Standardization News

CSI Training Standard Proposed

ASTM International’s forensic sciences committee (E30) has proposed a new standard for crime scene investigator training, continuing education, professional development, certification, and accreditation (WK67866). The proposed standard will provide foundational requirements for all steps of investigator development to include competency, documentation, implementation, and continuous development.

According to Michael P. Kessler, research project manager at the National Forensic Science Technology Center at Florida International University, the standard could prove beneficial to the entire criminal justice system. “Crime scene investigation is the first component of a forensic investigation and, as such, is critical as the interface between the crime scene and the laboratory. Successful crime scene investigation depends on personnel who have fundamental knowledge and awareness of the important potential evidence and the ability to recognize, document, collect, and preserve its integrity through sound forensic science practices.”

Kessler adds that there is no existing standard that provides clear guidelines for training, continuing education, or accreditation requirements. By creating a consistent standard, the forensic sciences committee – in conjunction with the crime scene investigation subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science – “will close a major gap in all steps of crime scene investigator training and education.”

He says the proposed standard could be used to create a training framework with established structure and content to ensure that forensic-science service providers have the tools they need to support their employees’continuing education and professional development.

According to the committee, crime scene investigation standards are a generally new endeavor and therefore would greatly benefit from more involvement of investigators themselves in the standards development process, both with ASTM International and OSAC. Greater participation will ensure broad consensus. Become a member of ASTM to contribute to the development of this standard and others like it.

READ MORE: Body of Evidence

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