| Welcome to
the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board
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 on the Downloads and Links
area of this website.
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 National
Institute of Justice (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.
© Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, Inc.