Skills and Competencies

Skills and qualities required

  • Excellent patience and concentration: much work is monotonous, painstaking, detailed and routine. Nothing like CSI!
  • High quality analytical work
  • Great attention to detail
  • Logical, unbiased and methodical in your approach to solving problems as you will have to give impartial evidence in court
  • An inquisitive, open mind
  • Be able to work well in a team and independently
  • Outgoing personality with strong verbal communication and presenting skills for reporting roles
  • Confidence as reporting officers have to present evidence in court and be cross-examined by barristers. This makes up a quarter of the work
  • Present complex scientific information in a clear, simple way than a member of a jury, with no scientific knowledge, can understand
  • It helps if applicants have business skills as well as being technically capable
  • Crimes happen at any time, so you may need to be prepared for evening and weekend call outs. Also court work may involve being on call and unsocial hours
  • You need a strong stomach, as some of the scenes of crime can be upsetting.

You must also have a level of technical and functional ability to:

  • Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense
  • Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing
  • Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events)
  • See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer)
  • Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand
  • Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations)
  • Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognising there is a problem
  • Identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material
  • Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways
  • Quickly make sense of, combine, and organise information into meaningful patterns.
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