FCN manages and oversees the SFR process on behalf of policing and the criminal justice system. The national guidance document and suite of forms were created through a period of extensive consultation with stakeholders including police forces, CPS, forensic service providers (FSPs), the defence and have received the support of the Senior Presiding Judge.
The templates give practitioners tools for a consistent approach to reporting forensic outcomes, allowing investigations and prosecutions to be progressed fairly and effectively using high-quality, relevant forensic science.
Ultimately, the aim is to deliver proportionate forensic evidence that meets the needs of all parties, at every stage in the criminal justice process.
The SFR forms below were updated in January 2021 and are available for use immediately. Transitioning to these new forms is encouraged as soon as possible to promote compliance and mitigate risk of challenge within the CJS.
Key updates to the SFR forms include an Accreditation Declaration and a new Declaration of compliance with the Code of Conduct published by the Forensic Science Regulator. The Mitigation Table has been removed from SFR2 and included in a separate annex (Annex B). Annex A has been split into further annexes to assist use in the CJS. Formatting updates have also been completed.
To accompany the new forms, there is also an update to the SFR References to Accreditation Briefing Note. Discipline specific examples have been removed from the website temporarily until they have been transferred to the new format.
The SFR Guidance document is also under review. The FCN is currently awaiting steer from the CPS Legal and Policy Advisor with regards to digital reporting, before this can be finalised. The latest version will be uploaded to the website once clarification has been received and any changes have been completed.
FCN invites members of the policing, CJS, FSP, defence and judiciary community to get involved in shaping the future of SFR. We initially ask you to check the list of approved forensic disciplines and ensure they are compliant; any extensions to this scope need to be approved by the National SFR Board.