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FASE CERTIFICATION 2017

4th CALL for FASE CERTIFICATION

Update on certification

Venue and Date for the examination: Istituto di Medicina Legale, Via Luigi Mangiagalli 37, 20133 Milan (Italy), Sunday 17 September 2017 (full day) and Monday 18 September 2017 (morning)

Changes to the dates: Due to the number of candidates and the changes to the certification procedure, it is likely that it may not be possible to complete the exam in one day. Therefore, the candidates are advised to be prepared to continue with the exam on Monday morning.

Changes to the certification procedure:

Candidates, who will be invited for the examination, will need to attend both the written and practical examination. Level 1 candidates need to fulfill the same requirements as Level 2 candidates plus complete a practical oral examination that will focus on two case scenarios.

The written exam consists of questions on forensic anthropology theory, methods, and general knowledge.  The practical exam for both Level 1 and 2 candidates consists of specimen evaluation including assessment of fragmentary remains, human/non-human identification, taphonomy, aspects of the biological profile, and pathological changes/trauma.

The change in the procedure concerns the fact that all candidates will sit all parts of the examination, as opposed to only being able to proceed with the exam if completing the written part successfully (achieving 80% of greater).

The complete examination is considered as passed when the candidate achieves a result of 80% or greater. The results will be announced to the candidates within a week of the date of the exam.

 

LEVELS OF CERTIFICATION:

- LEVEL II: the candidate has got sufficient qualification for handling skeletal remains and providing assistance to senior personnel (e.g., pathologists or anthropologists)

- LEVEL I: the candidate is considered to be an independent practitioner in medical-legal issues in the field of forensic anthropology

Fee: A processing fee of 50 € needs to be paid at the time of application. The applicants, who decide to  take the written and practical examinations (after being approved), need to pay another fee of 100 €. The bank details will be available at the end of April. Please check the website forensicanthropology.eu for updates or follow our Facebook page: Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe (FASE).

Short checklist of the application requirements:

All applicants need to be members of FASE prior to applying for certification.

LEVEL II
1. proof of a Master degree in biological or forensic anthropology or related field
2. full narrative on the training related to forensic anthropology
3. proof of continuing education in forensic anthropology
4. proof of assisting with casework
5. letter from a supervisor

LEVEL I
1. proof of a Master degree in biological or forensic anthropology or a related field plus proof of MD or PhD degree in biological or forensic anthropology or a related field
2. full narrative on the training related to forensic anthropology
3. proof of continuing education in forensic anthropology
4. two case reports
5. list of cases (minimum 20 forensic anthropology cases as an expert)
6. evidence of at least 5 years of experience in case work

For established practitioners practicing for at least 15 years, certification as honoris causa may be granted based upon their CV, qualifications, academic status, and professional experience.  To be considered for honoris causa, the candidate needs to submit all documents required for Level I certification.

The certification process  is performed in two phases:

1) Initial evaluation of the CV and other documents. It is emphasized that incomplete applications will result in the application not being further considered for evaluation. The candidates will be informed about the outcome of this evaluation by 15 July 2017.

2) Candidates, who pass the initial evaluation, will need to attend a written and practical examination. Level I candidates need to fulfill the same requirements as Level II candidates plus complete a practical oral examination that will focus on two case scenarios.

The written exam consists of questions on forensic anthropology theory, methods, and general knowledge.  The practical exam for both Level I and II candidates consists of specimen evaluation including assessment of fragmentary remains, human/non-human identification, taphonomy, aspects of the biological profile, and pathological changes/trauma.

The individual aspects of the examination are considered as passed when the candidate achieves a result of 80% or more.

 

At the present time, the certification covers the expertise concerning only remains of the deceased, not the assessment of the living.

 

Additional information about the evaluation process of the certification exams

 

The exams will be corrected anonymously by the attending members of the certification committee.

The results for the written part of the examination will be provided immediately after the exam. The candidates will be notified whether they have achieved 80% or more in the exam, which are required for them to be able to continue the examination process by taking the second part of  the exam.

The overall results and the final decision on the certification status of the candidates will be announced within one week after the examination by email.

The candidates who had been approved to undertake the examination, but failed the written or the oral part of the exam are welcome to re-take the part that they failed. The candidates do not need to pay any additional fees. The candidates need to notify Professor Eugenia Cunha (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) prior to 15 July 2017 if they wish to re-take the exam during the next certification round (Milano, 17 September 2017).

 

If you have any queries about the certification process please contact Professor Eugenia Cunha (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 


FASE/IALM CERTIFICATION 2016

// 3rd CALL DEADLINE: 1 April 2016

//VENUE AND DATE OF FINAL EXAMS: Coimbra (Portugal), Sept 2016 (exact date to be announced)

send your application to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 // LEVELS

LEVEL II

An anthropologist who works under close supervision of a senior forensic pathologist, anthropologist or other suitably qualified expert, and his/her responsibilities encompass at least data collection, including maceration of the remains, inventory, radiography, standard measurements, photography, initial notes, analyses may apply for Level 2 certification. The applicant must hold a minimum of a Master’s degree in biological anthropology or a related field (e.g. biology, natural sciences, biochemistry, forensic anthropology, osteology, medicine, etc.). The applicant must provide a full narrative of how their education has prepared them for the work in forensic anthropology. He/she must provide an unequivocal proof of assisting with casework, such as co-signed reports. In addition, a letter from a supervisor detailing applicant’s responsibilities must be included. In addition, the applicant must be a member of FASE prior the application for certification, and show participation in relevant and continuing education in forensic anthropology.

Certification will be performed in two phases: 1) Initial evaluation of the CV and other documents.It is emphasized that incomplete applications will not be further considered for evaluation. A check list of the submitted documents should be included with the application form.  2) for those candidates who pass the initial evaluation, a written and practical examination. The written examination will consist of a set of 10 questions on forensic anthropology methods. The written examination consists of objective questions on forensic anthropology theory, methods, and general knowledge. The practical exam consists of specimen evaluation including questions concerning human/non-human identification, taphonomy, aspects of the biological profile, and trauma.

In order to pass both the written and practical exam, a success rate of min. 80% is required.

LEVEL I
An applicant for Level 1 certification will have conducted forensic anthropological analyses independently, have written and signed reports, and testified in court. The conditions for being accepted as Level I practitioner include:
• fulfillment of the same requirements as Level 2 applicants;
• holding a MD or PhD degree. The applicant must provide a full narrative of how their training and experience has prepared them for work in forensic anthropology. For medical doctors, additional training/degrees in physical anthropology and forensic sciences/medicine or forensic anthropology must be evident;
• submission of two (2) case reports which reflect comprehensive knowledge of forensic anthropology. For example, we do not recommend submitting case reports that only include one skeletal element or non-human identification.
• submission of a list of cases that show applicant’s expertise and experience in agreement with national judicial regulations by providing an unequivocal proof that he/she was responsible for at least 20 forensic anthropology cases as an expert.
• evidence of at least 5 years of experience after completion of the highest academic degree.

Certification will be performed as follows: In addition to the written and practical examination required for level 2 candidates, Level 1 candidates must also complete a practical viva voce oral examination that will focus on two case scenarios.

Level I candidates, as well as level II, have to pass both the written and practical exam and achieve a success rate of min. 80%.

HONORIS CAUSA

In addition, for the more experienced and established practitioners, practicing for at least 15 years, certification as honoris causa will be granted based upon their CV, qualifications, academic status, and professional experience. To be considered for honoris causa, the applicant must submit all documents required for level 1 certification.

 // APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Fill in and submit the application form and ensure that all mandatory documents are included by providing a completed checklist (see the checklist at the bottom of the page). Applications with missing documents will not be considered.

2. Send the application documents, including application form, CV, case reports and any other relevant material to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Cover the necessary costs of the application fee

 

For Level 1, two forensic case reports signed by the applicant are mandatory.
For Level 2, a letter of recommendation from the direct supervisor and clear evidence of hands-on contribution to forensic cases must be submitted for evaluation.

 // APPLICATION FEE

A processing fee of 50 euros must be paid at the time of application.
For those applicants who are approved to take the written and practical examinations an additional fee of 100 euros must be paid.

Account Name: Centro de Estudos de Pós-Graduação em Medicina Legal Address Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Coimbra, Polo I, Rua Larga, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal

Bank name: Montepio Geral Bank Address Largo da Portagem, 43, 3000-337 Coimbra, Portugal

Swift code/BIC: MPIOPTPL

IBAN code: PT50003600339910058168688

Please note that the transfer should be free of any charges for the beneficiary.

 // CHECKLIST

Please ensure that you have provided all the necessary documents for the Level for which you are applying. Here is a checklist to facilitate this step:

 // EVALUATION COMMITTEE

- Prof. Sue Black - Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
- Prof. Cristina Cattaneo - LABANOF- Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Odontology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
- Prof. Eugénia Cunha - Department of Life Sciences, Center of Functional Ecology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
- Prof. Gérald Quatrehomme - Laboratory of Forensic Pathology and Forensic Anthropology, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France
- Prof. Ann H. Ross - Department of Sociology and Anthropology, NC State University, Raleigh, USA
- Prof. Douglas Ubelaker - Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

 


FASE/IALM CERTIFICATION 2015

// 2nd CALL DEADLINE: 31 March 2015

//VENUE AND DATE OF FINAL EXAMS: Montpellier (France), 2-3 Sept 2015

send your application to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 // LEVELS

LEVEL II
An anthropologist who works under close supervision of a senior forensic pathologist, anthropologist or other suitably qualified expert, and his/her responsibilities encompass at least data collection, including maceration of the remains, inventory, radiography, standard measurements, photography, initial notes, analyses may apply for Level 2 certification. The applicant must hold a minimum of a Master’s degree in biological anthropology or a related field (e.g. biology, natural sciences, biochemistry, forensic anthropology, osteology, medicine, etc.). The applicant must provide a full narrative of how their education has prepared them for the work in forensic anthropology. He/she must provide an unequivocal proof of assisting with casework, such as co-signed reports. In addition, a letter from a supervisor detailing applicant’s responsibilities must be included. In addition, the applicant must be a member of FASE prior the application for certification, and show participation in relevant and continuing education in forensic anthropology.

Certification will be performed in two phases: 1) Initial evaluation of the CV and other documents.It is emphasized that incomplete applications will not be further considered for evaluation. A check list of the submitted documents should be included with the application form.  2) for those candidates who pass the initial evaluation, a written and practical examination. The written examination will consist of a set of 10 questions on forensic anthropology methods. The written examination consists of objective questions on forensic anthropology theory, methods, and general knowledge. The practical exam consists of specimen evaluation including questions concerning human/non-human identification, taphonomy, aspects of the biological profile, and trauma.

LEVEL I
An applicant for Level 1 certification will have conducted forensic anthropological analyses independently, have written and signed reports, and testified in court. The conditions for being accepted as Level I practitioner include:
• fulfillment of the same requirements as Level 2 applicants;
• holding a MD or PhD degree. The applicant must provide a full narrative of how their training and experience has prepared them for work in forensic anthropology. For medical doctors, additional training/degrees in physical anthropology and forensic sciences/medicine or forensic anthropology must be evident;
• submission of two (2) case reports which reflect comprehensive knowledge of forensic anthropology. For example, we do not recommend submitting case reports that only include one skeletal element or non-human identification.
• submission of a list of cases that show applicant’s expertise and experience in agreement with national judicial regulations by providing an unequivocal proof that he/she was responsible for at least 20 forensic anthropology cases as an expert.
• evidence of at least 5 years of experience after completion of the highest academic degree.

Certification will be performed as follows: In addition to the written and practical examination required for level 2 candidates, Level 1 candidates must also complete a practical viva voce oral examination that will focus on two case scenarios.

HONORIS CAUSA

In addition, for the more experienced and established practitioners, practicing for at least 15 years, certification as honoris causa will be granted based upon their CV, qualifications, academic status, and professional experience. To be considered for honoris causa, the applicant must submit all documents required for level 1 certification.

 // APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Fill in and submit the application form and ensure that all mandatory documents are included by providing a completed checklist. Applications with missing documents will not be considered.

2. Send the application documents, including application form, CV, case reports and any other relevant material to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. Cover the necessary costs of the application fee

 

For Level 1, two forensic case reports signed by the applicant are mandatory.
For Level 2, a letter of recommendation from the direct supervisor and clear evidence of hands-on contribution to forensic cases must be submitted for evaluation.

NOTE: All applications that have been approved in 2014 but the applicants were not able to take the exams will be held for one year. The applicants do not need to re-apply but they do need to indicate whether they intend to take the examinations in 2015 by 1 March 2015. After 2015, these applicants will need to re-apply.

 // APPLICATION FEE

A processing fee of 50 euros must be paid at the time of application.
For those applicants who are approved to take the written and practical examinations an additional fee of 100 euros must be paid.
Payment should be made exclusively by wire transfer to the following account:

Account Name: Centro de Estudos de Pós-Graduação em Medicina Legal
Bank name: Santander Totta (0018)
Bank Address: Av. Dr. Armando Gonçalves, 5, 3000-059 Coimbra, Portugal; Agência: 0269 – Coimbra, Cruz de Celas
Swift code: TOTAPTPL
IBAN code: PT50001802690020002510588
NIB: 001802690020002510588


Please note that the transfer should be free of any charges for the beneficiary.

 // CHECKLIST

Please ensure that you have provided all the necessary documents for the Level for which you are applying. Here is a checklist to facilitate this step:

 // EVALUATION COMMITTEE

- Prof. Sue Black - Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
- Prof. Cristina Cattaneo - LABANOF- Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Odontology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
- Prof. Eugénia Cunha - Department of Life Sciences/ Forensic Sciences Research Center, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
- Prof. Gérald Quatrehomme - Laboratory of Forensic Pathology and Forensic Anthropology, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France
- Prof. Ann H. Ross - Department of Sociology and Anthropology, NC State University, Raleigh, USA
- Prof. Douglas Ubelaker - Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA


 

  • ACCEPTED FASE/IALM CERTIFICATION SCHEME

 

The goal to certify forensic anthropologists stems from the increasing knowledge of and need for this discipline in judicial cases and the consequent proliferation of courses of dubious origin and more importantly to address the growing issue of “self-made” experts.  Quality control over who can qualify as an expert forensic anthropologist must be offered at the European/international level. The proposed certification programme aims to enable standardization among forensic experts and allow their acceptance by international courts. The FASE vision includes:

- establishing a certification scheme for forensic anthropologists

- supporting cooperation between European research institutions

- improving the quality of methods and data used in forensic anthropology,  which is in agreement with the recent developments in the European Union

FASE proposes the International Academy of Legal Medicine (IALM) to be the certifying agency, with FASE being the executive party. The proposed certification is intended to enable standardization among forensic experts and allow their acceptance by international courts. Although the certification will be open to all countries, it particularly aims to be adapted to the European reality, in which forensic anthropology is being practised by specialists with various backgrounds, such as physical anthropologists, medical doctors, and biologists.

However, this certification is intended for the younger and new generation as only recently the appropriate cultural tools for proper awareness and training in Europe and internationally has become available and widespread. Thus, the academic society is now in a position to create this professional certification. After several years of deliberations, the Evaluation Committee (listed above) has been chosen according to academic and professional qualifications.
For the older generation of practitioners who have been practicing for at least 10 years, certification will be granted based upon their CV, qualifications, academic status and professional experience (e.g. honoris causa).

At the present time, certification will only focus on human remains and not the assessment of the living.

After consideration of the recent academic events in the European  and American scenarios we have come to the conclusion that certification concerns the validation of individuals for professional activity, with levels of certification being divided into two basic categories:
- a lower level (level II) where minimal qualification for handling skeletal remains and providing assistance to senior personnel (e.g. pathologists or anthropologists) is achieved; and
- a full qualification (level I) where the certified person is considered independent practitioner in medicolegal issues that can be addressed by a forensic anthropologist.


// LEVELS

Level II
An anthropologist who works under close supervision of a supervisor whether they are a forensic pathologist or anthropologist.
Responsibilities may include data collection, which can include maceration, inventory, radiography, standard measurements, photography, initial notes, analyses, etc.

The applicant must hold a Master’s degree in biological anthropology or related fields (e.g. biology, natural sciences, biochemistry and medicine).
In addition, the applicant must show participation in relevant and continuing education in forensic anthropology by being member of FASE – Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe, and being able to provide proof of assisting with casework, such as initial data collection, co-signing reports, letter from supervisor detailing laboratory responsibilities, and attending relevant workshops.

Certification will be performed in two phases:
 
1) an initial evaluation of the CV; and
2) for those candidates who pass the CV evaluation, a written and practical examination.
The written examination will consist of a set of 10 questions on forensic anthropology methods. The practical exam will be performed on a human skeleton with questions concerning human/non-human identification, aspects of the biological profile, and trauma.

Level I
Level I can independently conduct forensic anthropological analyses, write and sign reports, and testify in court. The conditions for being accepted as Level I diplomate include:

•    the same qualifications as Level II apply
•    holding an MD or a PhD degree in biological anthropology or related fields (a Master's degree is not mandatory for Level I)
•    expertise (at least 10 cases) and 3 years of experience after degree completion
•    practical evaluation, including at least two real-life case scenarios, with the assessment results being presented orally by the candidate


// APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Fill in and submit the application form

2. The CV and request should be sent to the FASE Committee along with the cases submitted for evaluation (notarised in the original language and translated to English).

For Level I, an official request and/or submission of 2 forensic caseworks to respective agency, such as prosecution’s office, judge/magistrate, police, medical examiner office or similar country specific agency is also needed.
For Level II, a recommendation from the direct supervisor and clear evidence of contribution to forensic cases must be submitted for evaluation.

3.  Any other relevant documentation.

 

// EVALUATION COMMITTEE

- Prof. Sue Black - Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK

- Prof. Cristina Cattaneo - LABANOF- Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Odontology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

- Prof. Eugénia Cunha - Department of Life Sciences/ Forensic Research Center, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

- Prof. Gérald Quatrehomme - Laboratory of Forensic Pathology and Forensic Anthropology, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France

- Prof. Ann H. Ross - Department of Sociology and Anthropology, NC State University, Raleigh, USA

- Prof. Douglas Ubelaker - Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

 

// APPLICATION FEES

To support the meetings of the evaluation committee, a fee of 100EUR will be required to finalize the application process, after a first evaluation of the CV by the committee. Payment should be exclusively done by wire transfer to the following account:

Account Name: Centro de Estudos de Pós-Graduação em Medicina Legal

Bank name: Santander Totta (0018)

Bank Address: Av. Dr. Armando Gonçalves, 5, 3000-059 Coimbra, Portugal; Agência: 0269 – Coimbra, Cruz de Celas

Swift code: TOTAPTPL

IBAN code: PT50001802690020002510588

NIB: 001802690020002510588

Please note that the transfer should be free of any charges for the beneficiary.


// CERTIFICATION LOCATIONS

Candidates, who have been approved for examination and who paid the application fees, can sit the exam in one of the following locations:  Milan, Coimbra, Montpellier, Granada and Raleigh (USA) or at scheduled FASE meetings.  

The applications and written examinations will be evaluated by the entire Examination Committee.
Practical and final Level I examinations will be evaluated by three members of the Scientific Committee locally. 


// DEADLINES

Deadline for submission of CV:  February 28 2014
Shortlisting for Level I and II:  March 15 2014
Examination Milan-Coimbra May 2 2014
Examination for Level I: May 3 2014

 Brief summary on the development of the FASE forensic anthropology certification idea

The different histories and roots of the science of forensic anthropology in Europe, USA and Latin America are reflected on the nowadays different formations and backgrounds of the experts practicing forensic anthropology, highlighting once again the different forensic realities that anthropology experts face nowadays. Nevertheless it is important to uniform and to try to reach the same standards across the world. The actual society, with so many mass disasters and crimes against humanities, needs it. That is why an international system of certification is paramount.

In December 2011 Council of the European Union published Council conclusions on the vision for European Forensic Science 2020 including the creation of a European Forensic Science Area and the development of forensic science infrastructure in Europe, which highlights the importance of accreditation of forensic science institutes and laboratories and the establishment of Europe-wide best practice manuals and conducting proficiency tests at international level (more information: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/jha/126875.pdf ).

The document addresses the need for information exchange between forensic sciences and law enforcement, particularly the need for establishing and sharing databases with high-quality data, and the need to broaden confidence in the recognition of the equivalence of each others’ standards for the collection, processing, use and delivery of forensic data, by making these transparent so as to identify the common minimum quality conditions under which such data can be acceptable for use by police and judicial authorities. The paper states that European Forensic Science Area should be created by 2020, in which routine forensic processes for the collection, processing, use and delivery of forensic data will be based on equivalent minimum forensic science standards, and in which forensic service providers will work on the basis of a common approach to implementation of these standards that fosters closer cooperation between them and the criminal justice systems.

Guided by the same idea, in 2010 in Denmark, during the Forensic Anthropology Symposium, FASE proposed to start a formal forensic anthropology certification process. The initiative has been discussed several times.  During the 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, held in Chicago in 2011, FASE co-organized and presented a breakfast seminar: „Internationalization of forensic science disciplines: why certification is necessary in forensic anthropology?“. The seminar was crowded; the full capacity of the room was reached, and near 100 persons from all over the world participated in the discussion. The proposal was well accepted although has also raised some concerns. The follow-up discussion was worthwhile and very useful for the creation of guidelines and for the process of accreditation itself. Valuable advices and suggestions were given by JPAC teams, Physical Anthropology Board as well as by Scientific Working Group for Forensic Anthropology (SGANTH) and from BAHID- British Association for Human Identification. The same year, in Madeira during the 19th IAFS Meeting, during the Scientific Session of the Society dedicated to the new developments in forensic anthropology the paper International Certification in Forensic Anthropology: The next step by Ross A., Cattaneo, C., Martrille, L., Baccino, E., Kimmerle, E., Baraybar, J. P., Ubelaker, D. and Cunha, E. has been presented. The discussion that aroused afterwards, with still a lot of conflicting opinions, led to the conclusion that more discussion and time is needed to define precisely the exact procedure of the certification to meet best the initial vision of this process that should be objective, internationally accepted and non-exclusionary.Finally, in Istanbul (July 2012) at the 22nd IALM Congress, after the session in Forensic Anthropology on the second day of the Congress, the idea has been again presented by the FASE president Eugenia Cunha. She highlighted the certification initiative and asked for votes regarding the implementation of the certification by FASE/IALM. The majority agreed with initiating certification for forensic anthropologists in Europe but some issues were raised regarding the process. The next step is a survey among FASE members in order to clarify their concerns.

 

 


SHORT SUMMARY OF EXISTING CERTIFICATION SCHEMES AND PROPOSALS IN EUROPE AND WORLDWIDE

 

  • In 2012 there has been only one active certification agency for forensic anthropology – the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA). ABFA has been established in 1977 with the aim to encourage the study and practice of, establish and enhance standards for, and generally advance the science of forensic anthropology.

The certification process has been revised several times during ABFA’s existence, with the most recent revision having been approved in July 2012.

Three ABFA committees assess the professional record of education, training, experience and achievement of the applicants for certification:

1) the Application Committee consisting of of at least two individuals from the Board of Directors, which oversees the application process of candidates for certification up to the certification exam

2) the Examination Committee consisting of the Vice President and at least three members of the Board of Directors and/or Diplomates at Large, which is responsible for the execution of the Certification Examination; and

3) the Certification Committee consisting of the Treasurer and at least two individuals from the Board of Directors, which oversees the recertification of Diplomates.

Potential candidates for certification need to have a doctoral degree in anthropology with an emphasis in physical anthropology, three years of professional experience in forensic anthropology after being awarded the degree, and submit an application and associated documentation (in English). The applicant also needs to suggest the three individuals, who will each send a letter of recommendation to the Application Committee Chair of the ABFA.

The full application would include:
a) A copy of the applicant’s doctoral diploma;
b) A copy of the applicant’s curriculum vitae;
c) Three forensic case files with supporting documents that have been submitted to a medical examiner, coroner, or a law enforcement agency by the applicant. 

Successful applicants must sit comprehensive written and practical examination within three years. After successfully completing the examination, the applicant will qualify as a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and will be issued with a Certificate of Qualification in forensic anthropology.

The Certificate is valid for a period of three consecutive years and may be renewed in accordance with the recertification program. Fixed fees are associated with the application, examination and recertification.

The candidates for recertification must undertake a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education in forensic anthropology during the three years as ABFA Diplomates. The education activities may include attendance of regional, national and international meetings related to forensic anthropology and journal study. In addition, the Diplomates must document current involvement in one or more of forensic anthropology activities, such as forensic anthropology casework, court testimony, consultative appointments, research and publications in forensic anthropology or related fields, and teaching and lectures on topics related to forensic anthropology or similar disciplines.

There are currently about 75 Diplomates certified by ABFA, coming mostly from the USA and Canada. However, ABFA has recently opened the certification process to candidates who are not permanent residents of the United States or Canada. Potential applicants may petition the Board of Directors for a waiver to be considered for the certification examination.

More information on ABFA: http://www.theabfa.org/

 

  • In the USA, SWGANTH (Scientific Working Group for Forensic Anthropology) has published several documents on their webpage regarding best practice in forensic anthropology, including qualifications, proficiency testing, quality assurance, documentation, methodology, and codes of ethics and conduct. It has also recently initiated a debate about accreditation for forensic anthropology laboratories in the USA.

More information on SWGANTH: http://www.swganth.org/

  

  • Certification initiatives are underway in the UK and in South America. The UK certification process process has not been officially ratified yet. This accreditation process has been discussed during the BAHID 2012 Conference. The accreditation is supported by the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) which will be the overall governing body.  Progress to date within BAHID is an agreement for an accreditation system within the UK, the support thereof from its members and with RAI agreeing to act as overall governing body. The process has reached the end of the consultation process from its members for paper drafts. The next step will be to establish the examination process.

It is proposed that there will be three levels of Forensic Anthropology Practitioner: FA I, FA II and FA III.

-  Entry into FA I will be via portfolio review, supported by two letters of reference.

-  Entry into FA II will be by written and practical examination.

-   Entry to FA III will be by case review and interview based viva voce examination.

Alll levels will be assessed for work and other professionally relevant experience. Case reviews are not limited to UK cases; international case work is equally welcomed.

 

  • The GfA (Gesellschaft für Anthropologie) in Germany has recently started a certification process of freelance osteoarchaeologists. The certification is based on a scoring system and the applications are assessed by a three-member expert panel of experienced osteoarchaeologists. The score is calculated from points assigned for education background, experience with evaluation and excavation of historic skeletal series, research experience and publication list. The candidates need to submit two examples of their work in the form of reports and also summarise the methods they use for analysis.

More informationa on GfA : http://www.gfanet.de/

Level 1 - Undergraduate, BSc, MA, MS, in physical anthropology or related fields plus participation at a forensic anthropology workshop.

Level 2 -  recent PhD or MD graduate with significant education in Forensic Anthropology. The PhD has to be in physical/biological anthropology or closely related fields with significant emphasis on forensic anthropology, human osteology, skeletal biology, human variation, human anatomy, and/or statistics.

Level 3 - PhD  in forensic anthropology or closely related discipline or MD with specialization in forensic pathology/legal medicine,  with a minimum of 5 years post PhD/MD case experience nominated by judges or by other experts nominated by them (when applicable).