FIRMS Approved Forensic Practitioners

In support of its mission and key objectives, the FIRMS Network (FIRMS) offers an Approved Practitioner scheme. Approved Practitioners (APs) are assessed and certified as competent by a panel of experts. The management of the scheme conforms to the international standard ISO9001:2015 as certified by Lloyds Register of Quality Assurance (LRQA).

The aim of the FIRMS Approval Procedure is to assure the evidentiary reliability of the forensic outputs of a named individual working in a specified organisation and using specified methods and procedures, i.e. that the regulated system produces scientific information that may be relied upon by investigators and courts of law.

The FIRMS Regulatory Framework for Approval includes the following elements; organisation, methods, underlying science, case work, and quality management.

While the support of the employing organisation is considered when assessing competence, it is the AP that is certified and not the organisation. APs are individually responsible for the quality and the reliability of the scientific evidence and as such prepare and sign the report/statement.

APs are certified as competent for a period of four years but must make an annual return to maintain certification. After the four-year period, APs may apply for re-approval.

The FIRMS Network maintains a list of APs for consideration by law enforcement agents and lawyers, the customer community. The list is given below.

At present, and for the foreseeable future, the FIRMS Network provides the only scheme whereby practitioners in the field of isotopic analysis are independently certified as competent.

Forensic practitioners in the field of isotope forensics who are interested in seeking FIRMS Approval should contact FIRMS. Candidates for Approval will be sent further details together with an initial assessment questionnaire.

FIRMS Approved Forensic Practitioners
Practitioner Organisation Scope Elements Matricies Expires

James Ehleringer

University of Utah, Ehleringer Consulting LLC

Data interpretation

H, C, N, O, S & Sr

Biological tissues -
plants, animals, humans, foods

Environmental -
air, water

Synthetic materials


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