Training courses offered by AUSFO

AuSFO member are amongst the most experienced forensic odontologists in this region and the Society is committed to sharing this experience as widely as possible.

To that end the Society offers two training courses, for delivery either in Australia or in the immediate region, to groups by mutual arrangement.

The two courses cover different aspects of forensic odontology. The first course is an introduction to forensic odontology and is carefully crafted to reflect the situation in the country where it is being presented. The second course is more focussed on the forensic odontology role in a DVI operation and trains participants in the current Interpol standards. Both courses have a high level of practical involvement and are conducted using a mentor system of teaching which allows the students a much closer contact with the teaching staff.

Course 1. Forensic Odontology

This course is a broad introduction to forensic odontology and is aimed mainly at the medical and dental practitioner, but has much of value to the Police officer as well.

The course introduces the participants to the basic principles of forensic odontology. Topics such as photo-superimposition, age estimation and disaster mortuary design are introduced, but the main focus of the course is to teach safe best practice in the simple forms of identification by dental state. Over 60% of the course is hands-on and includes a very realistic exercise in identification. Interpol standards and paperwork are stressed throughout the course. A unique feature of the course in the table-top presentations that occur every morning before formal lectures commence to allow students more time for hands-on experiences while enjoying close and easy access to the teaching staff.

Course 2. Forensic Odontology in the DVI operation

This is course is aimed more at training people for a DVI operation and focuses more on the skills specific to this type of operation. There is still an heavy emphasis on practical classes and the Interpol guidelines are used as the basis for this course. Special emphasis is paid to the need for understanding and co-operation between specialist groups and the police agencies and the special needs of each group are discussed in detail. Students are expected to take part in a ‘gridding’ exercise to allow them to understand body recovery from a disaster site. Disaster mortuary design is taught as is mortuary placement and usage. Special emphasis is given to Occupational Health and Safety issues. Specific skills in using dental records to identify a victim are emphasised and taught. This course is mainly aimed at the interested dental practitioner, but contains elements of value to medical practitioners and Police officers. On completion of this course it is expected that students would be competent to assist in a DVI operation under the command of an experienced practitioner.

With the resources and expertise available to AuSFO we are always willing to consider a request for specific training needs and will design a course to the specification of the target audience if one of our standard courses does not fulfil their needs.

For more details of AuSFO training courses please contact the AuSFO Secretary via email.