Crime scene investigation is a complex career that requires an individual
to have an extensive knowledge base and an understanding in a number of
topics. A crime scene investigator must apply scientific methods and techniques
within the constructs of the law system to examine crime scenes and evidence.
Because of the high caliber of intellect needed for this career, the industry
has set high standards and crucial qualifying factors. If you are looking
to become a certified crime scene investigator in Florida, there is a
process of enrollment and testing that you will be required to pass first
Are There Any General Qualifications?
There are a few general qualifications that applicants must meet before
they can apply for the certification process.
For example, applicants must:
Be a good character and have high moral integrity. Possessing a high ethical standing is important in this field of work,
especially when handling crime scenes and evidence.
Be employed full time in a crime scene related occupation. In order for your occupation to qualify, you must respond to crime scenes
and locate, document, recover, or analyze physical evidence. Handling
evidence in a lab does not qualify.
Have a minimum of one year experience. This experience must have been completed in crime scene related activities.
Have completed 48 hours of Crime Scene Certification Board approved instruction. This instruction has to have been completed in crime scene related courses
within the last five years.
Upon approval by the Crime Scene Certification Board, applicants will receive
initial in-house training structured by an agency’s program hours
and amount of instruction appropriate for the certification being applied for.
How to Prepare for the Test
In order to be certified, each applicant must successfully pass a written test.
The test consists of 200 questions and must be completed within a 3 hour
time limit. During the test, applicants are not allowed to use any reference materials
or access the internet for assistance.
The CSI test is based on the following reading materials:
- Crime Scene Photography, Edition II, by Edward Robinson, 2010, Elsevier
Science & Technology Books (All Chapters EXCEPT 1, 8 and 12)
- Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation, 2nd ed. by Ross M.
Gardner, 2012, CRC Press
In order to pass, the applicant must score at least 75% on the written
test. All the tests are graded on a pass/fail basis only.
What Will I Need to Apply?
When applying for certification,
each applicant must submit two letters of endorsement. These endorsements are required to be written from a supervisor or employer
and/or a person who has knowledge of the applicants work experience.
An application fee is also required from each individual: $200 for IAI members and $300 for non-members.
The crime scene investigation certification will be issued for five years.
For more information about how to receive your crime scene investigative
certification or if you have questions about the process,
contact the CSI Academy of Florida at (888) 518-2832.