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Membership by Equivalent Qualification

In July 2011, the Standing Orders were amended to allow Medical Coroners, Forensic Pathologists and Forensic Psychiatrists to be elected to Membership under a new equivalent qualification clause subject to the following criteria:

Medical Coroners

Medically qualified coroners who are judged by the Fellowship Committee to hold a relevant postgraduate qualification and who have made a notable contribution to Forensic and Legal Medicine through practice, research or training. A relevant postgraduate qualification in medical law could include:

  • Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence (DMJ) (Clin)
  • Diploma in Forensic Medicine (DFM)
  • Diploma in Forensic Medical Sciences (DFMS)
  • Diploma in Forensic Medicine and Bioethics (DFMB)
  • Master of Medical Law (LLM)
  • Mastership in Medical Jurisprudence (MMJ)
  • Bachelor of Law (LLB)
  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Writer to the Signet (Scotland)
  • Member of the Faculty of Advocates (Scotland)

Forensic Pathologists

Forensic pathologists who are judged by the Fellowship Committee to hold a relevant postgraduate qualification and who have made a notable contribution to Forensic and Legal Medicine through practice, research or training.

A relevant postgraduate qualification in forensic pathology could include:

  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (Forensic Medicine) OR
  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (Histopathology) together with the additional forensic pathology qualification of EITHER the Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence (Path) OR the Diploma in Forensic Pathology (DFP)

Since the FRCPath (Forensic Medicine) is accepted as the “bench mark” UK qualification for MFFLM equivalence, it is against the curriculum of that examination that any non-UK based qualification will be compared.

Please note : an Equivalent Qualification is assessed on the training received for the qualification and not on the post graduate experience gained thereafter.

1. All training must have been at an establishment approved for the relevant training

2. All times and case numbers are minima, but are interdependent, and longer training periods will require increased case experience on an annualised basis

3. Histopathology component (to be completed before commencing Forensic component)

a. 24 months full time equivalent attachment (under direct Consultant supervision)
i. Personally examined 1250 surgical specimens (wide range of types)
ii. Personally examined 350 cervical cytology specimens
iii. Personally examined 350 non-cervical cytology specimens
iv. Personally performed 40 adult autopsies
v. Personally performed 2 paediatric/neonatal autopsies

b. During the two years of histopathology component spent time in specialist departments / centres
i. 2 weeks in paediatric pathology centre
ii. 2 weeks in neuropathology centre

4. Forensic Pathology component (must follow completion of Histopathology component)
a. 36 months full time equivalent attachment (under direct Consultant supervision)
i. Personally to conduct 250 autopsies – minimum of 80 per year with a wide range of type and complexity
ii. Attend and observe 10 scenes of suspicious deaths
iii. Attend and observe autopsy examinations of suspicious deaths
iv. Attend and give evidence in Courts

5. Postgraduate Experience Career Development and Training
a. to have attended national and international conferences and training days
b. to have been involved in CPD since graduating

In addition to a relevant post graduate qualification, applicants must:

– be working in forensic pathology
– meet the 5 training criteria (as listed above)
– provide a reference from their head of specialist department of forensic pathology

For purposes of Vice Presidential elections, Forensic Pathologists becoming members by this route will join the Forensic Practitioner category.

Forensic Psychiatrists

Forensic psychiatrists who are judged by the Fellowship Committee to hold a relevant postgraduate qualification and who have made a notable contribution to Forensic and Legal Medicine through practice, research or training. A relevant postgraduate qualification in forensic psychiatry could include:

  • MRCPsych or overseas equivalent

MFFLM via equivalent qualification is bestowed as an honour. No examination is involved and it does not entitle the holder to any particular consideration with regards to applying for a post in the UK, for the completion of specialist training or specialist registration in the UK, for example, with the General Medical Council or the Home Office.

Membership via the equivalent qualification clause for coroners, forensic pathologists and forensic psychiatrists:

The list of equivalent qualifications which are accepted by the FFLM, may change without notice. Qualifications which are new to the FFLM may have to be considered by the Fellowship Committee which will make recommendations to the Board for a final decision. The Board’s decision is by a simple majority vote of members, and the count excludes abstentions and absences, and is final. There is no second stage appeal to the President for the recognition of equivalent qualifications.