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Welcome to the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board

Colorado Springs (September 25, 2017) - The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB) announces the publication of a white paper on Accreditation of Forensic Specialty Certification Bodies.  The white paper's authors are Ann Webster Bunch, Thomas L. Bohan, and David R. Senn.

Program Goal

The goal of this program is to establish a mechanism whereby the forensic community can assess, recognize and monitor organizations or professional boards that certify individual forensic scientists or other forensic specialists.  This program has been established with the support and grant assistance of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

In a 2009 report, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) published an assessment of the forensic sciences, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States. View the FSAB comments on this important NAS report.

Standards and application for accreditation/re-accreditation are available for download Downloads and Links.

In a 1995 report, the Strategic Planning Committee of the AAFS reported that the quality and standards applied by different forensic boards for granting certification varied widely.  The Committee recommended that AAFS should assume a role in establishing a formal mechanism whereby the different credentialing processes of the various certifying boards can be objectively assessed.  During the review of this issue, AAFS recognized that an important aspect of professional oversight is monitoring the quality and consistency of credentialing of forensic specialists by the various forensic boards; i.e., accrediting the certifiers.  Groundwork was laid to accomplish this in 1996 by the Professional Oversight Committee and by the AAFS Mini-Task Force on Criteria for Specialist Certifying Boards.  The Accreditation and Certification Task Force, now known as the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB), with grant assistance from NIJ, was formed to develop a voluntary program to objectively assess, recognize and monitor the various forensic specialty boards which seek accreditation.  FSAB was incorporated as an independent organization in Colorado on June 23, 2000.

While working to develop this program, FSAB considered the accreditation of forensic boards by an independent organization as an option.  There are at least two major organizations in the United States that set standards for individual specialties, the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which accredits certifying organizations meeting their standards, including education and examinations and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which primarily sets standards for medical disciplines, such as radiology, surgery, etc.  Forensic Pathology is already listed under the ABMS as a sub-specialty under Pathology.  A forensic specialty board could demonstrate compliance with national standards by being accredited by the NCCA.  While this course of action is objective, the forensic community would be unwisely delegating its professional oversight responsibility to non-forensic organizations.  Additionally, because of the unique nature of the forensic disciplines and the relatively small numbers of specialists credentialed by each organization, the forensic boards would be better assessed by an accrediting organization dedicated to that task and which has a thorough understanding of the forensic disciplines.
Revised 9-26-2017
Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, Inc.