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: 

Conduct duties relating to a death incident in the forensic pathology support environment 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
243637  Conduct duties relating to a death incident in the forensic pathology support environment 
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  10 
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 persons working in a forensic pathology support environment who conduct the initial duties relating to a death incident. Learners will learn how to analyse and respond to a death incident, taking into account current legislation and the role players that may be needed to participate in the investigation. They will also be required to create a record of the death scene and assess the evidence in terms of how it should be handled in line with infection control principles and in order to maintain the chain of custody. Learners will also be required to know the legislation, processes and principles to be followed when exhuming human remains.

Learners will be able to:
  • Manage a request for forensic pathology support services.
  • Assess the scene of death in a given situation.
  • Perform forensic pathology support activities associated with the scene of death.
  • Explain the processes relating to the exhumation of human remains. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Communication NQF 4.
  • Apply knowledge of anatomy, patho-physiology and trauma pathology NQF Level 5. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
  • Scene of death refers to the place where the body is found.
  • Processes and procedures as referred to in this unit standard should be in line with organisation standard operating procedures and any prescripts or codes as prescribed by national role players, such as the Department of Health.
  • "Given Situation" refers to forensic case studies, structured scenarios, particular contexts.
  • Wherever the term "evidence" is used in the unit standard it refers to human remains and evidence pertaining to human remains for the purposes of determining circumstances or cause of death.
  • For the purposes of this unit standard the terms "body" and "human remains" are used as synonyms. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Manage a request for forensic pathology support services. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Types of death scenes are analysed in order to select equipment, role players, processes and procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Types of death scenes may include accidental, suicidal, homicidal, undetermined etc.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Incoming requests are evaluated to determine actions and decisions in line with current legal and regulatory prescripts. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Regulatory prescripts may refer to codes and prescripts prescribed by the National Department of Health.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    A given situation is responded to, based on an evaluation of the request. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Information related to the request is collated in order to complete administrative requirements in the prescribed format. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Assess a death scene in a given situation. 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    More than one given situation may be assessed. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Types of death scenes are categorised for the purposes of gathering evidence and to establish the involvement of the role players. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Accidental, suicidal, homicidal, undetermined. Range role players: South African Police Services, Independent Complaints Directorate Officials, other medical professionals, field experts, witnesses, family members, friends etc.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Types of death scenes are assessed in order to determine which legislation is applicable. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Role players are identified in terms of their roles and responsibilities. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Role players may include: South African Police Services, Independent Complaints Directorate Officials, other medical professionals, field experts, witnesses, family members, and friends.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    A given situation is assessed to determine specific forensic pathology service activities required. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Activities may include communication with role players, photography, handling and collection methods, and administrative processes.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Perform forensic pathology services activities associated with the death scene. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Death scene activities are assessed in order to determine which role players should be involved. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    A record of the incident scene is created for the purposes of forensic investigation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Record: photograph, sketching, documentation.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Evidence types related to the body are defined for the purposes of forensic investigation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Defined includes identified and classified.
  • Evidence includes: the body, exhibits and samples of clothing, biological evidence, projectiles, imaging of the body, specimens for toxicological analysis, entomological specimens and specimens for forensic odontology.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Evidence is assessed in order to determine handling requirements in line with forensic pathology service procedural requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Handling evidence includes gathering, dispatching, transporting and safe-keeping of evidence.
  • Procedural requirements may refer to codes and prescripts prescribed by the National Department of Health.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The chain of custody is maintained in the handling of evidence. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Handling includes selecting, preserving, dispatching and safe-keeping.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Infection control principles are applied in line with policies and procedures and current legislation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Regulatory prescripts may refer to codes and prescripts prescribed by the National Department of Health.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Explain the processes relating to the exhumation of human remains. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Current legislation relating to exhumation is described in terms of its impact on the exhumation process. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Exhumation refers to interred human remains.
  • Legislation refers to the Inquest Act 58 of 1959, Human Tissues Act 65 of 1983, National Health Act 61 of 2003 and municipal by-laws.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Processes and procedures to be followed in an exhumation are explained in line with prescripts. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Prescripts may refer to municipal by-laws, organisation procedures and codes as set out by the National Department of Health.
     


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • An individual wishing to be assessed (including through RPL) against this unit standard may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • 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.
  • Moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA at its discretion. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Knowledge of elementary anatomy, patho-physiology and trauma pathology and its application within the context of the working environment.
  • Knowledge of photography.
  • Equipment; vehicles, trolleys, imaging equipment, lighting, personal protective equipment, body bags, evidence collection kits.
  • Role players: South African Police Services, Independent Complaints Directorate Officials, other medical professionals, field experts, witnesses.
  • Current Legislation as amended may include applicable sections of: Inquest Act 58 of 1959.
  • Birth, Death and Registrations Act 51 0f 1992.
  • National Health Act 61 of 2003.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993.
  • Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act 78 of 1973.
  • Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998.
  • Human Tissues Act 65 of 1983.
  • Criminal Procedures Act 51 of 1977.
  • Municipal by-laws. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Working in a Team in that a learner must recognise that he or she is required to work as part of a team with all role-players at the scene of death. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Self Management in that the learner is responsible for organising and managing him/herself when working at a scene of death, ensuring he/she has the correct kit/equipment with them. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Learners are required to collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information and potential evidence at the scene of death. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Learners are required to communicate with role players at the scene, using a variety of communication methods. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Learners are required to use science and technology through the use of photographic techniques and other relevant equipment such as GPS and palm tops. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Learners are required to see the world as a set of related systems in that their conduct and decisions at a scene of death have an impact on others in the working environment and broader community. 

    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 
  • Scene of death refers to the place where the body is found.
  • Evidence for the purposes of this unit standard refers to physical, testimonial, documentary and behavioural. The evidence referred to in this unit standard is constitutes "potential evidence".
  • A learner should display an awareness of cultural and religious sensitivities when working in this environment.
  • Processes and procedures as referred to in this unit standard should be in line with organisation standard operating procedures and any prescripts or codes as prescribed by national role players, such as the Department of Health.
  • For the purposes of this unit standard the terms "body" and "human remains" are used as synonyms. 

  • 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 


    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.
     
    NONE 



    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.