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The ICFP in perspective

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Cohering and regulating South Africa’s commercial forensic industry is relevant to all major role-players and stakeholders both interested in and involved in addressing commercial crime and other forms of abuse in the commercial environment.

In the last 20 years the commercial environment has changed significantly, it is now characterised by complex business dealings worth staggering amounts of money and increasingly sophisticated systems. These changes continue to introduce new risks as criminals are quick to exploit loop-holes and gaps in latest technologies and systems. Commercial crime (and other exploitation of the commercial environment) results in large-scale losses with millions and even billions being lost.

Particular expertise and services have developed to combat new risks, crimes and other types of abuse. It is out of this need that a distinct and recognised line of work has evolved:

practitioners who detect and deter commercial crime and other forms of exploitation of commercial systems.

This focus or line of work forms the basis of a new industry (the commercial forensic industry) which up to now has been largely undefined and fragmented. Although this line of work is not new, the recognition of a marked out (delineated) and focused industry is a relatively new development. The commercial forensic industry is now recognised both locally and abroad and encompasses a wide range of professionals, each with unique and clearly distinguishable knowledge, skills and experience.

Increasingly major role players, at the forefront of developing the necessary expertise and services to combat exploitation of the commercial environment, have recognised the need to build, nurture and regulate the commercial forensic industry (the industry).

It is with this in mind, that leading professionals in the industry met in August 2007 to discuss the need to cohere and regulate South Africa’s commercial forensic industry.

Key roles players agreed that this challenge calls for a strong institutional response which (1) recognises the industry and (2) creates a gate-keeper to allow South Africa’s commercial forensic industry to develop the sophistication needed to effectively address the challenges posed by today’s commercial environment.

Key objectives of the Institute

In order to fulfil its mission, the Institute will:

  • regulate the commercial forensic profession in South Africa by providing a regulatory framework and a code of conduct for forensic practitioners;
  • deliver competent entry level members with relevant skills to the forensic industry;
  • provide services to assist members to maintain and enhance their professional competence, thereby enabling them to create value for their client and employers;
  • fulfill a leadership role regarding relevant business related issues and provide public commentary on matters impacting the commercial forensic industry;
  • develop a brand for the profession and its members that is trusted and recognised by all stakeholder.