Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations “Forensic Toxicologist GTFCh “

1. Preamble

Forensic toxicology 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 biological and non-biological materials. 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 toxicology 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 Toxicologist GTFCh“. All these institutions are published on the GTFCh website. The applicant has to choose a Forensic 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 Toxicologist 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 toxicology by presentation of at least ten complex, independent expert reports on varying topics
 
2.7 Proof of participation as an expert in at least 25 court proceedings according to the custom of the respective country
 
2.8 Proof of skills in performing scientific work by submission of at least five independent scientific publications in acknowledged professional journals, predominantly in the field of forensic toxicology (whereof three publications as first author or corresponding author, and four publications in peer reviewed journals)
 
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

3. Application

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 ten complex, independent and anonymised expert reports in various areas of forensic toxicology
 
3.8 Proof of participation in at least 25 court proceedings as as an expert according to the custom of the respective country
 
3.9 Five independent scientific publications (whereof three publications must be as first author or corresponding author, and four publications in peer reviewed journals)
 
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 toxicology. I am aware of the fact that upon forfeiture of the prerequisites the certification as “Forensic Toxicologist 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 Toxicologist 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 certificatoin 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 Toxicologists GTFCh“ are published on the GTFCh website.

5. Commitment to further education

The certification as “Forensic Toxicologist GTFCh“ makes continuing education in the field of forensic toxicology 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 the opening of which have been applied for before 1st May 2015 may be dealt with according to the guidelines of 20th April 2007 upon request.

8. Legal validity of Postgraduate Professional Education Regulations

The version at hand was passed by the executive committee on 12th March 2015 and confirmed by the general assembly on 17th April 2015.