
Ability to understand archaeological problems, excavate, record, plan and draw sections rapidly Working with Lead Archaeologist but with considerable autonomy within delegated tasks Broad knowledge of police structure, criminal investigation, and scene of crime infrastructure Understands role in team, and limitations of role
Understand the role of photography in an investigation and direct photographers accordingly Broad knowledge of appropriate legal framework, including court systems, disclosure and continuity of evidence Ability to provide reports orally and in writing to colleagues, to communicate succinctly without excessive terminology
Basic knowledge of human skeletal components and their anthropological significance, familiarity with skeletal terminology Understanding of the evidential requirements of other scene of crime personnel, e.g. forensic scientist, entomologist
Familiarity with electronic and conventional methods of survey, aerial photography, understanding of advantages and limitations of relevant geophysical techniques
Ability to keep up to date with developments in the field and to take active steps to maintain competence


Member (MIfA)

Knowledge Autonomy Coping with Complexity Perception of Context
Ability to understand complex archaeological problems, excavate, record, plan and draw sections rapidly Take role as Lead Archaeologist with Reporting status. Broad knowledge of police structure, criminal investigation, scene of crime infrastructure and of the relevant criminal justice system and procedures. Ability to provide reports orally and in writing to colleagues, to communicate succinctly without excessive terminology, and to give evidence lucidly in court.
Familiarity with electronic and conventional methods of survey, aerial photography, understanding of advantages and limitations of relevant geophysical techniques Be able to make a practical contribution to a Search Strategy. A broad knowledge of landscape, soils and factors which dictate the selection of deposition sites. An awareness of what maps, pictorial and aerial imagery resources might be utilised to reconstruct landscapes (changes to tree lines, coastline etc.); and, have a working knowledge of both modern and older building constructions especially in terms of floors, walls, footings, subfloor deposits. Understanding of the evidential requirements of other scene of crime personnel, eg forensic scientist, entomologist. Being able to plan a systematic and sequenced excavation strategy that ensured the ‘best evidence’. To provide advice and to work in concert with the Police Search Adviser (POLSA), Police Search Team; and Police Dog handlers. To provide advice as to use of other specialists available to assist the search and location phase. To acknowledge boundaries of own expertise, to recommend others as appropriate, and ability to work independently but within team
Basic knowledge of human skeletal components and their anthropological significance, familiarity with skeletal terminology Ability to give advice confidently, to acknowledge boundaries of own expertise, to recommend others as appropriate, and ability to work independently, but within team
Ability to keep up to date with developments in the field and to take active steps to maintain competence Active participation within the IfA Special Interest Group to encourage ‘best practice’. Often provides Training Inputs to Police Forces or other investigative authorities.

Institute for Archaeologists
Miller Building
University of Reading

Reading RG6 6AB

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