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Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations “Forensic Chemist GTFCh“

1. Preamble

Forensic chemistry, in the sense of these Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations, deals with the realisation, quality assurance, assessment, interpretation and expert opinion of qualitative and quantitative analyses of organic and anorganic substances in the context of legal questions. Such scientific expertise plays an important role regarding legal and/or medical problems. That is why the GTFCh offers adequate postgraduate professional education.
The focus of this postgraduate professional education is on practical work on the job / in educational institutions. The education period serves to deepen professional experience in a structured form, especially in passing on, acquisition and proof of thorough knowledge, experience and skills in forensic chemistry, including furnishing of written and oral opinion. Details are listed in the postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1).
Institutions for postgraduate professional education are forensic-chemical laboratories in criminological institutions. If practical training contents cannot be delivered, they can preferably be obtained in other educational institutions by visitations. Prior to the start of the postgraduate education, applicants are recommended to seek advice from the vice-president in charge of the training, or from the chair of the certification commission.

2. Requirements for obtaining the professional title

The certification as „Forensic Chemist GTFCh“ is awarded by the GTFCh upon request, provided that following conditions are fulfilled:
2.1 Membership in the GTFCh
2.2. Proof of completed scientific university studies and respective graduation. 
2.3 Proof of at least five years of practical experience after obtaining the university degree in an educational institution verified by a superior. For applicants working part time, the period of education may have to be extended. Educational periods in other related postgraduate professional education areas can be accredited up to two and a half years. Periods of graduation in an educational institution can be accredited up to 50% (but not more than two years), if the dissertation subject is related to the field of our postgraduate education programme.
2.4 Proof of in-depth knowledge, experience and skills in the various sections of our postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1).
2.5 Proof of the ability to assess complex facts in the area of forensic chemistry by presentation of at least ten independent and anonymised expert reports per work field. In-depth knowledge and experience must be distinguishable in the following areas:
- Forensic interpretation of findings and/or facts of a case
- Sample drawing and preparation under special consideration of forensic trace evidence
- Qualitative and quantitative analysis procedures according to the state of science and technology
- Relevant legal regulations and competences
2.6 Proof of participation as an expert in court proceedings according to the custom of the respective country.
2.7 Proof of the applicant's successful participation in respective collaborative testings of recognised collaborative testing organisations.
2.8 Proof of skills in performing scientific as well as case-related work including publications and/or collaboration in scientific committees in the area of forensic chemistry.
2.9 Successful passing of an oral exam according to examination regulations (appendix 3) in all areas of our postgraduate professional education modules (appendix 1).
2.10 Payment of processing fee.

3. Application

Application is to be informally directed to the president of the GTFCh. Submission should exclusively be effected in form of a pdf-file. Originals of the documents submitted must be on the applicant's hand and may be requested as needed by the certification commission. The following documents must be presented:
3.1 Curriculum vitae
3.2 Certificate of completed university studies in natural sciences
3.3 Certificate of graduation
3.4 Written confirmation of at least five years of practical work by a superior. For part-time work, the differences between that and full-time work must be explained.
3.5 Certificates according to appendix 1 of postgraduate professional education regulations
3.6 It must be evident from the application for which field of work the specialist title is applied for. Work fields can be:
  • Narcotics; identification, quantitation and material comparison
  • Forensic-chemical analysis of body fluids and other biological material of living persons
  • Forensic-chemical analysis of food and utensils
  • Lacquer, paints, coating substances and other polymers
  • Fuse and blasting agents, blasting agent explosions
  • Fires and confined space explosions, fire accelerants and research on causes of fire
3.7 At least ten independent, anonymised expert reports (see 2.5) for each work area applied for. If the specialist title is applied for several work areas, the total number of expert reports can be reduced by the chairman of the certification commission
3.8 Proof of participation in court proceedings according to the custom of the respective country
3.9 Independent publications and/or proof of collaboration in scientific committes in the area of forensic chemistry
3.10 Written statement as follows: „I,........., commit myself to observe the GTFCh code of honour and to immediately inform the management of the GTFCh of any professional changes provided that the new field of activity is no longer related to forensic chemistry. I am aware of the fact that upon forfeiture of the prerequisites the certification as „Forensic Chemist GTFCh“ may be withdrawn, likewise upon insufficient postgraduate professional education according to the GTFCh education regulations.“

4. Issue of certification

4.1 Procedures of certification as „Forensic Chemist GTFCh“ are regulated by the certification commission's code of procedure (appendix 2).
4.2 After the certification commission's examination of the candidate's application according to the effective education regulations, the president of the GTFCh will be informed of the result by the chair of the comission. The executive committee decides on admission to the examination and at the same time on the issue of recognition in general.
4.3 In well substantiated exceptions, the executive committee may admit the applicant for examination, even if not all of the preliminaries are fulfilled.
4.4 An examination fee must be paid.
4.5 After passing the exam, the chairman of the certification commission will inform the GTFCh president of the result. A certificate of certification, signed by the president of the GTFCh and the chairman of the certification commission will be issued. The professional title may be carried only after the president's written confirmation.
4.6 Should the applicant not be accepted for examination or fails to pass, a written appeal to the president may be filed within three months. The executive committee decides on further procedures. Legal recourse is excluded.
4.7 Names of persons admitted as „Forensic Chemist GTFCh“ are published on the GTFCh website.

5. Commitment to Continuing Education

The certification as „Forensic Chemist GTFCh“ makes continuing education in the field of forensic chemistry obligatory.

6. Retraction of certification

The executive committee may retract certification should the prerequisites of obtaining the professional title no longer be met, or were never met in the first place.

7.Transitional regulations

Procedures, the opening of which have been applied for before the 1st of May 2015, may be dealt with according to the guidelines of 3rd of April 2009 upon request.

8. Legal validity of Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations

The version at hand was passed by the executive committee on the 12th of March 2015 and confirmed by the general assembly on the 17th of April 2015.