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Application Process and Appeals

Applications are first screened to make sure the applicant is registered with a professional regulatory body and is in good standing. The applications are then passed to two senior members of the Board, usually the Registrar and the Vice-President in the same category as the applicant (i.e. either (i) Forensic Practitioner, (ii) Medically-qualified Coroner or (iii) Medico-legal Adviser). Not infrequently, these two senior officers will ask the staff to seek clarification from the applicant before completing the application process. They will either accept or reject the application, or they may suggest a different type of membership, e.g. Affiliate membership rather than full Membership, or the other way around.

If there is a split vote, the application is referred to the Fellowship Committee. The Fellowship Committee will consider the matter and the President, if present, will recuse himself/herself and will not consider any documentation relating to the application. There is also an automatic right of appeal open to the applicant. Appeals are heard by the Fellowship Committee which meets bi-annually in February and November, and it provides recommendations to the Board, which makes the decision. The decision is by a simple majority vote of Board members, and the count excludes abstentions and absences.

A second line of appeal is possible after that, to the FFLM President in person. The President’s decision is final.

If the President faces a conflict because he or she had in a previous FFLM office been party to a decision regarding the application in question, then the President will invite a past FFLM President or past FFLM Vice President to determine the final appeal. For the purposes of indemnity for the appeal, the past President or past Vice President will be temporarily co-opted onto the Board.

The criteria published for the acceptance of applications are normally applied in a straightforward manner. Some flexibly is applied in unusual cases. The FFLM has accumulated a bank of unusual cases which set precedents, and in the interests of fairness these precedents are followed whenever possible.

Applications are treated with strict confidentiality. Reasons for an adverse decision will be given to an applicant on request. Information about applications, both successful and unsuccessful, will not normally be divulged to any third party, in order to comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.

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