Update - BTEC Level 3 National in Forensic and Criminal Investigation Specification

16 February 2022

This communication was sent out to centres as a letter, regarding a change in the wording of the Unit 13 Authorised Assignment Brief. The change was to reflect the fact that the Phenol/Chloroform practical was no longer required due to health and safety concerns.

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Dear Colleague,

The information in this communication relates to the following qualifications:

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Forensic Investigation (510 GLH) 603/0251/3
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigation (720 GLH) 603/0246/X
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Investigation (1080 GLH) 603/0247/1

Following recent feedback regarding the safety aspects of using Chloroform and/or Phenol in the laboratory, we have made changes to Unit 13: Forensic Genetics Learning Aim B Authorised Assignment Brief (AAB). The updated version of the Unit 13 AAB (version dated 3 February) is available on the qualification webpage, under the Internal Assessments course materials.

The emphasis on organic DNA extraction has been removed, along with reference to Chloroform/Phenol techniques. The task now includes the following wording:

  • Show how you competently extracted DNA from two or more different biological materials and carried out Polymerase Chain Reaction [PCR] to amplify the DNA you extracted.
  • Describe and explain the following techniques used in the extraction of DNA:
    • extraction methods
    • alcohol precipitation of DNA
    • solid phase.

These changes are to reflect the updated safety advice for laboratory procedures. We would recommend that alternative DNA extraction procedures are used in preference to the Chloroform and Phenol method. The specification will be updated accordingly to remove this procedure from its content for subsequent academic years. Please note, the organic chloroform/phenol extraction procedure is not required for the assessment criteria for Unit 13 Learning Aim B.

If you have any questions, please get in touch using the Pearson Support Portal

Yours sincerely,

Becky Thorn
Sector Manager
Applied Science

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