The Association

The International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics (IAFPA) was formally established in York, England, in 1991 with the name The International Association for Forensic Phonetics (IAFP).   IAFP developed from annual meetings of forensic phonetic practitioners and interested academics in York from 1989 – 1991, with the first official conference meeting taking place in York the year after its inception. These early meetings took place with only a handful of members and papers. Since then, IAFP has grown to over 120 members worldwide, with expertise spanning both forensic phonetics and acoustics (hence the addition of the latter ‘A’ to IAFPA).

Our mission

IAFPA’s purpose is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the analysis of voices, speech and audio recordings for forensic, intelligence and security applications


In line with this, IAFPA aims to:

  • be a forward-looking organisation with members from a range of different backgrounds, countries and perspectives
  • help members provide evidence that is fit-for-purpose
  • foster an active, open and practically-focussed research culture
  • set standards of professional conduct and practice
  • support students to become effective researchers and/or practitioners
  • promote a better understanding of forensic speech and acoustic science in relevant professional areas and the wider world


To reach these aims, IAFPA will:

  • provide opportunities for the interchange of ideas and information on practice, research and development in forensic phonetics and acoustics; including an annual conference and contribution to a journal
  • fund emerging research projects
  • increase and widen its membership across relevant disciplines
  • hold members to a Code of Practice and collect and disseminate relevant guidance, standards and rulings
  • monitor and advise on the nature and standard of forensic work carried out worldwide
  • promote and support training for members, including provision of resources
  • provide opportunities for students to gain academic and practical skills and knowledge
  • bring members together and encourage and support collaboration within and outside the membership
  • develop networks to engage and communicate with relevant external people and organisations