NRC report calls for mandatory certification

February 27, 2009 - The National Research Council (NRC) released a report on February 18th entitled "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: The Path Forward". The report recommends that "laboratory accreditation and individual certification of forensic science professionals should be mandatory."

As the criminal justice system responds to the National Academy of Sciences report, calls for cerfication of forensic science professionals will increase. Not only will newcomers in the field be expected to be certified, but experienced professionals as well.

“No person (public or private) should be allowed to practice in a forensic science discipline or testify as a forensic science professional without certification,” the report states.

The American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) is currently the sole provider of individual certification in the forensic disciplines of molecular biology, drug chemistry, fire debris analysis, trace evidence - hairs and fibers and trace evidence - paints and polymers.