Detailed Certification Eligibility Requirements
Education: The Applicant must possess a minimum of an earned baccalaureate degree, or equivalent, in a natural science (e.g. chemical, physical, or biological science) or forensic science from an accredited institution. Accredited institutions are those approved by regional accrediting commissions recognized by the U.S. Office of Education or foreign equivalent, and other institutions approved by the American Board of Criminalistics Board of Directors. At its discretion, the Board through its Credentials Committee may request documentation which certifies compliance with this requirement.
Professional Experience and Training:
The applicant must be actively working in Criminalistics. Employment may include but is not limited to, performing forensic casework for a forensic science service provider, teaching at a post-secondary (i.e. college) level, research, supervision or management.
The applicant shall possess a minimum of two years full-time experience. Experience should be in the field in which the applicant is seeking certification. Applicants for Comprehensive Criminalistics may have experience in any forensic field. Experience may include:
Applicants must provide an authorization to perform casework, or equivalent, in the area in which the applicant is seeking certification. The authorization to perform casework must be from a Forensic Science Service Provider.
ABC recognizes the following definitions:
Technician: employee who performs analytical techniques on forensic samples under the supervision of a qualified analyst. Technicians do not interpret data, reach conclusions on results, or prepare final reports.
Laboratory Support Personnel: employee or contract employee who performs laboratory duties exclusive of analytical techniques on forensic or database samples.
Forensic Science Service Provider: A FSSP, as defined by the National Commission on Forensic Sciences, is a forensic science service provider having at least one full-time analyst (however named) who examines physical evidence in criminal and/or investigative matters and provides reports or opinion testimony with respect to such evidence in United States courts of law. Forensic science service provider is used interchangeably with forensic laboratory.
To attain Fellow status, an Applicant must first be certified as a Diplomate. A Fellow Applicant must be able to document current successful participation in an approved proficiency testing program in either the designated specialty areas or in any area of criminalistics for the Comprehensive Criminalistics Examination prior to being considered for Fellow status.
Affiliates are not certified, but instead are certification eligible. Affiliates must meet the education requirements set forth for Diplomate. An exception is made for a student graduating at the end of the semester or trimester. The student must submit a letter from their professor verifying their graduation status. Once an Affiliate attains the professional experience necessary for certification, a Request for Promotion from Affiliate may be submitted. The Affiliate must submit an authorization to perform casework, or equivalent, in the area in which the applicant is seeking certification along with the Request for Promotion from Affiliate. An Affiliate will be certified upon approval by the Credentials Committee and the Board of Directors. Affiliates must attain certification status within 5 years of passing the examination.