It’s important to have the skills needed to be an effective professional in document examination. But having the core skills is not enough. Continued education that adds the latest breakthroughs and involvement in peer organizations is paramount to ensuring your choice of examiner is the best to help you with your case.
Given the highly technical and scientific nature of the field of questioned document examination, forensic document examiners must gain formal education and training. Training programs for forensic document examiners generally last about two years. These programs involve studying the basic literature of the field and completing projects that teach the examination process, while at the same time demonstrating how questioned document examination fits into criminal and civil investigations of all kinds. It arms the examiner with a solid foundation in forensics and knowledge of the criminal justice system.
Certification and Continued Education
Certification is vital and will show that your expert has been thoroughly tested in all aspects of the field of Forensic Document Examination. Testing is done through reputable organizations in the document examination fields and not through online testing. The testing is extensive and will usually take 5 to 8 hours to complete. Continued education helps keep professionals on top of the latest knowledge and techniques available. Reputable organizations have monthly or quarterly classes. I also attend yearly conferences and seminars for continued education.
Keeping involved with peer groups and maintaining relationships with others in the field is important in a variety of ways. Document examiners may have some of their cases peer reviewed to understand how effective their analysis was, and to improve upon areas to finesse their skills. Being involved in the community is extremely important to understand the field, the changes coming on the horizon, the latest techniques evolving, and the quality of work that their peers are offering. Membership in organizations demonstrates the document examiner’s desire to be the best they can be for their clients.
As forensic document examiner, I am trained to help solve issues with documents such as:
Hire a Professional
It’s important to thoroughly vet any professional you are considering hiring to help you with your case. This includes checking the credentials listed by the professionals you are considering. Just as you value the merits of your case, opposing counsel will scrutinize any expert you bring in and will uncover any gaps, falsifications or omissions with their credentials. In that situation the Judge may not let your chosen examiner testify, and you could easily lose your case. Be as thorough vetting those handling your case, as you do the case itself. Learn more about my professional qualifications.