The AFCA Approach
The AFCA approach is to deliver the required competencies as part of the forensic process not as individual units within the course. Students will be trained on theory, tested on their knowledge then trained and tested on the required skills. Once they have passed the theory only then do they undertake the practical and workplace assessment.
Traditional training focuses on competencies delivered individually, building to a qualification. AFCA uses a different approach, training students on a process underpinned by knowledge and skills to lead to a competency.
Each student will be provided with an in-house manual that outlines all the knowledge and skills required but with all the essential elements of a sound forensic investigation process. AFCA acknowledges that each organisation conducts its investigations using different processes and procedures. However, by using this approach the student gains an understanding of each element of a forensics process and therefore is prepared for an organisational process.
This approach has two intended effects:
- Students are trained to understand a forensically sound process that allows them to quickly understand the distinctive nature of an organisation’s processes.
- Students are given the incentive to finish training by providing an environment that allows them to practice and build skills that make them job-ready.
The Training Assessment Strategy
The AFCA training and assessment strategy is broken into three phases:
- Online knowledge training and assessment
- Face to face skills training and assessment
- Workplace training and assessment
Online Training Assessment
Knowledge training will be delivered through an online learning management system, broken into modules. Each module will cover a step in the SDFIM process, in sequence. The very first module will cover the definitions and process outline so students understand the training as part of the process. The student must pass the knowledge test for each module before progressing forward to the next. Each student will be provided with a manual with the requisite knowledge and teaching points and may keep this manual post the course to assist in their workplace. Assessment will be conducted through online testing, with a variety of multiple-choice and written tests. Students will be given several opportunities to meet the required standard, including assistance from the instructors and mentors. Once a student passes the required knowledge test they can move forward to the next module. Once all modules are completed successfully, the student is then able to undertake the Face to Face skills training and assessment phase.
Face To Face Skills Training and Assessment
Face to face skills training will be undertaken in a classroom and simulated work environment. Students will be given hands-on training to provide them with the practical aspects of dealing with electronic and forensic devices. This will be followed with a supported practice of working through a forensics case, starting with the preparation phase through to analysis and giving evidence in a mock court, finishing with a review of their performance as they would in a real case. The students will then undertake a final assessment with another practice case based on real-world experience. The students will be expected to display the required knowledge and skills in the simulated environment to be able to move to the final phase.
Workplace Training and Assessment
Students will need to complete the required hours of workplace experience, as well as undergo an assessment by AFCA instructors in the workplace. Student’s supervisors will be asked to provide workplace reports on the work undertaken and the standard of that work. Students will also be provided with additional research and information to keep them up to date with the emerging theory and practice. Once the student has completed the requisite hours in the workplace and has been signed off by their supervisor, then they will be issued with their qualification. In some cases, students may find they require differing hours within the workplace. This may depend on their previous experience and performance in the workplace. This is at the discretion of the director of AFCA. In addition, students are expected to be trained by their workplace in specific workplace procedures, equipment and software.