Online course conducted once a year

12 months with a workload per week of 4 hours on the online platform

Online course

Essentials of forensic interpretation

Online course conducted once a year

12 months with a workload per week of 4 hours on the online platform

Online course


Practitioners of forensic genetics – including reporting officers, lawyers, accreditation bodies – having a University degree (at least BSc) or an equivalent degree of a higher education programme.

The course is given in English. For exercises, discussions and one-to-one tutorials, English or French are available as further languages.


Given by recognized specialists in the field, this online course covers the essentials of forensic interpretation applied to the solution of inferential problems in forensic science and in the administration of justice. It is designed to make practitioners at ease with a probabilistic approach to the evaluation and interpretation of forensic findings.

The content focuses on the so-called likelihood ratio, a measure that is supported by the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes and the UK Association of Forensic Science Providers due to its qualities such as coherency and transparency.

The course team also offers two other online short courses: Essentials of DNA interpretation and Advanced DNA interpretation. In addition, a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Statistics and the Evaluation of Forensic Evidence is proposed to forensic practitioners willing to acquire a comprehensive training.


  • To have specialized and up-to-date knowledge in the field of forensic interpretation and evaluation of forensic results
  • To be able to apply the likelihood ratio approach in casework
  • To be able to explain evaluative reasoning in court and feel at ease with expert debate and the published literature
  • To acquire a good knowledge of probabilistic reasoning and elements of Bayesian networks in forensic science
  • To understand the principles of interpretation and the use of propositions at different levels (hierarchy of propositions)
  • To acquire skills in writing communications about uncertaintyTo identify the importance of pre-assessmen


  • Uncertainty in forensic science
  • Nature of probability
  • First reflections on forensic interpretation of scientific findings (concepts of uniqueness and individualisation)
  • Evaluation of forensic findings with a logical approach
  • Communication of results, relevant populations and pitfalls of intuition
  • Introduction to a choice of specialized topics (fingermarks, Bayesian estimation, handwriting or transfer material such as fibers, glass, GSR or drugs).

The course is based on research that has been described as providing the essential building blocks for the proper assessment, understanding and communication of findings in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report “Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward”.



  • Professor Franco Taroni, Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration, UNIL
  • Professor Christophe Champod, Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration, UNIL
  • Professor Alex Biedermann, Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration, UNIL
  • Dr. Sc. Tacha Hicks Champod, Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration, UNIL


  • Prof. Colin Aitken, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Dr. Sc. Ian Evett, Principal Forensic Services Ltd., England

The instructors have theoretical and practical experience with evaluation and interpretation from laboratory to courtroom. They have published over the years numerous scholarly papers and textbooks on the subjects of evaluation and statistics in forensic science.


  • Certificate of achievement with 5 ECTS credits if the candidate passes the written on-line examination that takes place at the end of the course.

See the regulations for the award of ECTS credits in the framework of a non-certifying programme (in French) as well as the specific award conditions for the course Essentials of Forensic Interpretation


Organising Committee

Programme coordination


Dates and schedule

The course lasts 12 months with a workload per week of 4 hours on the online platform. Course breaks and holidays are included to allow flexibility.

Course venue

Online course


Fill in the online registration form and upload your CV and copies of your diplomas online.

Course fee *

3,500.- Swiss Francs **

* based on the price of the last edition

**10% special discount for all participants who take a second course given by the committee

Registration deadline

Registration Closed

Be alerted as soon as registration opens for the next edition of this course, register on our Stay Informed platform.


« Since completing your 2014 Essentials of Forensic Interpretation course, I have personally promoted it at every appropriate opportunity. Essentials of Forensic Interpretation is a great course and I have professionally benefited so much from it. » Charles Eggleston

« This is a superb course and I will continue to recommend it to others. It has helped me enormously and has really clarified my thinking about effective interpretation and communication. I will miss working with you and would certainly be interested in further study on your courses. » Paul Olden, Forensic Scientist (Firearms), Key Forensic Services, UK.