Basic level BPA training

ESR provides a Basic BPA training course that can be delivered either at our Christchurch laboratory or at your own facilities. If you are interested in either of these options, please contact course facilitator Ms Ros Rough by email.


A course of instruction designed for technicians, scientists (as part of their training towards expert status in bloodstain pattern analysis), research students and others who require an awareness of the science of BPA.


The course is intended to develop a fundamental knowledge of the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis and the ability to recognise basic pattern types as building blocks for complex patterns.

This course will not qualify the trainee to be a bloodstain pattern expert but will equip them to know when an expert is required and how to work with an expert to get the best results from a bloodstain pattern analysis in the laboratory or at a scene. To be able to claim this expertise an individual will need:

  • further training in BPA at an advanced level
  • training in other related areas of forensic science
  • experience at crime scenes
  • experience in the laboratory
  • experience in the court presentation of such evidence preferably under searching cross examination
  • an up-to-date familiarity with relevant literature in this field
  • experience with laboratory reconstruction and other bloodstain pattern experiments

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course the trainee will understand and be able to discuss:

  • the potential evidential value of bloodstain pattern analysis in the examination of a crime scene and exhibits seized in relation to it 
  • the history and advancement of the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis 
  • the relevant properties of blood as a fluid, with particular emphasis on the formation of drops 
  • the essence of the human circulatory system and how its characteristics can contribute to the creation of bloodstain patterns 
  • how to combine an area of convergence with impact angle to locate the probable area of origin for a given bloodshed event(s) 
  • the limitations and complexities of bloodstain pattern analysis 
  • methods of advanced bloodstain pattern analysis

In addition the trainee will be able to:

  • recognise key bloodstain patterns and discuss the mechanism(s) by which they are created 
  • estimate the direction of travel and angle of impact of a single drop bloodstain 
  • apply appropriate selection criteria for the sampling of bloodstain patterns for subsequent testing such as DNA analysis and directional analysis. 
  • photograph, measure, sketch and otherwise fully document bloodstain patterns at crime scenes and on individual items in the laboratory 
  • be able to define the basic BPA terminology and use these terms consistently