Role statement - 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.



Critical task alignment / activity source



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

3.2, 4.5


In accordance with the Act, VIFM’s role is to provide medical death investigation, including:


●  reducing the number of preventable deaths and promote public health and safety and the administration of justice S.64(2) (ha)

1.3, 2.1


●  promoting and assisting in the performance by the Coroners Court of Victoria of its functions S.64(2)(j)



●  facilities and staff required to undertake medical death investigations including autopsies S.66(1)(a)(d)



●  documenting and recording the findings and results of investigations S.66(1) (e)

3.2, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5


●  providing reports to Coroners about causes of death and the results of investigations S.66(1)(f)

3.2, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5


Response (including Relief)


Respond to requests from DFAT and 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


Co-ordinate the management of deceased persons (including multi-fatality incidents) for the Victorian State Coroner including liaison with funeral service providers S.66(1)(j)

3.2, 8.2, 8.7


VIFM provides 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




VIFM is a lead agency for communicating with the families of deceased persons S.66(1)(h)(l)

3.1, 8.6


VIFM can support the recovery activity of:


●  Disaster Victim Identification

3.2, 8.3


●  forensic scientific analysis



●  reconnection of family and friends

3.2, 15.6


VIFM supports 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.