Latent Print Certification Requirements & Qualifications
Appendix A: Latent Print Certification
Scope of Certification
A Certified Latent Print Examiner will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of friction skin physiology and morphology, terminology, detection, recovery, photography, preservation, enhancement, analysis, comparison, documentation and reporting of latent print evidence. Applicants for certification are primarily employed in the field of Forensic Science with duties to include the examination and comparison of latent print evidence, as well as providing expert testimony when necessary.
A Certified Latent Print Examiner will always serve the best interests of the science to the best of their professional ability. In fulfilling this duty, they will use all scientific and investigative techniques at their command to ascertain significant facts relevant to the matters under investigation. Through objective observations and experience, the examiner evaluates these observations to reach their conclusion. Conclusions and opinions will be reported clearly, objectively and unambiguously. In carrying out these functions, the Certified Latent Print Examiner will be guided by best practices and procedures which are generally recognized within the profession. A Certified Latent Print Examiner will also maintain their level of professional knowledge and expertise through periodic training, proficiency testing, journals and literature reviews to ensure they remain up-to-date in the profession. The motives, methods and actions of the Certified Latent Print Examiner shall at all times be in accordance with the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct laid out by the Forensic Certification Management Board of the International Association for Identification.
I. Prerequisite Requirements
- A Bachelor's Degree plus two (2) years full-time experience as prescribed by the LPCB, or
- An Associate Degree (or documentation of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of college credits} plus 3 years of full-time experience as a latent print examiner, or
- High School Degree plus four (4) years full-time experience as a latent print examiner.
- Educational requirements are not applicable to re -certification.
Minimum of 160 Hours of Certification Board approved training in latent print matters, along with criteria listed on the application form. Qualifying training programs should be structured as recommended by SWGFAST: "Guideline for Training to Competency for Latent Print Examiners
- Technical training courses or qualified internal training programs must have been received within the 5 years previous to the application date. Training received outside of the 5 years will not be considered.
- Court Testimony Training (Effective April 1, 2017). The components of the qualifying training for the court testimony will be the following:
- Applicants must attend 16 hours of qualifying court testimony training. This training may be either internally developed by the agency/company they are working with or from an external entity. This training will be in addition to the 160 hours of technical training (1.2.1)
- The applicant must participate in a moot court which can be either developed internally (i.e. by the agency/company) or from a reliable external source (i.e. local IAI division or representatives, training provider).
- Upon successful completion of the required training and moot court activities from this section, the applicant's supervisor or someone with signing authority from the agency/company they are employed with, will provide a written documentation that the applicant has been deemed competent to represent their agency/company in legal proceedings.
- This written documentation will be uploaded and attached to the applicant's eCert application in the "Education/Training" field.
- Basic Experience will be prescribed in combination with the Formal Education requirements in section 1.1. The designated years of full-time experience must be conducting the comparisons and identifications of latent print material. Experience with ten-print or inked fingerprint related materials will not be considered.
- If the applicant has less than full-time experience, times must be accumulated to reach the accepted minimum (i.e. 4 years of part-time experience conducting latent comparisons would be equivalent to 2 years of full-time experience, provided the time dedicated to comparison was equivalent to 50% of their job duties).
- Certification shall be determined by testing. The certification test was developed and is maintained by the IAI Latent Print Certification Board. The applicants have 8 hours to complete parts 1, 2, and 3 of the test.
- Testing Segments
- Written - (Part 1) Is a collection of multiple choice questions relative to the history of fingerprints, development techniques, friction ridge skin development and its related morphology, and the comparison process utilized during examination of latent prints. Applicants must successfully pass the written test with a minimum score of 85%, but will be recorded as a Pass or Fail.
- Comparison - (Part 2) Is the comparison of 15 latent prints to a collection of known prints. The applicant must record 12 correct conclusions as to the identity or exclusion of the latent prints with the known prints provided without any erroneous conclusions.
- If 12 or more correct conclusions are made, this part of the test is recorded as a Pass.
- If an erroneous conclusion (identification or exclusion) is made, it is recorded as Erroneous with the number of erroneous conclusions made. This will be recorded as a Fail.
- If less than 12 latent prints are recorded with correct conclusions, and there are no erroneous conclusions, this part of the test is recorded as Incomplete.
- Pattern Interpretation - (Part 3) The applicant must correctly interpret the fingerprint pattern on a minimum of 32 of the 35 inked impressions. This part of the test is recorded as a Pass or Fail.
- Applicants that receive an Incomplete on the Comparison portion of the test and have no erroneous conclusions on the results they have recorded, or fails Parts 1 (Written) or 3 (Pattern Interpretation) must wait 6 months from the test date to reapply for testing.
- Applicants that make one erroneous exclusion on Part 2 must wait 6 months from the test date before they are eligible for testing.
- Applicants that make two or more erroneous exclusions or an erroneous identification on Part 2 must wait 1 year from the test date to be eligible for testing.
- Applicants will need to retake the portion(s) of the test he/she did not successfully pass. If the applicant fails on the second attempt of the comparison portion, they will need to take the entire test again.
- Applicants have an additional 6 months from the date they are eligible to re-take the portion(s) of the test they did not successfully complete. If the time between the original test and the newly submitted application extends past the required waiting period plus the additional 6 months, the applicant will be required take all of the portions of the test, as a new applicant. (i.e. Applicant is incomplete on Part 2, they wait 6 months to be eligible to reapply, and an additional 6 months grace period. If they do not apply within this established 12 month time frame, they will be required to retake all portions of the testing process instead of just re-taking Part 2).
- Those re-applying must submit a new application with all of the required attachments and fee that is in effect at the time.