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: 

Demonstrate an understanding of the field of forensic biology 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
242713  Demonstrate an understanding of the field of forensic biology 
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 
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 fundamental theoretical principles in physiology and molecular biology that form the basis of the techniques used in forensic biology examinations.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physiological characteristics of semen used in forensic biological examinations.
  • Explain the elementary physiological characteristics of blood which are used in forensic biological examinations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the elementary structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Unit standard: Demonstrate an understanding of forensic science.
  • Unit standard: Demonstrate an understanding of the specialised fields in forensic science biology on NQF level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the physiological characteristics of semen used in forensic biological examinations. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Characteristics refer to elementary characteristics and not detailed physiological aspects of semen. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The elementary physiology and morphology of spermatozoa are explained in terms of their impact on forensic examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Morphology must include, but is not limited to, description of the acrosome, head, mid-piece and flagellate tail of the spermatozoa as well as the identification of morphological differences of spermatozoa between species.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The elementary composition and biochemical characteristics of seminal fluid are explained in the context of forensic examinations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Pathological abnormalities of semen are explained in terms of its impact on forensic biological examinations. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain the elementary physiological characteristics of blood which are used in forensic. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Characteristics refer to elementary characteristics in the context of forensic biological examinations, and must include, but are not limited to, haemoglobin. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Red blood cells are described in terms of their characteristics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    White blood cells are described in terms of their elementary physiological characteristics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Blood platelets and biochemical composition of blood plasma are described in terms of their elementary physiological characteristics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Blood groups are explained in terms of their elementary physiological characteristics. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the elementary structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The chemical composition and structure of DNA is described with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The primary, secondary and tertiary structure of DNA must be described according to the Watson and Crick model.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Genetic code and genetic markers are explained in the context of forensic biological examinations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Concepts must focus on the human genome and should include, but are not limited to: inheritance, chromosomes, loci, polymorphic alleles, diploid and haploid marker systems.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The synthesis of DNA is explained in the context of forensic biological examinations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Mitochondrial DNA is explained in terms of its elementary characteristics and compared to nuclear DNA (nDNA). 


    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 
  • Elementary cell biology.
  • Fundamental physiological principles.
  • Principles of forensic investigation.
  • Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51 of 1977).
  • Current Human Tissue Act.
  • Occupational health and safety. 

  • 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

    Acrosome:
  • Membrane-bound structure covering the anterior portion of the head of the spermatozoa.

    Anterior:
  • Situated towards the front of an object.

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

    Flagellate tail:
  • Section of the sperm cell that is located behind the neck or mid-piece.

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

    Forensic questioned documents:
  • Documents analysed with forensic document examination methods and techniques for the purpose of individualisation and identification.

    Germ cell:
  • A reproductive cell of the body. Egg cells in females and sperm cells in males.

    Head:
  • Section of the sperm cell that is located in front of the neck and tail.

    Haemoglobin:
  • Red pigment in the red blood cells carrying oxygen.

    Micro-organisms:
  • An organism that can only be seen under a microscope, including algae (simple rootless plants that grow in water), bacteria (single-celled organisms only visible under a microscope), fungi (simple plants, often microscopic, that lack photosynthetic pigment), protozoa (single-celled animals that are larger and more complex than bacteria) and viruses (small particle that infects cells in biological organisms. Viruses can only multiply when in contact with living cells).

    Mid-piece:
  • Section of the sperm cell that is located between the head and the tail.

    Mitochondria:
  • Organelles in a cell that is responsible for energy production.

    Mitochondrial DNA:
  • DNA located in the mitochondria.

    Morphology:
  • Description of the form and structure of an object.

    Nuclear DNA:
  • DNA located in the nucleus of a cell.

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

    Organelles:
  • A structure in cells which has a specialised function.

    Plasma:
  • Fluid portion of blood.

    Platelets:
  • Disk-shaped structures in blood that plays a role in blood clotting.

    Red blood cells:
  • Cells in blood containing haemoglobin and involved in the transport of oxygen.

    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.

    Spermatozoa:
  • Mature male germ cell produced by the testes.

    Testes:
  • Male reproductive organs where sperm are produced.

    White blood cells:
  • Cells in blood protecting the organism against micro-organisms.

    List of abbreviations
  • DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid.
  • mtDNA: mitochondrial DNA.
  • nDNA: nuclear DNA.

    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). 

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