Role statement - Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) is the statutory authority providing forensic medical and related scientific services for Victoria. VIFM is established by the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Act 1985.


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Provide expert forensic medical management and advice to the justice and healthcare sectors (including the Coroners Court, criminal justice agencies and healthcare providers)

3.2, 4.5

Provide medical death investigation, and:

  • reduce the number of preventable deaths and promote public health and safety and the administration of justice

1.3, 2.1

  • promote and assist in the performance by the Coroners Court of Victoria of its functions
  • provide facilities and staff required to undertake medical death investigations including autopsies
  • document and record the findings and results of investigations
3.2, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5
  • provide reports to Coroners about causes of death and the results of investigations
3.2, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5

Response (including Relief)

Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Respond to requests from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) regarding fatality incidents overseas 

3.1, 3.2, 8.2

Undertake Disaster Victim Identification procedures including forensic pathology, anthropology, odontology, radiology and molecular biology (DNA) 

4.4, 8.3, 11.3

Undertake medical, toxicological, microbiological and other forensic scientific analyses related to the investigation of deaths 

4.4, 4.6

Assist emergency response agencies with the investigation of a range of death scenes including mass fatality emergencies 

3.2, 8.5

Manage the Victorian state mortuary facility and where required, establish temporary mortuary facilities

3.1, 8.4

Coordinate the management of deceased persons (including multi-fatality incidents) for the Victorian State Coroner including liaison with funeral service providers

3.2, 8.2, 8.7

Provide expert medical and scientific advice, including associated public health and safety policy advice, to a variety of Victorian Government departments and agencies on fatality management 

1.1, 3.2, 4.5

Prepare specialist reports into deaths required by the criminal justice system (terrorism, arson etc.) 

4.5, 4.6

Provide technical consultancy advice and operational support on fatality management to the lead agency in Coronial and in non-Coronial deaths

3.2, 4.5


Activity Critical task alignment / activity source

Recovery Lead Agency (RecLA) to communicate with the families of deceased persons

3.1, 8.6, Table 15: Recovery coordination: Social environment

Provide support for:

  • Disaster Victim Identification

3.2, 8.3

  • forensic scientific analysis
  • reconnection of family and friends
3.2, 15.6
  • the bereaved (coronial) 

Support the following commonwealth and international agencies in the delivery of their respective recovery activities: AFP, DFAT, Interpol, ARC/International Committee of the Red Cross and International Commission on Missing Persons 


Assurance and Learning

For assurance and learning activities, refer directly to the agency for further information.