The AFTE Certification program requires recertification every five years.  The applicant must achieve recertification through continuous training and the demonstration of proficiency in the subject matter areas in which the applicant is certified.

For all certified members:

  • Please remember that you are required to take a proficiency test annually for each area you are certified. For firearms and toolmarks the CTS exams are readily available; however, there is no commercially available GSR exam. Therefore, in-house tests are acceptable as well external exams from another laboratory. For those who do not use CTS as their provider, you may use in-house or external exams for firearms and toolmarks as well. Please use the forms provided on this website to document your exams.
  • Please remember your certification status is good for a period of five years provided you remain a member in good standing. You must apply for recertification approximately 60 days prior to the expiration of your certificate to avoid losing your certified status.

The application must be made to the Certification Committee 60 days prior to certification expiration, as described in Section II. Any member who does not meet the requirements for recertification, will lose their current certification after the expiration date on their certificate. To become recertified, an application for certification must be submitted and all qualifications and testing, or other requirements must be met.

Members seeking recertification must be working in the forensic sciences. Work is defined as having job duties of performing and reporting examinations, supervising those that perform/report examinations, conducting research, developing methods or training others in the subject matter areas.

Any member who falsifies recertification documentation is subject to permanent loss of AFTE Membership. All applicants are responsible for the accuracy of their documentation submitted for recertification.

Certified AFTE members must submit to the AFTE Certification Committee Chairman, or his/her designee, a completed application letter form, a re-certification points schedule form, a recertification fee in the amount of $25 (USD) for each subject matter area, made payable to AFTE, and documentation of the following: A. At least 100 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) documenting training received, and at least 50 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) documenting training that was given, which have been earned since the last certification/recertification date for that subject matter area; B. Documentation of successful participation in a proficiency test in that subject matter area for each year since the last certification/recertification date.

For purposes of earning CEU’s, the recertification period begins with the date of the last certification/recertification in a subject matter area. CEU’s earned over a five-year time period may be applied to more than one subject matter area. Members who obtain certification/recertification in more than one subject matter area on the same approximate date may apply the same CEU’s for all subject matter areas.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to maintain appropriate documentation (letters, training certificates, etc.) of training given and/or received to demonstrate CEU’s earned.

A Re-certification Points Schedule form must be submitted to the Certification Committee Chairperson prior to application for recertification for an informal review. The Certification Committee is not responsible, however, for ensuring that an applicant has sufficient continuing education units.

  1. Training Received

    Minimum of 100 CEU Credits
    [1 hour of training for 1 hour of credit]
    1. In-service training (Federal, State, regional schools, workshops, armorer schools, and seminars), in the selected subdiscipline(s)
    2. Attendance at AFTE Annual Training Conference (actual papers/workshops attended)
    3. Attendance at regional training conference related to selected subject matter areas
    4. Industry tours, schools related to subject matter areas (e.g., manufacturing tours, armorer’s courses)
    5. Attendance at other forensic conferences/meetings related to subject matter areas.
  2. Training Provided*

    Minimum of 50 CEU Credits
    1. Technical paper presented at AFTE Annual Training Conference

      16 CEU’s/paper; 32 CEU’s max.
    2. Publication in AFTE Journal (cannot be claimed in 2a, above)

      16 CEU’s/paper; 32 CEU’s max.
      8CEU’s/technical report; 16 CEU’s max.
    3. Publication in other peer reviewed journal in subject matter areas

      16 CEU’s/paper; 32 CEU’s max.
    4. Book chapter authorship in subject matter areas

      20 CEU’s/chapter; 40CEU’s max.
    5. Book authorship or editing in subject matter areas

      40 CEU’s/book; 40 CEU’s max.
    6. Coordinating workshop/seminar in subject matter areas

      8 CEU’s/day; 24 CEU’s max.
    7. Training of examiner in selected subject matter areas as primary instructor

      24 CEU’s/yr.; 48 CEU’s max.

*Training provided requires actual instruction time (not supervision or administrative)

Please complete and total all relevant training and activities for the period from certification date to present using the following form.

Recertification Form

Recertification Application Letter