Requirements for Forensic Artist Certification

Forensic Art Certification home page

Due to the multifaceted nature of the field of forensic art, it includes three categories. They are Composite Art, Facial Reconstruction and Age Progression. The artist applicant applies for forensic art certification but can demonstrate a portfolio emphasis in any one or all three categories. However, an artist should posses at least a fundamental knowledge and skills for all three forensic art categories.

1. Certification Requirements:

2. Confirmation Letter Specifications:

Applicants must submit a letter that states the status of the applicant's employment with the agency, or the status of the agreement under which the applicants services are provided. All submitted letters should include:

  • The agency's name and contact information.
  • The title, name and contact information of the person making the endorsement.
  • The total number of forensic art cases prepared for the agency.
  • The applicant's rank or status with the agency.
  • The applicant's date of appointment or date entered into contract.
  • A summary of the agency's experience with the applicant.

3. Portfolio Specifications: (For additional information see the FAQ's)

4. Testing Procedure:

Once the application and portfolio has been accepted, the applicant will be required to complete and pass the written exam and practical test which will be provided.

  • The written exam is a multiple choice question test. The applicant will be required to answer all the first section questions correctly and score 80 percent or better on the second section.
  • The practical forensic art test for certification consists of developing multiple forensic art drawings and/or images. The artist's original images will be required to be submitted. The artist must demonstrate a level of professional skill. Each sketch or image will be judged on certain criteria which will include but not limited to the following concepts.
    • The artist's command of his/her technique
    • The artist's demonstration of facial anatomy and proportions
    • The execution of a proper method for the forensic art technique being tested
    • Proper use of basic rendering elements and textures
    • Resemblances to subjects
    • Consistency of technique
    • Experience demonstrated with descriptive words

Note: Failing any portion of the testing will require the applicant to wait six (6) months from the rejection date to reapply. Those reapplying must submit a new application with all the attachments plus the current certification fee as posted on the IAI Website.

5. Recertification Requirements (Track 1):

6. Recertification Continuance Status Requirements (Track 2): (For additional information see the FAQ's)

Note: If a forensic artist has met all the above requirements for Recertification Continuance Status (Track 2), he or she can request Continuance Status during the online re-certification application procedure. All required proof and current fees must still be submitted. Once the completed application and all the proper documentation has been received by the certification board secretary. The applicant will be submitted to the forensic art certification board members for independent review and recommendation. Continuance status is a forensic art certification level that is not automatic. It can only be granted on a case by case independent board review and agreement by all the forensic art certification board members.

7. Forensic Art Training Programs:

Educators desiring their programs to be listed on the upcoming forensic art certification board Accepted Forensic Art Educational Program List are advised to submit his or her established forensic art training program curriculum to the Forensic Art Certification Board for review. Please send the listed information to the Board Secretary, either by mail or digitally via email. Contact the secretary here.