“Forensic Document Examination with emphasis on handwriting individualization and identification of fraudulent techniques”

This is a basic course presented over a period of two days designed as an introduction into the field of forensic document examinations with the purpose of enhancing performance skills of all role players involved in the prevention/ investigation of fraud and corruption. It is also extremely applicable to legal practitioners, forensic auditors, human resource managers and employees from financial institutions in the banking, and insurance industries.

During the course certain theoretical principles supported by practical workshop sessions are presented with a view on enabling delegates to understand the relevance of this forensic discipline and the role it plays in the gathering of evidence and building a case. This is an outcomes based course comprising of a series of formative assessments followed by a final summative assessment including a written test and practical exercise.

Participants are provided with a Work Book and appropriate Reference Guide. At completion a certificate of attendance is handed to successful learners

Presenter: Leon Esterhuyse

Course Content


The basic principles of individualization

Specific document examinations;

The individualization of handwriting

The individualization of signatures and the identification of forgeries

  • Simulated Signatures
    • Traced Signatures
    • Fictitious Signatures
    • Transferred Signatures

The individualization of type writing and other Printing apparatus e.g. Computer printers

The examination of erasures, additions and alterations

The individualization of other apparatus used to produce documents (example rubber stamps, printing presses, copies etc.)

The restoration of indentations of documents

The examination of carbon paper

The examination of damaged documents

The examination of counterfeit banknotes and other documents with face value (identity documents, passports, postal orders etc)

The examination of writing instruments, inks, paper and other media used

Expert evidence
  • The value and interpretation of forensic document examination reports
  • The expert in court
  • The legal aspects pertaining to forensic document examinations
Practical exercises
  • Basic comparison of letters and figures
  • Characteristics of simulated and traced forgeries of signatures
  • Form blindness test