In the UK Collision Investigators are treated by the Courts as Expert Witnesses and as such will have qualifications and experience in the field of collision investigation. Some may have an engineering or physics background and may have worked in research. Others such as UK police officers have formal qualifications in forensic collision investigation.
In the UK and Ireland the UCPD in forensic road collision investigation is seen as the entry level qualification. This qualification was developed in the late 1990's in a partnership between Ai Training Services and De Montfort University, Leicester.
Since its inception it has continued to develop and it is now possible to take a CertHE, Foundation degree and BSc(Hons) in forensic collision investigation.
The programme is constantly evolving as technology changes. The programme team meets annually with leading practitioners from the police and Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators to ensure the programme remains fit for purpose.
The academic route is not the only way to develop expertise. There are other courses, such as light bulb and tyre examination to name two that collision investigators will undertake.
Forensic collision is based around maths and physics. There are plenty of practical aspects too. However you cannot get away from the fact that at some stage you are going to have to do a series of mathematical calculations which you incorporate into a report and present to the Court.
The UCPD provides you with the maths, physics and report writing skills to be able to do this. The course is not all academic, you are taught how to evaluate scenes, skid tests and evaluate marks, skills that you will continue to develop in your workplace. If you feel your maths may be a bit rusty make sure you sit our free maths primer course (further details by clicking on Entry Level on the menu bar).
The UCPD is a 60 credit level 4 award from De Montfort University Leicester. It is completed in one to two years depending on the route chosen. Read more about the UCPD by clicking Entry Level and UCPD on the menu bar.
The CertHE follows on from the UCPD by adding a number of subjects and skills essential to the collision investigator. The CertHE takes one year to achieve and when you finish you will have 60 credits from your UCPD plus a further 60 giving you 120 credits at Level 4. If you exit now you will be awarded the CertHE but if you continue you are already half way to a foundation degree.
The amount of home or work based learning increases as you progress onto the Higher Education level qualifications with less time spent in the classroom. Further details are available on the specific course pages.
The CertHE is awarded by De Montfort University. For further information click on Higher Education in the menu bar.
For those who complete the CertHE, the foundation degree of FdSc in forensic road collision investigation will increase your area of expertise by adding new skills to your portfolio. You will start to use new software, Math-CAD and PC-Crash for example, two programs that are widely used by collision investigators around the world. The FdSc takes a further two years of part time study at the rate of 60 level 5 credits per year.
The FdSc is awarded by De Montfort University. For further information click on Higher Education in the menu bar.
Offered as a part time course over two years, there is an opportunity to top up your FdSc to a full honours degree. Study is all by distance learning at the rate of 60 credits per year. The second year being project based.
You can chose to take most of the modules that make up the various qualifications as standalone modules without ever registering with the university. Further details are available on the specific module pages but a good place to start is to click on All CI Courses on the menu bar and take a look at the alphabetical list.
If you want some advice give the team a call.