I have to tell you that I was much honored to represent the NCIAI membership at the 2013 IAI conference and I want to thank President Sean Reid for having the confidence in me to allow me the opportunity!
Below are the notes I took on issues that may affect our members. There were other certification meetings that I was not able to attend so if you would like more information on certifications other than the latent print examiner or the crime scenes please let me know and I will find your answers! If you have any other questions of me, need any explanations or just want to say, “Hi!” please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-677-5407
Angela R Berry Saxon, CLPE, CCSI
NC IAI Regional Representative
First, the really important stuff……..
The IAI’s Facebook page is located here:
And now here’s everything else……
The National Commission on Forensic Science meeting
The National Commission on Forensic Science (NCFS) chose approximately 30 members from the over 300 applications they received through February 2013 and will have their first meeting in the fall of this year (2013).
The NCFS will only have jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Justice forensic laboratories and along with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be developing standards for those laboratories to follow. However since this will replace the many, many SWIGS currently being utilized it is thought state and local laboratories will still utilize the information and guidelines as set by the NCFS.
The current 21 SWIGS are all being replaced with NIST administered “Guidance Groups” (a working title and they are open to something different if one can be provided). These Guidance Groups are headed by an administration board over forensic science standards which are further broken into four groups: Biology (contains disciplines such as anthropology), Physics (firearms, latent prints, blood), Chemistry (controlled substances) and Digital Multimedia (facial Identification, digital evidence).
Crime Scene Certification Board Meeting
The Crime Scene Certification Board was formed in 1990.
In 2010 the IAI certification program (all disciplines) became accredited by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board and the current accreditation is good through Feb. 28, 2015
Beginning on Dec. 1, 2013 the application process for all certifications will be totally on line with no paper application being accepted after that date.
In order to apply for a crime scene certification one must actually be going to the crime scenes, locating documenting, recovering and analyzing crime scene evidence. Processing or enhancing physical evidence does not meet this requirement. If you get evidence to process that was collected by someone else you do not meet the qualifications.
If you already hold a crime scene certification and then no longer process scenes you may still take the recertification exams and maintain that certification. However if you let your certification lapse you will not be allowed to take it again.
There is no longer a student program.
CSC Board members will now be reviewing applications for certification and no longer sending the applications to the Divisions for approval. They will also be locating the proctors.
Once a proctor has your exam you have 90 days to take it. Anyone IAI certified in any discipline can proctor the exam as long as it is not a co-worker or a supervisor.
No on-line training can be used for the educational requirements!
You can hold the Crime Scene Reconstruction certification at the same time you hold any of the Crime Scene certifications but you can only hold one Crime Scene Certification at a time.
When adding up the credits necessary to obtain either the original certification or the re-certification you may use either the certificate for classes you attend at the division conferences or the conference attendance certificate but not both. In other words if you take a crime scene processing class at the conference you can use the certificate you earn from that class OR the certificate of conference attendance but not both. It should be noted that a paid receipt with your name and the conference dates can be substituted for the conference attendance certificate so make sure that information is on your receipt.
It is suggested that you apply for your recertification six months in advance of your expiration date.
As of June 2013 a total of 1486 people worldwide hold a crime scene certification.
Exams are as follows:
Crime Scene Investigator exam has 200 questions and you are allowed 3 hours
Crime Scene Analyst exam has 300 questions and you are allowed 4 hours
Crime Scene Reconstruction has 300 questions and 3 practical exercises with 4.5 hours being allowed
Senior Crime Scene Analyst has 400 questions and you are allowed 5 hours
There are 50 questions on the recertification exam and it is not proctored.
Latent Print Certification Board meeting
Between July 2012 and July 2013 there were 108 applicants and 90 new certificates issued while 167 examiners recertified.
The current total passing rate (2005 – 2013) is 65.13%
The total number of active certified examiners as of August 7, 2013 is 913. A total of 3286 people have applied to take the exam, 2247 actually took the exam and 1256 passed the exam. The difference in the number of examiners who passed the exam and the number of current examiners are that some people let their certifications lapse and did not take it again.
LPC Board members will now be reviewing applications for certification and no longer sending the applications to the Divisions for approval. They will also be locating the proctors.
The requirements to take the exam can be located on the IAI web site but require the following:
A four year degree (in anything) and two years of LPE experience or
A two year degree (in anything) and three years of LPE experience or
Four years of LPE experience
When applying for either your original certification or your recertification you must have a total of 80 credits in the five years prior to either applying for a new or renewed certification. Some ways of getting these credits include attending classes and conferences and serving on the NC IAI Division committees. Unlike the crime scene certification, in the latent print certification you may use online classes but you have to ask for approval of the class. Also if you attend the NCIAI conferences you may use the receipt showing you paid the conference attendee fee (must have your name and the length of the conference) in lieu of an overall conference attendee certificate (remember you may use the conference attendee receipt/certificate or the certificates you get per class but not both for your credits).
The exam consists of:
- The pattern test has 35 patterns and you must correctly identify at least 32. This is an arch, loop, whorl test and you don’t even have to identify the type of arch, loop or whorl!
2. The written test has 126 true/false and multiple choice questions of which you must get at least 85% correct
And then the dreaded comparison test…..
The comparison part of the exam is “new & improved” according to the IAI LPE Certification Committee and includes the following changes:
- The conclusions are either an identification or an exclusion. One or more of the latent prints may not match anything in the packet
- The 15 known prints are now whole ten print cards like we’re used to seeing (fingerprints one the front and palms on the back) whereas the older test had 15 examples where some were just fingers and some were just palms
- None of the latent prints were determined to be inconclusive.
These changes will begin with any exams distributed after August 15, 2013. I think it should be noted here that Bradley Whitaker of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office was the last person in NC to take and pass the “old” exam!
The reason given for making the changes was so that a person with a four year degree (in anything) and two years of latent print experience can pass it. The exam rate will be reevaluated in the future especially if the passing rate climbs extremely high thereby making the exam not really worth anything.
The Fingerprint Source Book has been added as “necessary reading.”