Requirements for the Certification of Crime Scene Reconstruction

Crime Scene Certification home page

New books (effective September 1, 2017) for the Crime Scene Reconstruction Certification Exam:


    1. General Qualifications

      1. An applicant for certification must be of good moral character, high integrity, and good repute and must possess high ethical professional standing.
      2. An applicant must be employed full time in an occupation that includes crime scene related activities.
        1. "Crime scene related activities" is understood to mean responding to crime scenes, and having a significant role in locating, documenting, recovering and analyzing physical evidence.
        2. Processing or enhancing physical evidence solely in a laboratory or evidence warehouse environment does not meet this description.
        3. "Crime scene related activities" will normally be conducted by personnel employed by law enforcement agencies, but may occasionally be performed by non-government personnel acting in an adjunct or advisory role.
    2. Certified Crime Scene Reconstructionist (CCSR)

      Applicant must:
      1. Have a minimum of five (5) years experience as a crime scene investigator involved in crime scene reconstruction.
      2. Have completed a minimum of 120 hours of Crime Scene Certification Board approved instruction in crime scene and crime scene reconstruction related courses within the last five (5) years. NOTE:

        This training MUST include the following courses:
        1. The time frame on the acceptance of bloodstain analysis courses and shooting reconstruction courses for the CCSR has been changed from 5 years to 10 years. Training in these two courses can take place up to 10 years prior to application for certification. This only applies to the CCSR certification and it only applies to those specific courses of instruction.
        2. A Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation course that is a minimum of 40 hours in length.
        3. Shooting Incident Reconstruction courses that total 40 hours

          Additional elective courses must total a minimum of 40 hours. The topics that qualify in the area of crime scene approved training are:

          Alternate Light Source Training
          Arson Investigations*
          Blood Pattern Analysis*
          Clandestine Lab Training
          Collection & Preservation of Evidence*
          Courtroom Testimony*
          Crime Scene Documentation*
          Crime Scene Investigations*
          Crime Scene Photography and Evidence
          Crime Scene Reconstruction*
          Death Investigations*
          Footwear and Tire Tread
          Forensic Anthropology
          Forensic Archeology
          Forensic Odontology
          Latent Print Detection
          Post Blast Investigations
          Report Writing
          Rules of Evidence
          Sex Crime Investigations*
          Traffic Accident Investigations*
          Underwater/Subsurface search and recovery
          Wound Dynamics*

          *Recommended for reconstruction training

          The Crime Scene Certification Board, on request, will consider other topics.
      3. AND one of the following;
        1. Must have authored or coauthored an article on some phase of crime scene reconstruction published in a professional journal OR;
        2. Made a presentation on some phase of crime scene reconstruction to a professional organization, OR;
        3. Be an active instructor in some phase of crime scene reconstruction who is currently teaching at least once a year, OR;
        4. Completed 16 hours of Courtroom Testimony training in addition to the required 120 hours of crime scene related training (listed above).

    3. Initial In-house Training:

      Upon approval by the Crime Scene Certification Board, an agency's structured and specialized training program hours may be reciprocated for portions of the amount of required hours of instruction for the certification.

    4. Testing:

      In addition to the listed requirements the applicant must successfully pass a written test with a minimum score of 75%. All written tests are graded and recorded on a pass/fail basis only. (Numerical scores will not be provided)

      The tests will be created from the following publications and may not be changed for a period of three years. The tests may be updated to reflect newer technology that may be addressed in newer editions of the same text.

      The applicant is responsible for the entire text.

      These texts supersede any practice or agency directives for certification testing purposes.


    Bloodstain Pattern Analysis: With an Introduction to Crime Scene Reconstruction, 3rd Edition by Tom Bevel, Ross M. Gardner, CRC Press 2008

    Cold Case Homicides: Practical Investigative Techniques, Richard H. Walton, CRC Press, 2006

    Shooting Incident Reconstruction, By Lucien C. Haag - Elsevier Academic Press (2006)

    1. Comprehensive test
      1. Comprised of multiple choice questions
      2. The questions may contain scenarios based on the text books
      3. 300 questions with a time limit of 4½ hours
      4. All crime scene certification tests are proctored.
      5. Throughout the comprehensive written testing process you may not have/use any supporting/reference material/textbooks or have internet access.
    2. Practical Questions
      1. Practical questions will now be sent with the written portion of the test and will be taken at the same time
      2. 3 additional hours are now added for the completion of the practical questions
    3. Failures
      1. If the applicant fails the comprehensive portion of the test the applicant may reapply after 60 days by submitting a new application and the appropriate fees.
      2. If the applicant passes the comprehensive test and fails the practical test the applicant may request to take the practical portion again by submitting a letter to the Secretary of the CSCB within 30 days after notification of the failure without incurring additional fees.
      3. If the applicant fails either portion of the certification test for a second time, the applicant must wait 12 months from the date of the failure to reapply.
    4. Crime Scene Certification shall be issued for a period of five (5) years.
    5. Applicant procedures for certification are subject to revision by the Crime Scene Certification Board (CSCB). The latest official version is always available from the CSCB Secretary.

    1. Applicants must meet the recertification requirements as of the date of the recertification application.
    2. The applicant must pass a written test with a minimum score of 75%. The test will be a multiple choice test (20 questions) based on a scenario-based case file analysis. The case file will include the crime scene report, autopsy report, lab analysis reports, sketches/diagrams, and photographs.

    Application procedures for certification are subject to revision by the Crime Scene Certification Board (CSCB). The latest official version is always available from the CSCB Secretary.

    For additional information contact the Crime Scene Certification Board