Forensic anthropology is a scientific discipline that applies the methods of physical and biological anthropology to the medico-legal process and criminal justice system.
In general terms, practitioners analyse unidentified human remains in order to establish a biological profile of the individual. This may include a determination of the ancestry, sex, age, and stature of the individual and an assessment of any pathological conditions, ante-, peri- and post-mortem trauma, or other individuating characteristics that may ultimately assist in the identification of the deceased. Other areas of forensic anthropology that assist the medico-legal and criminal justice system include facial anthropology and reconstruction; estimation of age of the living; and anatomical and body recognition and assessment. Forensic anthropologists can also assist with the estimation of post-mortem interval and the interpretation of cultural, burial and mortuary contexts (forensic taphonomy).
The British Association for Forensic Anthropology (BAFA) was established in 2011 under the umbrella of the British Association for Human Identification (BAHID) to develop and promote professional standards and accreditation of the discipline of Forensic Anthropology within the United Kingdom under the guidance of the office of the Forensic Regulator. The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland has agreed to be the professional governing body that will oversee the quality and standards of professional accreditation for Forensic Anthropology as devised by BAFA.
The approved Code of Practice, Practicioner Levels and CPD guidelines can be found on the RAI website. Their site also holds all information about the accreditation process, and a list of accredited Forensic Anthrpologists.
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