Requirements for Forensic Artist Certification
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.
- Composite Imaging: Preparation of a sketch of an unknown subject from information obtained during an interview of a witness or victim.
- Facial Reconstruction: Preparation of a facial image of an unidentified deceased for the purpose of identification. These forensic images could be a three dimensional or two dimensional post mortem reconstructions.
- Age or Image Enhancement: These are images of age progressions, age regressions or image enhancements of subjects.
1. Certification Requirements
- Applicants are required to receive 80 hours of IAI approved forensic art training programs. These programs should be considered basic and intermediate programs.
- Plus the applicant is required to receive combination of 40 hours of related workshops, lectures or short program training.
- A minimum of two years of experience as a forensic artist for an agency or multiple agencies. The applicant will supply confirmation letters for each agency that they are claiming credit.
- A minimum of 30 forensic art cases which can include composites, reconstructions and age progressions (other related case experience maybe evaluated on an individual basis).
- Applicant must submit a portfolio demonstrating his/hers forensic art techniques and cases.
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
Include 10 forensic art images prepared for law enforcement investigation cases. (These images do not require a suspect hit. They should illustrate your declared emphasis and forensic art techniques/ skills). Each case submitted should include:
- Clear print(s) or digital copies
- A short case history (date, crime, location)
Include 3 forensic art cases that resulted in a "Hit". These cases require an image of an identified suspect or individual. Each case submitted should include:
- Clear print(s) or digital copies of the forensic image and identified suspect or individual
- A short case history(date, crime, location)
- A short narrative on how the forensic image assisted in the apprehension or identification.
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)
- Recertification is required every 5 years from the date of the original certification.
- The artist is required to have successfully completed a 40 hour IAI approved forensic art training program. This program should be considered an advanced level workshop.
- Additional 20 hours of related workshops, lectures or short program training.
- In the past five years the artist should have completed at least 75 forensic images for investigative cases (other related case experience maybe evaluated on an individual basis).
- The artist is required to submit 5 forensic art cases that resulted in a "Hit". These cases require an image of an identified suspect or individual. Each case submitted should include:
- Clear print(s) or digital images of the forensic image and identified suspect or individual
- A short case history(date, crime, location)
- The artist must have attended at least one IAI conference local or international in the past 5 years. Proof of attendance is required.
- The artists requesting recertification are required to pass the written and practical test established in August, 2011, if they haven't already done so.
6. Recertification Continuance Status Requirements (Track 2)
- The artist must have been forensic art recertified at least once.
- The artist must be a forensic artist for over ten years.
- The artist must have completed at least 350 forensic art images during that time.
- The artist must have attended at least two IAI conferences, local or international in the past 5 years (proof of attendance required).
- The artist has offered his or her forensic art expertise as an educator or lecturer in some capacity for at least a total of 60 hours. (documentation required).
- The artist has written forensic art related materials for an agency, educational programs and/or professional organization. Or, the artist has published in any context about forensic art or a closely related subject (documentation required).
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
- A forensic art training program must be a minimum of 40 hours.
- Forensic art training programs should be conducted by an instructor that has been IAI forensic art certified
- Additional curriculum requirements can be found at the following link: Educational Program Guidelines and Approval Procedure
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.