Latent FAQs for website / article:Latent Print Certification Home Page
Are any concessions being made for training hours/credits requirements for initial certification / recertification, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellations of conferences?
The FCMB made a joint decision, applicable to all certification programs, that there would be no change to the current process, and the requirements for both initial certification and recertification remain in place. There are a number of avenues to obtain training hours/credits (including dozens of approved online courses) please refer to the Certification Program Operations Manual for details. Internal training programs can also be used, provided that they have been submitted for review to the LPCB.
1. Claiming training courses that are not on the approved list. If a course is desired to be used that does not appear on the approved courses list, please submit a course syllabus to the LPCB before submitting your application.
What are the 5 main reasons an initial certification or re-certification application gets returned for correction?
2. Claiming more credits than are permissible in a section. Make sure to only claim up to the maximum number of credits for each section. Do not claim more credits than are necessary for your application even if you have enough credits otherwise, if there are any issues with any of the submitted credits, the application must be returned for correction.
3. Initial certification applicants: lack of a court authorization letter, or the court authorization letter does not include the required information (a court authorization letter must be provided from the applicants supervisor stating that the applicant has completed testimony training/moot court assessment, and has been deemed competent to represent their agency/company in legal proceedings). This must be attached prior to submitting your application.
4. No double-dipping is allowed for conferences/workshops. If full conference attendance is claimed, the applicant cannot also claim a workshop that was attended at the same conference, as the hours have already been accounted for in the conference attendance. An applicant can claim either, not both.
5. Initial certification applicants: must account for an additional 16 hours of courtroom testimony training (additional to the 160 hours of required training). This training must be an approved course (course syllabi can be submitted to the LPCB for approval).
Where do I attach the court authorization letter for my initial certification application, and what needs to be in it?The court authorization letter needs to be from a supervisor attesting to the fact that the candidate has successfully completed the moot court and has been deemed competent to represent their agency in court. If you are not employed by a law enforcement agency then a letter from a prosecuting attorney attesting to your competency will also suffice. This requirement must be attached to your application at the time of submission. If the application is incomplete, it will be returned to the applicant, delaying the review process and potential time frame for testing. Prior testimony experience and court transcripts cannot be used as a substitution for this process.
Can I take the initial certification comparison test digitally (on-screen)? Is there an extra fee for doing so?Yes, the initial certification comparison test can be taken digitally (on-screen). The LPCB has rolled out a digital solution involving a mini computer. The mini computer gets shipped to the proctor, along with a hard copy of both the written portion and the comparison portion of the test. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they have a monitor (VGA, Digital Port or HDMI), mouse and keyboard (USB) at the testing location only the mini computer is shipped. It is loaded with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020, so it is strongly recommended that applicants choosing the digital solution familiarize themselves with Elements before they take the test (free trial versions of the software are available from Adobe). At this time, there is no additional fee for choosing the digital option. However, a portion of the cost may be the responsibility of the applicant in the future the LPCB will do our best to minimize any such cost.
Please be aware that there may be some delays if you choose to take the test digitally (on-screen), as there are currently a limited number of mini computers available.
How long does the initial certification / re-certification process take?Due to the volume of ingoing/outgoing tests, the LPCB is reviewing both initial certification and recertification applications once a month. This is a necessary workflow due to the volume of applications. All applications are reviewed within 60 days of submission, and if any changes are required the applicant will be contacted for corrections. The certification/recertification process takes an average of 60-90 days to complete once the application is submitted. Please keep this in mind, both when applying and when considering following up with the LPCB Secretary for a status update.
Where can I find the list of approved courses to use as credits for initial certification / re-certification?The current list of approved courses is available on the IAI website, under Certifications -> Latent Print, and is found on the LPCB Approved Courses tab.
Yes, as long as the online classes have been approved, they may be used as credits. The LPCB has criteria for assessing online courses and their suitability for use as credits. The current list of approved courses is available on the IAI website.
Do online classes count for credits towards initial certification / re-certification?
Yes, as long as the course(s) have been approved, they may be used as credits. If a course is desired to be used that does not appear on the approved courses list, please submit a course syllabus to the LPCB before submitting your application. The current list of approved courses is available on the IAI website.
Can I use an internal training program for credits towards initial certification / re-certification?
We do consider training time to be applicable, provided the time was dedicated to latent print comparisons. Not having specific knowledge of how individual agencies implement their training programs, the following list of questions have been used to help determine someones eligibility:
Does training count toward years of experience for initial certification applicants?
1. Does the applicants current day-to-day responsibilities routinely require the comparison of latent print cases?
2. What percentage of their overall responsibilities are directly related to latent comparison activities?
3. If the applicant has other responsibilities (i.e. crime scene, tenprint functions, etc.) what percentage of their daily operations is dedicated to those tasks?
4. How long has the applicant been in this position and conducted latent print comparison tasks?
Training and experience in tenprint and crime scene would not be applicable, but if your duties involved 75% or more in latent comparisons, the LPCB would consider it as meeting this requirement.