Military hazardous incident experts to be recognised

Posted on 30 March, 2023 by Advance 

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) and Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI) are collaborating to recognise forensic specialists within the UK Armed Forces who deal with incidents involving hazardous materials.

Image courtesy Cranfield University

Cranfield University, through its partnership with the Ministry of Defence at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, has launched the initiative to recognise specialist counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) and selected explosive ordnance disposal and search staff as professional level members of CSFS.

Membership of the professional body is a valuable tool, demonstrating a commitment to the forensic field, and this level of membership denotes professional status, carrying the post-nominal MCSFS.

To receive the recognition, members must have been working in the field of forensic science, or a closely related field, for at least three years and demonstrated a high degree of both academic and occupational experience.

Dr Matthew Healy, Senior Lecturer in Defence and Security at CFI, said: “Capability rests with people who need accurate knowledge and safe effective skills to function. Remaining ahead of the challenge requires imagination and strategy, whilst the motivation and retention of good people requires them to be valued and recognised. The combination of research-led education of a university, the rigorous methods and experiences of military service and the analysis and oversight from a professional body will help keep the UK in a good place to defeat, attribute and deter CBRN challenges.”

Lt Col Steve Johnson, of the British Army’s Land Warfare Centre, and Senior Lecturer in Forensic Exploitation and Intelligence at CFI, said: “Complex, hazardous CBRN incidents are challenging; in a military context an extra dimension of difficulty is added. Supporting our personnel with recognised professional membership helps them maintain and develop themselves. It ensures the highest standards and promotes lifelong learning that serves our personnel during their military career and makes them more employable on transition to civilian life.”

Darrell Matthews, CEO of CSFS added: “I am very pleased that the UK Ministry of Defence have seen the professional value of their specialists joining and look forward to working with them to get the most out of their membership and supporting all of their team through their careers.

“Forensic investigations at hazardous scenes or involving the challenge of CBRN are extremely complex and need a professional workforce. CSFS works with a number of organisations and academic institutions offering group memberships from student to professional level, including Cranfield University’s own staff and I am very happy that we have strengthened this relationship.”