How to Apply

Membership applications can be submitted via the SAAFS online portal, by clicking on the link below once all the relevant documentation have been prepared for submission (see details below):

Please click on the link below to apply for membership SAAFS.

Since the online portal cannot be entered and exited during the online application process, the exact text on the online portal is provided [in brackets] for each aspect in order to streamline the application process.

Detailed Information of the Following Aspects are Listed on this Page

  • Documents to prepare in advance
  • Membership Categories
  • Membership in Specific Forensic Field
  • Membership Fees
  • Application Process
  • Code of Conduct
  • Declarations Required

Documents to Prepare in Advance

Once you start with the application process you will have to complete it in one session. The session can thus not be exited and entered again. All documents to be uploaded must be in PDF format. For that reason it is important to note that you will need to get the following documents ready BEFORE starting your application process.

  1. CV in PDF format – combine separate documents in one PDF document. Your CV must clearly set out the various forensic science positions held and the period of service in each position. Please be aware that any period of academic studies where you were not in full time employment, will not count towards your forensic science experience.
  2. Academic qualifications (the actual certificates) in PDF format – submit it all combined as one PDF document.
  3. Certification certificates (actual certificates) in PDF format – submit as one PDF document.
  4. Professional membership certificates or membership cards in PDF format – submit as one PDF document.
  5. If you choose to submit a RPL Portfolio it must be submitted in PDF format – submit as one PDF document. You can download a copy of the RPL form here.

It is thus imperative that you prepare these documents ahead of time, and then click on the link above to start your application process.

Membership Categories

The three categories of membership in SAAFS are: Full Member, Associate Member and Student Member. The criteria for membership in each of these three categories are listed below:

  1. Full Member
    • Full members have voting rights in SAAFS.
    • Criteria for membership in this category:
      A Full Member must be able to demonstrate a minimum of 5 years forensic experience in one of the field’s identified below, and be in possession of a relevant degree as indicated below,
      OR
      Have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in one of these forensic science disciplines, and submit a portfolio of evidence for this discipline which clearly demonstrates competency in the skill and knowledge necessary for that discipline. This portfolio if evidence will be assessed by a recognition of prior learning panel from the Academy, against the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Staff Skill Requirements for Forensic Science Laboratories.
  2. Associate Member
    • Associate members have no voting rights in SAAFS
    • Criteria for membership in this category:
      Any interested party that wants to be a member of SAAFS, but does not qualify to be a full member, or prefers not to be a full member.
  3. Student Member
    • Student members have no voting rights in SAAFS.Criteria for membership in this category:
      A Student Member does not meet the requirements of a full member, and is presently studying full time in one of the recognised forensic science disciplines at a formal academic institution. Student members must provide proof of full time academic registration. Students have to submit a single PDF document with proof of their formal registration at an academic institution.

Membership in Specific Forensic Field

SAAFS membership is limited to a specific field of practice. The five forensic fields recognised by SAAFS are listed below. All degrees are at NQF level 8 and degrees accepted in the different areas for each field are indicated.

Biology / DNA

Relevant degrees in the following fields: Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Chemistry / Instrumental Analysis

Relevant degrees in the following fields: Chemistry, Physics

Physics / Pattern Interpretation

Relevant degrees in the following fields: Chemistry, Physics

Crime Scene / Death Investigation

Relevant degrees in the following fields: Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Digital / Multimedia

Relevant degrees in the following fields: Information Technology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Electrical/electronic Engineering

Please note that the fields of practice adopted by SAAFS are those adopted by the OSAC for Forensic Science of NIST.

Membership Fees

The following membership fees apply for membership in 2020 for the different categories of SAAFS:

a. Full membership, R600.00.

b. Associate membership, R300.00.

c. Student membership, R100.00.

Membership runs for each year from e.g. 01 March 2020 to 28 Feb 2021. If someone applies on e.g. 05 Jul 2020, and their membership application is approved their membership will run from 05 Jul 2020 to 28 Feb 2021.

Application Process

Applications are processed as follows:

  • Application is submitted via online portal. Note that the portal will only accept the application if ALL mandatory information has been completed.
  • The application is reviewed.
  • If accepted, you will receive an email from SAAFS with an invoice for your membership fees attached. Please note that at this point you are NOT yet a member of SAAFS.
  • You will be required to make payment for your membership fee into the SAAFS account. Details of the account information will be provided on the invoice you will receive.
  • You should submit the proof of your EFT payment to SAAFS via email (info[at]SAAFS.org.za).
  • When SAAFS sees your payment in its account, SAAFS will issue a Certificate of Membership to you. At this point you become a member of SAAFS.
  • Your Certificate of Membership will state e.g. your name, surname, date on which you became a member, year for which the membership certificate is valid, field of practice in which your membership is valid, and your SAAFS membership number.
  • Please use this SAAFS membership number in the future in ALL contact with SAAFS.

Code of Conduct

When you submit an application via the online portal you will be asked if you are willing to abide by the SAAFS Code of Conduct. Please click to download a copy of the SAAFS Code of Conduct so that you can take note of it before submitting an application on the online portal.

Declarations Required  

During the application process, you will also be asked to make declarations regarding the following:

Previous transgressions:

  • A previous criminal conviction (excluding traffic fines)
  • Ever been found guilty of misconduct by an employer
  • Ever been found guilty of misconduct by a professional body
    You may be asked for further information if you answer “yes” to any of these categories

The online portal states as follows in this regard:
“Please declare whether or not you have a previous criminal conviction, or of you have been previously sanctioned by an employer or professional body for misconduct. If you answer in the affirmative, you will be contacted by an appointed Director to provide additional information to allow the selection panel to make an informed decision. Should it be determined at a later stage that you did not make an accurate disclosure, we reserve the right to terminate your membership.”

You will also be required to accept the terms stated in the following two documents:

  • SAAFS Memorandum of Incorporation – download a copy
  • SAAFS Code of Conduct – download a copy