Institute for police cyber investigation training launched

The Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec) and the College of Policing have announced the independent launch of a new institute that will train law enforcement in cyber digital investigations.

The Institute of Cyber Digital Investigation Professionals (ICDIP) aims to benchmark skills and accredit individuals to give confidence in cyber digital investigations.

The institute said it will measure the competency of practitioners, allow them to prove their expert status, speed up the professionalisation of cyber digital investigation, and give confidence that any evidence from digital investigations presented in judicial proceedings has come from an authoritative source.

The organisation hopes that these methods will increase trust in digital evidence, give greater weight in court cases, and ensure fair convictions.

In September 2015, the Home Office discussed with law enforcement organisations and the College of Policing (CoP) concerns that individuals working on cyber digital investigations were not recognised as a specialist profession.

As a result, there were instances where the veracity of evidence presented at court had been challenged.

Following this, the CoP led work on a five-year project focusing on the professionalisation of the cyber digital investigations sector, which resulted in the formation of the institute.

There are now currently 700 accredited members across over 70 law enforcement agencies.

The ambition is now that the ICDIP accreditation will become accepted as providing evidence of the same standing as an expert witness. This will result in increased success at court in cases where digital evidence has contributed to the investigation.

“The growing importance of cyber digital investigation skills in policing meant there needed to be both a standards framework and accreditation to measure them,” said Sarra Fotheringham, policing standards manager for digital & cyber, College of Policing. “Using the framework to validate competency assures that we have highly competent and capable individuals conducting specialist cyber and digital investigations.”

Amanda Finch, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Information Security, said: “Measuring skills and competency through accreditation is vital in all factors of cyber, and investigation is no different. The growth of cybercrime, and the increased connection of cyber and digital activities with other crimes, means that a method to benchmark and prove individuals’ skills and reliability as a witness is crucial.”

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