SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Explain the evidential value of forensic biology examinations 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
242709  Explain the evidential value of forensic biology examinations 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Forensic Science 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Safety in Society 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard is intended for learners who will be required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of biological examinations in a forensic science environment. It is intended to provide the basic principles of presumptive testing for forensic biological evidence, basic principles of forensic individualisation techniques, and the use of DNA typing for forensic purposes. Learners within different sectors will have to apply these principles within the applicable legal framework which dictates specific mandates for specific sectors.

A person accredited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of presumptive testing for body fluids.
  • Explain the purpose and types of individualisation techniques.
  • Explain evidential concepts of DNA typing. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Knowledge of Physical Science at NQF Level 4.
  • Knowledge of Biology at NQF Level 4.
  • 242713: "Demonstrate an understanding of the field of forensic biology".
  • 242710: "Demonstrate an understanding of the evidential value of forensic biology evidence". 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of presumptive testing for body fluids. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Techniques used in presumptive testing must include, but are not limited to: luminol, brentamine, benzidine. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The techniques for body fluid identification are distinguished according to their scientific principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Body fluids must include, but are not limited to: semen and blood.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Preparation and storage methods of reagents are explained in relation to presumptive testing. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Methods of preparing work areas are described in relation to presumptive testing. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The reasons why results for presumptive testing must be recorded are explained with examples.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain the purpose and types of individualisation techniques. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    In this outcome reference is only made to forensic biological evidence. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The purpose of individualisation techniques are explained in terms of evidential principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Evidential principles must include, but are not limited to: Locard principle, principle of inclusion versus exclusion.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The non-DNA biochemical markers of individuality are described using examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Non-DNA biochemical markers must include, but are not limited to: proteins, enzyme, antigens and antibodies.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The principles of hair comparison are explained with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Principles must include, but are not limited to: human hair comparisons, species determination, and ethnic origin determination.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    DNA markers used in examination are described according to their individualisation properties. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    DNA markers include, but are not limited to: polymorphic, non-polymorphic markers.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain evidential concepts of DNA typing. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Evidential concept refers to elementary concepts such as direct and indirect comparison. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The factors determining the value of genetic markers are explained with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors must include forensic considerations for suitability and validity and must include, but are not limited to polymorphic variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) loci, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), short tandem repeat (STR), single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and mitochondrial DNA.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The value of a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) result is interpreted in context of the principle of direct and indirect comparison. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Critical factors which influence the preparation and storage of DNA samples are explained with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors must include, but are not limited to: contamination, sample handling, recording, and traceability.
     


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Any individual who wishes to be assessed against this unit standard (including assessment of RPL) may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA. Assessors must be competent in the outcome of the Unit Standard.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard or assessing this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the relevant ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Scientific process.
  • Forensic science.
  • Principles of forensic investigation.
  • Elementary biochemistry.
  • Quality guidelines.
  • Justice system.
  • South African Law of Evidence.
  • Occupational health and safety.
  • Current Human Tissue Act.
  • Criminal Procedures Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Scientific and legal reporting procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions, using critical thinking, have been made. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical, and/or language skills in the modes of written and/or oral presentation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically, show responsibility towards the environment and the health of others. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large, by making it the underlying intention of any programme of learning to make an individual aware of the importance of:
  • Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
  • Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
  • Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Glossary of terminology

    Benzidine:
  • A chemical reagent used for presumptive testing for the presence of blood.

    Brentamine:
  • The Brentamine Fast Blue test is a presumptive test for the detection of semen.

    Contamination:
  • Traces of biological material, or foreign material, transferred to other forensic exhibits due to inadvertent, deliberate or accidental causes.

    DNA:
  • Chemical structure in the nucleus of a cell that contains the genetic information of an organism.

    Ethnic origin determination:
  • Identifying the origin of an individual according to his/her ethnic background by means of forensic science identification techniques.

    Evidential principles:
  • Principles that determine the probative value in a court of law.

    Fluorescence:
  • Fluorescence is the emission light at a longer wavelength (generally in the visible range) as a result of the absorption of energy (generally at a shorter wavelength in the invisible range).

    Forensic biology:
  • Crime samples analysed by biochemical techniques for the purpose of identity determination in order to serve justice.

    Forensic biological evidence:
  • Evidence that contains biological material, or traces of biological material, that can be analysed by forensic techniques in order to determine identity.

    Forensic biological examination:
  • Scientific techniques used to analyse biological evidence material for forensic purposes.

    Light sources:
  • Light is used to enhance observation, photography and collection of the evidence. Used in presumptive testing to identify the presence of body fluids on evidence.

    Locard principle:
  • The Locard exchange principle refers to the fact that when two objects are brought into contact with each other, an exchange of material occurs between these two objects.

    Luminol:
  • Chemical reagent used for the presumptive testing for the presence of blood.

    Nucleus:
  • Membrane-bound structure within a cell, consisting of a number of characteristic organelles and that contains the nuclear DNA.

    Oxidation:
  • Oxidation is the process of reacting with oxygen, or the loss of hydrogen, or the loss or removal of one or more electrons.

    Probative value:
  • Indicates intrinsic value to serve the purpose of justice (i.e. during investigation or in a court of law).

    Sampling techniques:
  • Techniques used to collect forensic biological material from a crime scene.

    Species:
  • Groups of organisms that can be distinguished from each other by specific features. Each individual species is a group of related organisms having common characteristics and are capable of interbreeding.

    Species determination:
  • Scientific techniques employed to identify the species from which a sample originated.

    Trichological analyses:
  • Hair comparisons for the purpose of forensic investigation.

    Typing techniques:
  • Techniques used to analyse DNA for the purpose of identification in forensic science.

    List of abbreviations
  • AFIS: Automated Fingerprint Identification System
  • CJIS: Criminal Justice Information Services
  • CODIS: Combined DNA Index System
  • DCID: DNA Criminal Intelligence Database
  • DNA: Deoxyribonucleic Acid
  • GLP: Good Laboratory Practice
  • IBIS: Integrated Ballistics Identification System
  • IMS: Information Management Systems
  • ISO: International Standards Organisation
  • LIMS: Laboratory Information Management Systems
  • mtDNA: mitochondrial DNA
  • nDNA: nuclear DNA
  • RFLP: Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphis
  • SNP: Short Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • STaCS: Sample Tracking and Control System
  • STR: Short Tandem Repeat
  • VNTR: Variable Number of Tandem Repeat

    Legal

    Specific legislation recorded in this unit standard is left open ended, for additional legislation to be assessed. Wherever legislation is referred to in this unit standard, current legislation is implied:
  • Section 37 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Section 150 to 207 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Section 208 to 253 of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Sections 212(4)(a) and 212(8)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Bill of Rights as defined in the Constitution of the RSA Act (Act 108 of 1996).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993).
  • Section 1 of the Anatomical Donations and Post-Mortem Examinations Act (Act 24 of 1970).
  • Human Tissue Act (Act 65 of 1983).
  • South African Law of Evidence. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  57651   National Certificate: Forensic Science  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Elective  58183   National Diploma: Forensic Pathology Support  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. STRATEGIC INVESTIGATIONS AND SEMINARS 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.