Guidelines for Professional Conduct


Members of the Society of Forensic Anthropology (SOFA) are expected to use the following Guidelines for Professional Conduct for carrying out the practice of Forensic Anthropology. These guidelines do not presume to cover the multitude of complex issues that a practitioner may encounter. Members are expected to follow the spirit and intent of the guidelines in situations not expressly described herein. Any transgressions of the Guidelines for Professional Conduct shall be referred to the SOFA Board of Directors.

A. I shall, as a practitioner of Forensic Anthropology, regard myself as a member of a noble and honorable profession. I will, at all times, recognize my duty to serve the interests of justice to the best of my abilities. I will be guided by those practices and procedures, which are generally recognized within the profession to be consistent with a high level of professionalism. My motives, methods, and actions shall at all times be above reproach and conducted with respect for human dignity.

B. I shall cooperate with other professionals in the forensic sciences to promote the advancement of forensic anthropology through scientific research. Knowledge of any new discoveries, developments or techniques applicable to the forensic sciences shall be shared with the peer community;

C. I shall not undertake examinations or give testimony in areas I am not qualified;

D. Expertise is based on training, study, experience, and judgment. I shall not misrepresent my qualifications of expertise;

E. I shall make examinations of evidentiary items utilizing generally accepted scientific techniques and methods which are reliable and accurate with appropriate standards and controls;

F. Techniques and opinions shall be based on facts and interpretations and shall not be knowingly misrepresented;

G. I shall render unbiased testimony and endeavor to promote the understanding of my examinations and findings in an impartial manner;

H. I shall at all times demonstrate respect for human remains and authority, to include all aspects of recovery, analysis, data collection, research, teaching and proper disposition in accordance with applicable country, province, state, and local laws;

I. I shall keep all privileged communications confidential, including spoken, written, graphic, and web-based.

Society of Forensic Anthropology Professional Guidelines v.3