Education & Training

Capital Litigation Initiative: Crime Scene to Courtroom Forensics Training

Webinar 7: Certification and Accreditation Essentials

Certification and Accreditation Essentials
Tuesday, December 14, 2017
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Certification and Accreditation Essentials includes an overview of the crime laboratory accreditation process, as well as the certification of individual forensic science practitioners trained in specific disciplines. The panelists discuss the training requirements and standards for each process. The mission, reasoning, and benefits of accreditation and certification are presented.

Discussions of accreditation explore a culture of quality and how that relates to organizations, while certification explores the scope, which varies depending on the discipline. The webinar addresses resources, including reporting avenues, as well as possible forecasts of updated standards. Panelists will discuss how accreditation and certification information may impact courtroom proceedings.

Webinar panelists include:

  • Kenneth E. Melson was most recently the Senior Advisor on Forensic Science in the Office of Legal Policy at the US Department of Justice. Prior to that position he was the Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, having been appointed by President Obama. Mr. Melson has been an adjunct professor at The George Washington University for over 35 years, teaching law and forensic science courses at both the Law School and the Department of Forensic Sciences. He is published in both scientific texts and legal journals.
  • Laurel J. Farrell currently serves as the Senior Accreditation Program Manager for the ANAB Forensics accreditation programs. She began her work in laboratory accreditation with the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB) in September of 2008. Ms. Farrell previously served as Accreditation Program Manager for the calibration accreditation program and continues to serve as a lead assessor for ANAB forensic assessment activities and as an instructor for ANAB forensic courses on ISO/IEC 17025:2005, ANAB forensic accreditation requirements, measurement traceability and measurement uncertainty. In 2016, she received the Doug Lucas Award for her significant contributions to the crime laboratory accreditation process. Ms. Farrell is the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) representative on the Forensic Science Standards Board for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science initiative by NIST.
  • Detective Lieutenant Robert J. Garrett, Ret., served over 30 years in Law Enforcement. Before retiring, he was the supervisor of the Crime Scene Unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office in New Jersey. Lt. Garrett authored many articles relating to crime scene subjects and testified as an expert on a variety of forensic disciplines. He has lectured at state, regional, and international conferences and serves on the editorial board of the ‘Journal of Forensic Identification.’ He is past president of the International Association for Identification and currently serves as Director of the IAI's Forensic Certification Management Board. He is certified by the IAI as a Senior Crime Scene Analyst and a Certified Latent Print Examiner. Lt. Garrett has his own consulting business providing services to both the public and private sectors.

Course materials:

View the webinar recording.

This webinar is designed for both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Attendees who complete this webinar will be eligible for Continuing Legal Education credits. The Stetson Office of Professional Education will work with each individual participant for reporting specifics. CLE applications will be made to Florida and other states per individual requests. Please email for further information and state specific requests.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-CP-BX-K006 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.