There are a growing number of training institutes and centers of professional excellence throughout the worldwide forensic science community.
In the United States, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) is a nonprofit professional society whose mission it is to create and promote the highest standards of professional performance in forensic scientific analysis. This organization holds annual symposia and professional institutes designed to offer continuing education and training in forensic science, management, and leadership. In 1995, the ASCLD established the National Forensic Science Technology Center in order to create a centralized means of providing outstanding quality of education, systems support, and training for the forensic scientific community throughout the United States.
The United States Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF ) Laboratory has a long and illustrious history of excellence in the worldwide forensic community in the areas of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives, and fire debris analysis. A central facet of ATF's mission is to provide training to the worldwide forensic community, as well as to U.S. federal, state, and local investigators and examiners.
The European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) was created with the expressed intention of creating a world community of forensic scientists who would exchange ideas, and share knowledge as a universal group of experts, maintaining the highest standards of professional practice, without being bound by culture or location.
Interpol has a forensic section containing international working groups in areas such as DNA , fingerprints, and disaster victim identification . In addition, Interpol hosts an international forensic science symposium every three years, the stated purposes of which are to provide a professional forum for forensic managers, to present an overview of the scientific advances occurring during the previous three years, and to create an environment conducive to the open exchange of information among all Interpol member states.
In Australia, the National Institute of Forensic Science was established as a national common police service whose purposes are: to sponsor and support forensic scientific research; to hold institutes for the sharing, support, and exchange of forensic training, education, and information; and to maintain system-wide standards of forensic scientific quality assurance. In addition, the NIFS works at continual professional forensic science quality improvement, both locally and worldwide, as well as at the promotion of environmentally responsible use of resources.
The Forensic Science Division, located in Hong Kong, provides comprehensive forensic scientific services to the criminal justice system. It contains two sections: the Criminalistics and Quality Management Group and the Drugs, Toxicology, and Documents Group. The Criminalistics and Quality Management Group has eight operational sections: Biochemical Sciences A Section, Biochemical Sciences B Section, Chemical Sciences Section, DNA Database Section, Parentage Testing Section, Physical Sciences Section, and Scene of Crime and Quality Management Section.
India's Central Forensic Science Laboratory was designed to meet the forensic science needs of the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation, the Delhi Police, the government of India, and various Indian central government agencies. In addition to the analysis of forensic, scientific, and evidentiary materials, the CFSL conducts research and development in all areas of forensic science, and provides forensic science training to investigating officers and others involved in the forensic sciences, and conducts institutes and educational symposia for police, professional, and public organizations.
Japan's Training Institute of Forensic Science is tasked with providing organizational staff, police professionals, and criminal laboratory personnel with training, education, and strategic technology in the theory and practice of forensic science. In addition to the five core training courses offered (Basic, Advanced, Specialized Technique, Research, and Management Courses), the Training Institute of Forensic Science is committed to the international exchange of forensic science information and technologies through its international research and training course.
The Netherlands Forensic Institute is part of the Ministry of Justice, and is responsible for ongoing forensic scientific and technical research. It is organized into the following technical units: pathology ; toxicology; DNA-technology; hair and fibers ; firearms and ammunition; shotgun residue; explosives; toolmarks , footwear, and tire impressions; forensic engineering and material science; fire investigation ; fingerprints; environmental analysis; illicit drugs ; general chemistry (excluding fire-accelerants and paint); hand- and machine-writing; speech; questioned documents ; traffic accidents; vehicle identification; and digital technology. The NFI is one of the founding members of the ENFSI, and it maintains extensive contact, collaborative partnerships and projects, and professional networks with other countries' forensic laboratories, research institutes, and universities. The NFI is expressly committed to worldwide cooperation in the solution and prevention of international crime.
In Poland, the Institute of Forensic Research conducts forensic science research, prepares for and provides expert opinions throughout the country's legal system, and is tasked with professional development, advancement, and promotion of the forensic sciences, particularly within the legal and justice systems. The Institute conducts ongoing research in the areas of toxicology; illicit drugs; DNA profiling ; road accidents; forensic engineering; paint; glass ; fibers and textiles; gunshot residues; toolmarks, footwear, and tire impressions; forensic photography ;handwriting; questioned documents; fingerprints; forensic psychology ; and audio-speech analysis.
Singapore's Forensic Science Division of the Department of Scientific Services, Institute of Science and Forensic Medicine, claims world-renowned status for its forensic science services. It is the sole provider of forensic science expertise and services to the Central Narcotics Bureau, to the police, and to the Singapore judiciary. In addition, it provides expert forensic, medical, and legal services to hospitals and other requesting government agencies. Since 1996, the Forensic Science Division has achieved and maintained the distinction of being ASCLD accredited in the areas of DNA, serology , controlled drugs, firearms/toolmarks, trace evidence , questioned documents, and toxicology. The ASCLD accreditation is considered symbolic both of the achievement of international recognition and of consistent maintenance of the highest standards of professional excellence.
The Istanbul University Institute of Forensic Sciences is the only academic institution in Turkey to offer graduate degrees in forensic science. The Institute is a member of ENFSI, and it provides expert forensic scientific support to Turkey's criminal justice system.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the most comprehensive or internationally respected forensic institutes in the world today; it is intended as a representative sampling designed to pique the reader's interest and, perhaps, to spark a personal exploration of the worldwide forensic scientific community.
see also American Academy of Forensic Sciences; FBI Crime Laboratory; Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), United States Federal; Technology and forensic science.