Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh “
Forensic-clinical chemistry in the sense of these Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations deals with the realisation, quality assurance, assessment, interpretation and expert opinion of qualitative and quantitative analyses of toxicologically relevant substances in examination material of living persons. Such scientific expertise plays an important role regarding legal and/or medical problems. That is why the GTFCh as a professional association offers adequate postgraduate professional education.
The focus of this postgraduate professional education lies on practical work in postgraduate professional educational institutions. The postgraduate period serves to deepen professional experience in a structured form, especially the passing on, acquisition and proof of thorough knowledge, experience and skills in forensic-clinical chemistry including furnishing of written and oral expert opinion. Details are listed in the postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1).
Institutions for postgraduate professional education can be forensic-toxicological institutions of respective university institutes or equivalent institutions directed by a “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh“, “Forensic Toxicologist GTFCh”, or a “Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh”. All these institutions are published on the GTFCh website. The applicant has to choose a Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh, a Forensic Toxicologist GTFCh, or a Clinical Toxicologist GTFCh as mentor who will be responsible for supervising the applicant during the period of postgraduate professional education. The mentor should preferably work in the same institution as the applicant. If practical training contents cannot be delivered, they can preferably be obtained in other educational institutions by visits.
Prior to the start of the postgraduate education, applicants are recommended to seek advice from the vice-president in charge of the training, or from the chair of the certification commission regarding their choice of mentor and institution.
2. Requirements for obtaining the professional title
The certification as “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh“ is awarded by the GTFCh upon request provided that the following conditions are fulfilled:
2.1 Membership in the GTFCh
2.2 Proof of university studies in natural sciences or medicine and respective degree
2.3 Proof of at least five years of practical experience after obtaining the university degree in an educational institution verified by a superior. For applicants working part time, the period of education may have to be extended. Educational periods in other related postgraduate professional education areas can be accredited up to two and a half years. Periods of graduation in an educational institution can be accredited up to 50% (but not more than two years), if the dissertation subject is related to the field of our postgraduate education programme.
2.4 Proof of further education in the related field by certificates regarding the status of postgraduate education and further target agreements annually issued and signed by the applicant and his mentor, starting at the beginning of mentorship.
2.5 Proof of in-depth knowledge, experience and skills in the various fields of activity of the postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1)
2.6 Proof of the ability to assess complex facts of a case in the field of forensic-clinical chemistry by presentation of 25 clinical findings reports exceeding basic commented laboratory findings, which cover all processed examination materials
2.7 Proof of participation as an expert in court proceedings belonging to field of activity of the applicant and according to the custom of the respective country
2.8 Proof of skills in performing scientific work by submission of at least 10 independent scientific publications in acknowledged professional journals in the field of forensic-clinical chemistry (whereof six publications as first author or corresponding author) if expert activity cannot be substantiated. Upon submission of at least five complex independent and anonymised forensic-clinical expert reports, this number may be reduced to five publications (whereof four as first author or corresponding author)
2.9 Successful passing of a final oral exam according to examination regulations (appendix 3) in all areas of the postgraduate professional education catalogue (appendix 1)
2.10 Payment of processing fee
Application is to be informally directed to the president of the GTFCh. Submission should exclusively be effected in form of a pdf-file. Originals of the documents submitted must be on the applicant's hand and may be requested as needed by the certification commission. The following documents must be presented:
3.1 Curriculum vitae
3.2 Certificate of completed university studies in natural sciences or medicine
3.3 Certificate of graduation
3.4 Written confirmation of at least five years of practical work by the superior.
For part-time work, the differences between that and full-time work must be explained
3.5 Certificates on the subject-related progress of postgraduate professional education signed by the applicant and his mentor (at least one certificate per year, starting at the beginning of mentorship)
3.6 Certificates according to appendix 1 of postgraduate professional education regulations
3.7 At least 25 independent findings reports exceeding basic commented laboratory findings, which cover all processed examination materials
3.8 Proof of participation as an expert in court proceedings belonging to the field of activity of the applicant and according to the custom of the respective country
3.9 Ten independent scientific publications in acknowledged journals in the field of forensic-clinical chemistry or in related fields (whereof at least six publications as first author or corresponding author) if expert activity cannot be substantiated. Alternatively, at least five independent scientific publications in acknowledged journals in the field of forensic-clinical chemistry or related fields (whereof four publications as first author or corresponding author), if at least five complex, independent and anonymised expert reports according to point 2.8 are submitted
3.10 Written statement as follows: „I, ....., commit myself to observe the GTFCh code of Ethics and to immediately inform the executive committee of the GTFCh of any professional changes provided that the new field of activity is no longer related to forensic-clinical chemistry. I am aware of the fact that upon forfeiture of the prerequisites the approval as “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh“ may be withdrawn, likewise upon insufficient continuing education according to the GTFCh continuing education regulations“.
4. Issue of certification
4.1 Procedures of certification as “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh“ are regulated by the certification commission's code of procedure (appendix 2)
4.2 After the certification commission's examination of the candidate's application according to the effective postgraduate professional education regulations, the president of the GTFCh will be informed of the result. The executive committee decides on admission to the examination and at the same time on the issue of certification in general
4.3 In well substantiated exceptions, the executive committee may admit the applicant for examination, even if not all of the preliminaries are fulfilled.
4.4 An examination fee must be paid
4.5 After passing the exam, the chairman of the certification commission will inform the GTFCh president of the result. A certificate of certification, signed by the GTFCh president and the chairman of the certification commission will be issued. The professional title may be carried only after the president's written confirmation.
4.6 Should the applicant not be accepted for examination or fails to pass, a written appeal to the president may be filed within three months. The executive committee decides on further procedures. Legal recourse is excluded.
4.7 Names of persons admitted as “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh“ are published on the GTFCh website.
5. Commitment to further education
The certification as “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh“ makes continuing education in the field of forensic-clinical chemistry obligatory.
6. Retraction of certification
The executive committee may retract certification should the prerequisites for obtaining the professional title no longer be met, or were never met in the first place.
7. Transitional regulations
Procedures for obtaining the title “Forensic Chemist GTFCh” (field of activity: forensic-chemical analyses of body fluids or other biological material of living persons), the opening of which have been applied for before 17th April 2015 may be dealt with according to the guidelines of 3rd April 2009 upon request. Persons with the professional title “Forensic Chemist GTFCh” working in the field of “forensic-chemical analyses of body fluids or other biological material of living persons” may have their title replaced by the professional title “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh” upon request from the date of legal validity of these postgraduate professional educational regulations. After returning their certificate on the certification as “Forensic Chemist GTFCh”, a certificate on the certification as “Forensic-Clinical Chemist GTFCh” will be delivered to them within eight weeks. Upon delivery of this certificate, the right to hold or use the professional title “Forensic Chemist GTFCh” expires. The tasks of the certification commission according to appendix 2 will be performed by the certification commission “Forensic Toxicologist GTFCh” until the next general assembly.
8. Legal validity of Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations
The version at hand was passed by the executive committee on 19th March 2015 and confirmed by the general assembly on 17th April 2015.