I frequently read Jim Hoerrick’s excellent blog, Forensic Photoshop. In his October 12 post, he brought up the issue of certification, and it prompted me to comment on that topic here.
One of Jim’s points is that some certifications are not based on real world issues, and the correct test answers may be wrong when applied to the real world. Jim also mentioned that what he’s heard related to the certifications of the International Association for Identification (IAI) is positive.
As the Chair of the Forensic Photography and Imaging Certification Board for the IAI, I thought it would be important to discuss a bit of our process. We have two parts to our testing for certification – a written test and a practical test.
The written test is based on two texts, that is intended to show if the applicant has the general knowledge of photography and imaging to meet the standard set by the IAI for certification. Our board reviews the texts and the questions every year to attempt to keep the test relevant with current technology and appropriate for the topic of forensic photography and imaging.
The practical test currently includes ten assignments, and requires that the applicant competently complete each of the assignments to pass. These assignments are as closely molded to real world assignments as we can make them. We are currently reviewing the assignments and the wording of them so that they continue to represent real world assignments, and so that the assignments are as clear and explicit as possible.
Our board is always looking for input and I invite anyone with input to contact me at any time.