Questioned document examination
Overview
 
Questioned document examination (QDE) is the forensic science discipline pertaining to document
Document
The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...

s that are (or may be) in dispute in a court of law. The primary purpose of questioned/forensic document examination is to answer questions about a disputed document using a variety of scientific processes and methods.
Many QD examinations involve a comparison of the questioned document, or components of the document, to a set of known standards.
Encyclopedia
Questioned document examination (QDE) is the forensic science discipline pertaining to document
Document
The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...

s that are (or may be) in dispute in a court of law. The primary purpose of questioned/forensic document examination is to answer questions about a disputed document using a variety of scientific processes and methods.

Overview

Many QD examinations involve a comparison of the questioned document, or components of the document, to a set of known standards. The most common type of examination involves handwriting wherein the examiner tries to address concerns about potential authorship.

A document examiner is often asked to determine if a questioned item originated from the same source as the known item(s), then present their opinion on the matter in court as an expert witness. Other common tasks include determining what has happened to a document, determining when a document was produced, or deciphering information on the document that has been obscured, obliterated or erased.

The discipline is known by many names including forensic document examination, document examination, diplomatics
Diplomatics
Diplomatics , or Diplomatic , is the study that revolves around documentation. It is a study that focuses on the analysis of document creation, its inner constitutions and form, the means of transmitting information, and the relationship documented facts have with their creator...

, handwriting examination, or sometimes handwriting analysis, although the latter term is not often used as it may be confused with graphology
Graphology
Graphology is the pseudoscientific study and analysis of handwriting, especially in relation to human psychology. In the medical field, it can be used to refer to the study of handwriting as an aid in diagnosis and tracking of diseases of the brain and nervous system...

. Likewise a forensic document examiner (FDE) is not to be confused with a graphologist, and vice versa.

Many FDEs receive extensive training in all of the different aspects of the discipline. As a result they are competent to address a wide variety of questions about document evidence. However, this "broad specialization" approach has not been universally adopted.

In some locales, a clear distinction is made between the terms forensic document examiner and a forensic handwriting expert/examiner. In such cases, the former term refers to examiners who focus on non-handwriting examination types while the latter refers to those trained exclusively to do handwriting examinations. Even in places where the more general meaning is common, such as North America or Australia, there are many individuals who have specialized training only in certain relatively limited areas. As the terminology varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is important to clarify the meaning of the title used by any given individual professing to be a "forensic document examiner".

Scope of document examination

A forensic document examiner is intimately linked to the legal system as a forensic scientist
Forensics
Forensic science is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or a civil action...

. Forensic science is the application of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 to address issues under consideration in the legal system. FDEs examine items (documents) that form part of a case
Legal case
A legal case is a dispute between opposing parties resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case may be either civil or criminal...

 which may or may not come before a court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 of law.

Common criminal charges involved in a document examination case fall into the "white-collar crime
White-collar crime
Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime has been defined by Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation" . Sutherland was a proponent of Symbolic Interactionism, and believed that criminal behavior was...

" category. These include identity theft
Identity theft
Identity theft is a form of stealing another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name...

, forgery
Forgery
Forgery is the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent to deceive. Copies, studio replicas, and reproductions are not considered forgeries, though they may later become forgeries through knowing and willful misrepresentations. Forging money or...

, counterfeiting, fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

, or uttering a forged document. Questioned documents are often important in other contexts simply because documents are used in so many different contexts and for so many different purposes. For example, a person may commit murder and forge a suicide note. This is an example wherein a document is produced directly as a fundamental part of a crime. More often a questioned document is simply the by-product of normal day-to-day business or personal activities.

The American Society for Testing and Materials, International (ASTM) publishes standards for many methods and procedures used by FDEs. E30.02 is the ASTM subcomittee for Questioned Documents, and ASTM Standard E444-09 (Standard Guide for Scope of Work of Forensic Document Examiners) indicates there are four components to the work of a forensic document examiner. It states that an examiner "makes scientific examinations, comparisons, and analyses of documents in order to:
  1. establish genuineness or nongenuineness, or to expose forgery, or to reveal alterations, additions or deletions,
  2. identify or eliminate persons as the source of handwriting,
  3. identify or eliminate the source of typewriting or other impression, marks, or relative evidence, and
  4. write reports or give testimony, when needed, to aid the users of the examiner's services in understanding the examiner's findings."


Some FDEs limit their work to the examination and comparison of handwriting but most inspect and examine the whole document in accordance with this ASTM standard.

Types of document examined

Documents feature prominently in all manner of business and personal affairs. Almost any type of document may become disputed in an investigation or litigation. For example, a questioned document may be a sheet of paper bearing handwriting or mechanically-produced text such as a ransom note, a forged cheque or a business contract. Or it may be some material not normally thought of as a 'document'. FDEs define the word "document" in a very broad sense as being any material bearing marks, signs or symbols intended to convey a message or meaning to someone. This encompasses traditional paper documents but also includes things like graffiti on a wall, stamp impressions on meat products, or covert markings hidden in a written letter, among other things.

Historical cases

  • The National Archives forgeries (aka Martin Allen forgeries or Himmler forged documents) (2005)
  • The Killian memos (2004)
  • The ImClone / Martha Stewart trial
    ImClone stock trading case
    A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Attorney probe of trading in the shares of ImClone Systems resulted in a widely publicized criminal case, which resulted in prison terms for media celebrity Martha Stewart, ImClone chief executive officer Samuel D...

     (2004)
  • The Yellowcake Forgery
    Yellowcake forgery
    The Niger uranium forgeries are forged documents initially revealed by Italian Military intelligence. These documents seem to depict an attempt made by Saddam Hussein in Iraq to purchase yellowcake uranium powder from Niger during the Iraq disarmament crisis....

     (2003)
  • The Nina Wang
    Nina Wang
    Neena Wang or Kung Yu Sum was Asia's richest woman, with a recent estimated net worth of US$4.2 billion at the time of her death...

     and the Teddy Wang wills (2002 and 2010)
  • The Anthrax Attack
    2001 anthrax attacks
    The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, also known as Amerithrax from its Federal Bureau of Investigation case name, occurred over the course of several weeks beginning on Tuesday, September 18, 2001, one week after the September 11 attacks. Letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to...

     mailings on the US Senate (2001)
  • The JonBenét Ramsey
    JonBenét Ramsey
    JonBenét Patricia Ramsey was an American child beauty pageant contestant who was murdered in her home in Boulder, Colorado, in 1996. The six-year-old's body was found in the basement of the family home nearly eight hours after she was reported missing. She had been struck on the head and strangled...

     murder (1996)
  • The Paul Jennings Hill
    Paul Jennings Hill
    Paul Jennings Hill was the first person in the United States to be executed for murdering a doctor who performed abortions.-Early life:...

     murders (1994)
  • The Hitler Diaries
    Hitler Diaries
    In April 1983, the West German news magazine Stern published excerpts from what purported to be the diaries of Adolf Hitler, known as the Hitler Diaries , which were subsequently revealed to be forgeries...

     (1983)
  • The Mark Hofmann
    Mark Hofmann
    Mark William Hofmann is an American counterfeiter, forger and convicted murderer. Widely regarded as one of the most accomplished forgers in history, Hofmann is especially noted for his creation of documents related to the history of the Latter Day Saint movement...

     forgeries and murders (1980–84)
  • The Mormon Will (1978)
  • The Clifford Irving
    Clifford Irving
    Clifford Michael Irving is an American author of novels and works of nonfiction, but best known for using forged handwritten letters to convince his publisher into accepting a fake "autobiography" of reclusive businessman Howard Hughes in the early 1970s...

     and the Howard Hughes
    Howard Hughes
    Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world...

     biography (1972)
  • The Zodiac Killer
    Zodiac Killer
    The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The killer's identity remains unknown. The Zodiac murdered victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women...

     (1969)
  • The Lindbergh kidnapping
    Lindbergh kidnapping
    The kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was the abduction of the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The toddler, 18 months old at the time, was abducted from his family home in East Amwell, New Jersey, near the town of Hopewell, New Jersey, on the evening of...

     (1934) where comparison of the ransom note and Bruno Hauptmann's
    Bruno Hauptmann
    Bruno Richard Hauptmann was a German ex-convict sentenced to death for the abduction and murder of the 20-month-old son of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The Lindbergh kidnapping became known as "The Crime of the Century".-Background:Hauptmann was born in Kamenz in the German Empire,...

     handwriting was crucial
  • The Adolf Beck cases (1896 and 1904) where handwriting expert Thomas H. Gurrin repeated an erroneous identification.
  • The Howland will forgery trial
    Howland will forgery trial
    The Howland will forgery trial was a U.S. court case in 1868 to decide Henrietta Howland Robinson's contest of the will of Sylvia Ann Howland. It is famous for the forensic use of mathematics by Benjamin Peirce as an expert witness.-History:...

     (1868)


Although the crimes were committed some time before the discipline of document examination was firmly established, the letters of the Jack the Ripper case have since been examined in great detail.

Candidacy

A person who desires to enter a career of forensic document examination must possess certain traits and abilities. The ASTM Standard E2388-05 (Standard Guide for Minimum Training Requirements for Forensic Document Examiners) lists several requirements for the "Trainee Candidate".

First and foremost, an "an earned baccalaureate degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 or equivalent from an accredited college or university
Educational accreditation
Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met...

" is required as it gives the aspirant a scientific background with which to approach the work in an objective
Objectivity (science)
Objectivity in science is a value that informs how science is practiced and how scientific truths are created. It is the idea that scientists, in attempting to uncover truths about the natural world, must aspire to eliminate personal biases, a priori commitments, emotional involvement, etc...

 manner, as well as bestowing necessary biological
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, physical
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

, and chemical knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 sometimes called upon in the work.

Second, excellent eyesight is required in order to see fine details that are otherwise inconspicuous. To this end, the aspirant must successfully complete:
  • a form discrimination test in order to ensure that the aspirant does not suffer from the condition of being unable to tell apart two similarly-appearing yet different items,
  • a color perception test, and
  • near and distant visual acuity
    Visual acuity
    Visual acuity is acuteness or clearness of vision, which is dependent on the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain....

     tests "with best corrected vision within six months prior to commencement of training."


Beyond the above, additional desirable skills would include knowledge of paper, ink, printing processes, or handwriting.

Training

There are three possible methods of instruction for an aspiring document examiner:
  1. Self-education is the way in which the pioneers of the field began, as there was no other method of instruction.
  2. Apprenticeship
    Apprenticeship
    Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

     has become the widespread manner in which many examiners are now taught. In fact, this is the method that is recommended by ASTM in Standard E2388-05. To conform with the ASTM standard such training "shall be the equivalent of a minimum of 24 months full-time training under the supervision of a principal trainer" and "the training program shall be successfully completed in a period not to exceed four years". The training program must also include an extensive list of specific syllabus topics outlined in ASTM Standard E2388-05.
  3. College
    College
    A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

     and university
    University
    A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

     programs are both very limited at this time. This is due, in part, to the relatively limited demand for forensic document examiners. It also relates to the need for extensive practical experience; particularly with respect to handwriting examination. It is difficult to include this degree of practical experience in a normal academic program.


There are some distance learning courses available as well. These are taught through a virtual reality classroom and may include an apprenticeship program, a correspondence course, or both.

A trainee must learn how to present evidence before the court in clear, forceful testimony
Testimony
In law and in religion, testimony is a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter. All testimonies should be well thought out and truthful. It was the custom in Ancient Rome for the men to place their right hand on a Bible when taking an oath...

. Fledgling examiners in the later stages of training can get a glimpse into the legal process as well as a better sense of this aspect of their work through participation in a mock trial
Mock trial
A Mock Trial is an act or imitation trial. It is similar to a moot court, but mock trials simulate lower-court trials, while moot court simulates appellate court hearings. Attorneys preparing for a real trial might use a mock trial consisting of volunteers as role players to test theories or...

 or by attending actual court hearings to observe the testimony of qualified examiners.

Examination types

Examinations and comparisons conducted by document examiners can be quite diverse and may involve any of the following:
  • Handwriting
    Handwriting
    Handwriting is a person's particular & individual style of writing with pen or pencil, which contrasts with "Hand" which is an impersonal and formalised writing style in several historical varieties...

     (cursive
    Cursive
    Cursive, also known as joined-up writing, joint writing, or running writing, is any style of handwriting in which the symbols of the language are written in a simplified and/or flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing easier or faster...

     / printing
    Printing
    Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

    ) and Signature
    Signature
    A signature is a handwritten depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and intent. The writer of a signature is a signatory. Similar to a handwritten signature, a signature work describes the work as readily identifying...

    s
  • Typewriters, Photocopier
    Photocopier
    A photocopier is a machine that makes paper copies of documents and other visual images quickly and cheaply. Most current photocopiers use a technology called xerography, a dry process using heat...

    s, Laser printer
    Laser printer
    A laser printer is a common type of computer printer that rapidly produces high quality text and graphics on plain paper. As with digital photocopiers and multifunction printers , laser printers employ a xerographic printing process, but differ from analog photocopiers in that the image is produced...

    s, Ink Jet Printers, Fax machines
  • Chequewriters, Rubber stamp
    Rubber stamp
    Rubber stamping, also called stamping, is a craft in which some type of ink made of dye or pigment is applied to an image or pattern that has been carved, molded, laser engraved or vulcanized, onto a sheet of rubber. The rubber is often mounted onto a more stable object such as a wood, brick or an...

    s, Price markers, Label maker
    Label maker
    Label maker can refer to the following:* modern electronic label printers* handheld embossers, see embossing tape...

    s
  • Printing Process
    Printmaking
    Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

    es
  • Ink
    Ink
    Ink is a liquid or paste that contains pigments and/or dyes and is used to color a surface to produce an image, text, or design. Ink is used for drawing and/or writing with a pen, brush, or quill...

    , Pencil
    Pencil
    A pencil is a writing implement or art medium usually constructed of a narrow, solid pigment core inside a protective casing. The case prevents the core from breaking, and also from marking the user’s hand during use....

    , Paper
    Paper
    Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

  • Alterations, additions, erasures, obliterations
  • Indentation
    Electrostatic Detection Apparatus
    An electrostatic detection device, or EDD, is a specialized piece of equipment commonly used in questioned document examination to reveal indentations or impressions in paper which may otherwise go unnoticed. It is a non-destructive technique thus allowing further tests to be carried out...

     detection and/or decipherment
  • Sequence Determination
    Sequence determination
    A sequence determination is a type of examination conducted by a forensic document examiner. This type of forensic examination is done in an attempt to determine which of two events occurred first in the preparation of a document...

  • Physical Matching

Principle of identification

The concept of 'identification'
Forensic identification
Forensic identification is the application of forensic science, or "forensics", and technology to identify specific objects from the trace evidence they leave, often at a crime scene or the scene of an accident. Forensic means "for the courts"....

 as it is applied in the forensic sciences is open to some discussion and debate. Nonetheless, the traditional approach in the discipline of Forensic Document Examination is best expressed as follows:
"When any two items possess a combination of independent discriminating elements (characteristics) that are similar and/or correspond in their relationships to one another, of such number and significance as to preclude the possibility of their occurrence by pure coincidence, and there are no inexplicable disparities, it may be concluded that they are the same in nature or are related to a common source (the principle of identification)."


The evaluation of such characteristics at the present time is predominantly subjective in nature though efforts to quantify this type of information in a meaningful manner are ongoing. Subjective evaluation does not mean that the results of properly conducted comparisons will be either unreliable or inaccurate. To the contrary, scientific testing has shown that professional document examiners (as a group) out-perform lay-persons when comparing handwriting or signatures to assess authorship.

However, this type of 'subjective' analysis depends greatly upon the competency of an individual examiner. It follows that 1) an examiner should follow appropriate case examination protocols carefully and evaluate all possible propositions, 2) an examiner should be properly trained and their training should include adequate testing of their abilities, 3) the formal case examination procedure should incorporate some form of secondary review (ideally, independent in nature) and 4) every examiner should make every effort to demonstrate and maintain their competency through professional certification and ongoing competency testing.

Handwriting examinations

The examination of handwriting to assess potential authorship proceeds from the above principle of identification by applying it to a comparison of samples of handwritten material. Generally, there are three stages in the process of examination. In brief, they are:
  1. Analysis: The questioned and the known items are analyzed and broken down to directly perceptible characteristics.
  2. Comparison: The characteristics of the questioned item are then compared against the known standard
    Handwriting exemplar
    A handwriting exemplar is a piece of writing that can be examined forensically, as in a handwriting comparison. It is especially important to questioned document examination.-Use:...

    .
  3. Evaluation: Similarities and differences in the compared properties are evaluated and this determines which ones are valuable for a conclusion. This depends on the uniqueness and frequency of occurrence in the items.
  4. Optionally, the procedure may involve a fourth step consisting of verification/validation or peer review.


ASTM has published a standard guide for the examination of handwriting entitled "E2290-07a: Examination of Handwritten Items". Note: some of the guides listed under "Other Examinations" also apply to forensic handwriting comparisons (e.g. E444 or E1658).

An alternative guide for the examination of handwriting and signatures has been developed by the Forensic Expertise Profiling Laboratory (School of Human Biosciences, La Trobe University
La Trobe University
La Trobe University is a multi-campus university in Victoria, Australia. It was established in 1964 by an Act of Parliament to become the third oldest university in the state of Victoria. The main campus of La Trobe is located in the Melbourne suburb of Bundoora; two other major campuses are...

, Victoria, Australia).

Other examinations

Aside from E2290 mentioned above, many standard guides pertaining to the examination of questioned documents have been published by ASTM International. They include the following:
  • E444-06 Scope of Work Relating to Forensic Document Examiners
  • E2195-02 Terminology: Examination of Questioned Documents
  • E1658-08 Terminology: Expressing Conclusions of Forensic Document Examiners
  • E1422-05 Test Methods for Forensic Writing Ink Comparison
  • E1789-04 Writing Ink Identification
  • E2285-03 Examination of Mechanical Checkwriter Impressions
  • E2286-03 Examination of Dry Seal Impressions
  • E2287-03 Examination of Fracture Patterns and Paper Fibre Impressions on Single-Strike Film Ribbons and Typed Text
  • E2288-03 Physical Match of Paper Cuts, Tears, and Perforations in Forensic Document Examinations
  • E2289-08 Examination of Rubber Stamp Impressions
  • E2291-03 Indentation Examinations
  • E2325-05 Non-destructive Examination of Paper
  • E2331-04 Examination of Altered Documents
  • E2388-05 Minimum Training Requirements for Forensic Document Examiners
  • E2389-05 Examination of Documents Produced with Liquid Ink Jet Technology
  • E2390-06 Examination of Documents Produced with Toner Technology
  • E2494-08 Standard Guide for Examination of Typewritten Items

NOTE: Not all laboratories or examiners use or follow ASTM guidelines. These are guidelines and not requirements. There are other ASTM guides of a more general nature that apply (eg. E 1732: Terminology Relating to Forensic Science). Copies of ASTM Standards can be obtained directly from ASTM International
ASTM International
ASTM International, known until 2001 as the American Society for Testing and Materials , is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services...

.

Common tools of the trade

  • Excellent eyesight
  • Handlens/loupe
    Loupe
    A loupe is a simple, small magnification device used to see small details more closely. Unlike a magnifying glass, a loupe does not have an attached handle, and its focusing lens are contained in an opaque cylinder or cone. Loupes are also called hand lenses .- Optics :Three basic types of loupes...

  • Stereomicroscope
  • Electrostatic detection device (EDD)
  • Video Spectral Comparator (VSC)

Dedicated to questioned document examination


General forensic science associations with QDE sections

  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences
    American Academy of Forensic Sciences
    The American Academy of Forensic Sciences is a professional society for people in all areas of forensics.For over sixty years, the AAFS has served a distinguished and diverse membership. Its nearly 6,000 members are divided into eleven sections spanning the forensic enterprise...

     (AAFS) - USA
  • Canadian Society of Forensic Science
    Canadian Society of Forensic Science
    The Canadian Society of Forensic Science is a professional association aimed at maintaining professional standards and promoting and enhancing the study and stature of forensic science. Membership in the society is open internationally to professionals with an active interest in the forensic...

     (CSFS) - Canada
  • Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society
  • European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI)
  • Forensic Science Society (FSS) - United Kingdom
  • International Association for Identification
    International Association for Identification
    The International Association for Identification is the largest forensic organization in the world.The IAI was originally formed as the "International Association for Criminal Identification" in October 1915...

     (IAI)
  • Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS)

Academic/research groups with interest in QDE

  • International Graphonomics Society
    Graphonomics
    Graphonomics is the interdisciplinary field directed towards the scientific analysis of the handwriting process and the handwritten product. Researchers in handwriting recognition, forensic handwriting examination, kinesiology, psychology, computer science, artificial intelligence, paleography and...

  • Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition
    Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition
    The Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition is a research laboratory at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. The center was established with funding from the United States Postal Service and National Institute of Justice...

     (SUNY)
  • Purdue Sensor and Printer Forensics (PSAPF) Project

Certification

Due to the nature of certification, there are many different bodies that provide this service. Most provide certification to individuals from a particular country or geographic area. In some places, the term accreditation may be used instead of certification. Either way, in the present context, it refers to the assessment of an examiner's competency and qualifications by an independent (third-party) organization of professionals.

Forensic Science Society (UK)

The Forensic Science Society (UK) provides their members with the opportunity to obtain a Professional Postgraduate Diploma in various forensic disciplines, including Questioned Document Examination. The program is accredited by the University of Strathclyde. Successful applicants are entitled to use the postnominal 'FSSocDip'.

Since membership in the FSS(UK) is open to anyone regardless of where they live or work, this is effectively an international type of certification.

American Board of Forensic Document Examiners

The American Board of Forensic Document Examiners
American Board of Forensic Document Examiners
John J. Harris sat as the inaugural chairman in 1977, and in the following year, the Committee of Certification was created.As of , 125 Diplomates are listed as being certified examiners working in private, federal, state and local government laboratories....

, Inc. (ABFDE) provides third-party certification for professional forensic document examiners from Canada, Mexico or the United States of America.

Board of Forensic Document Examiners

The Board of Forensic Document Examiners (BFDE) also provides certification of forensic document examiners.

See also

  • Images of signatures (wiki media)
  • Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences
    Ontario Centre of Forensic Sciences
    The Centre of Forensic Sciences is a forensic laboratory mandated to provide forensic science services to law enforcement agencies in the province of Ontario in Canada. It is part of the government of Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services-Public Safety Division...

  • Canadian Identification Society
    Canadian Identification Society
    The Canadian Identification Society is a bilingual professional non-for-profit fellowship of police officers and civilian members who share interests and employment in crime scene investigation...

  • CEDAR-FOX
    CEDAR-FOX
    - Introduction :This is a software system for forensic comparison of handwriting. It was developed at CEDAR, the Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition at the University at Buffalo...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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