British Association for Forensic Anthropology (BAFA)

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Forensic anthropology may be defined as a scientific discipline that applies the methods of physical and biological anthropology to the medico-legal process and criminal justice system.

The work of the Forensic Anthropologist often involves the analysis of unidentified human remains in order to establish a biological profile of the individual. This may include estimation of age at death, sex, ancestry and stature, plus assessment of any skeletal pathology and individuating features present, all of which may assist in the identification of the deceased. Other areas of forensic anthropology include facial reconstruction; estimation of age in the living; estimation of time since death, deposition or burial; and the interpretation of post-mortem modification to remains. The Forensic Anthropologist may be working with single or multiple individuals in a wide range of different situations from individual unexplained deaths to mass fatality incidents. The condition of the remains being examined may vary greatly from completely skeletalised through to fully fleshed but highly fragmented, burnt, and widely dispersed.

The British Association for Forensic Anthropology (BAFA) was established in 2011 under the umbrella of the British Association for Human Identification (BAHID) in order to develop and promote professional standards within the discipline of Forensic Anthropology. It aims to assist UK Forensic Anthropologists with their professional development via mentorship, meetings, and the provision of CPD events. It has its own Committee, Constitution, and professional Code of Conduct which complements the Code of Practice for Forensic Anthropologists published by the Forensic Regulator in May 2018 Code of Practice for Forensic Anthropology

The Code of Practice was produced by BAFA and the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), the body which governs the process of professional certification and recertification for forensic anthropologists within the UK. Further details relating to the certification process can be found on the RAI website.

Access to documents and discussions on the BAFA website is limited to those with a professional interest. If you wish to participate please contact the webeditor. If you already have access then you will see a menu on the left hand side of this page.