I recently tested to become Certified through the IAI and during the class preparation there was some discussion about Certification becoming a requirement in the future, specifically in reference to being able to testify as an expert in court. Has anyone else heard of this and does anyone have any links or articles supporting this?
There is going to be a push to have people certified before they can testify in court. With the release of the NAS report it strongly recommend that people be certified. Now the problem is going to be people who think they are certified but really only have a certificate.
I am currently hold certification with the IAI as a Senior Crime Scene Analyst. I am currently preparing for the IAI Latent Print Examiner.
Like in the previous response there will be a push and move along the ASCLAD aspect. The issue is evolving and not sure when it will become out to the field. The thing is going to be the writing aspect of how things are processed and collected. This is where the collection is going to be tough since any law enforcement officer can collect evidence or CSI. Do they have to be certified? or just CSI? If you have to certify every officer it will not be done since it is not cost effective for departments and thus be an unfunded mandate if it gets to that point.
All i know is that IAI Forensic Certification started in 1977, and the first IAI certification program was initiated for the Latent Print discipline. Since then, several other certification programs have been developed.
Each program consists of a rigorous educational process, a certification procedure, and re-certification requirements. Each is administered by a certification board comprised of experts in the discipline. All programs operate under a written set of procedures approved by the IAI's Board of Directors to ensure compliance with broad IAI goals and policies
There was a serious initial push that came out with the NAS report for all disciplines both Labs getting accredited and individuals getting certified. As this has progressed, it appears that there has been less of a push for the officer/technician to be certified as a requirement for the scene aspect (collection, documenting, preserving). The scientific disciplines continue to be looked at heavily and more and more scientists are becoming certified so that it is not an issue in court. Wish I had some links but I do not at this time.
One of the factors that plays into certification is the actual training and time in the unit before they can qualify to take a certification exam. With this comes a rise in cost for departments. While I know everyone should be trained to the fullest, not all agencies can afford to do this. Some agencies have just one CSI, so when they are in training they have no CSI's to process scenes. Once a stipulation is placed on whether you are certified or not in order to testify as an expert it will cripple many small agencies. Many CSI's are more than competent to handle cases and testify in court without certification. For the record I am all for certification, but that has to come once the person is ready, in the meantime they still have to work for the agency and testify to what they do.