Southern Association of Forensic Scientists

CODE OF ETHICS

The by-laws of the SAFS establishes an ethics committee responsible for a code of conduct by which membership of and applicants to the SAFS are required to abide by. The following code is an attempt to outline the ethical requirements expected by the membership of the SAFS. This code is a general guide and therefore cannot encompass all aspects of ethical professional conduct. The ethics committee is tasked with evaluating any case of ethical misconduct brought before the board by either a SAFS member or a reliable source outside the SAFS as deemed creditable by the board. Violations(s) of the SAFS code of ethics will serve as a basis for removal dependent on review by the ethics committee and the board of directors.

Members and applicants will not:

  1. Communicate to the board or its representative(s) an intentional misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission of a material fact in an application or in any other official communication.
  2. Have been convicted of a felony or any crime involving morale turpitude.

Applicants and members shall:

  1. Ensure that evidential materials are:
    a. Properly evaluated for services having potential probative value
    b. Handled in a manner such that probative examinations have maximum potential
    c. Analyzed using techniques/methods approved by accrediting bodies and/or are accepted by the forensic community as appropriate and reliable.
    d. Analyzed using methods which incorporate standards, reference materials, and/or controls as appropriate.
  2. Treat all information from an agency or client with the confidentiality required.
  3. Record notes contemporaneously and include all pertinent observations and results of testing.
  4. Maintain an attitude of independence and impartiality.
  5. Disclose the results of testing to be inclusive of all probative and potentially probative results.
  6. Results and conclusions, whether written or verbally transmitted, are communicated in accordance with evidence in the case (neither understated nor embellished).
  7. Answer hypothetical or opinion questions in light of statements 4, 5, and 6 above.
  8. Testify in a manner which clearly communicates the results and conclusions of the evidence analyzed and does not embellish the significance of any testing.
  9. Give equal access to results, conclusions and the basis for any opinions to duly appointed legal counsel assigned to the litigation as allowed by law and/or administrative rules.
  10. Respect your peers and not engage in libelous or slanderous practices.
  11. Report to the board any conduct in violation of these rules conducted by an applicant or member.
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