CSFS 2018 Conference

The Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS) is holding its 2018 conference and AGM in Gatineau, QC. This is a great thing from my point of view because,  in part, it’s in my own backyard (so to speak).  CSFS conferences vary in their quality and content but this year is looking pretty good.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Claude Roux whose presentation is entitled ‘Will Forensic Science Reach the End of the Crossroads Soon?’ Continue reading “CSFS 2018 Conference”

Certification — ABFDE

What is certification? To me, professional certification is a designation that indicates the holder of the certification has appropriate and adequate qualifications to do some particular, generally well-defined, job or task. As an example I am a forensic document examiner and I have received professional certification from the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners, Inc.

Certified

An internet search for ‘certification’ produces a huge list of possibilities, with more such programs being developed all the time as people become attuned to issues of quality and competency. Indeed, almost every profession has some type of certification and a few have several (consider all of the ‘certifications’ in the computing industry). Most, if not all, certification programs are aimed at improving the quality in a given profession by setting minimum standards for the job. The basic idea is that someone meeting or exceeding those standards will produce quality output on the job. Certification programs are generally created or are administered by a professional society, a college or university, or some private body set up expressly for that purpose.

Forensic Document Examination is no exception so it may be worthwhile discussing certification options as well as the pros and cons that I see for those options.
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Forensic or Questioned?

Some document examiners prefer to be called ‘forensic’ document examiners while other prefer the term ‘questioned’ document examiner. Is there any difference?

The simple answer is ‘no’; there is no real difference. Historically, the term used was “questioned document examiner” but in the last 15-20 years, “forensic” has become a much more common adjective applied to almost any (scientific) endeavour intended for court purposes. Just to add another variation to the discussion, when I began working in this field in the mid-1980’s my colleagues were called “examiners of questioned documents”.
Continue reading “Forensic or Questioned?”