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American Board of Forensic Document Examiners, Inc. ® Abbreviation ABFDE Formation 1977 Purpose/focus To establish, enhance, and maintain standards of qualification and to certify, as qualified forensic document examination specialists, those voluntary applicants who comply with the requirements of the ABFDE Headquarters Houston, Texas Location Admin: 7887 San Felipe, Suite 122, Houston, Texas 77063 Region served USA, Canada, Mexico Membership 125 Diplomates from private, federal, state and local government agencies (as of 21 December 2010) Official languages English President K. Singer Main organ Executive Committee Website http://www.abfde.org/ Remarks Accredited by The FSAB, Inc The American Board of Forensic Document Examiners, Inc.® (ABFDE) is a non-profit organization which provides third-party certification of professional forensic document examiners (FDEs) from Canada, Mexico and the United States of America. Sponsored by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences at its inception in 1977, the ABFDE is the largest certifying body of forensic document examiners in North America. Individuals holding a valid Certificate of Qualification issued by the ABFDE use the designation "Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners", often abbreviated as D-ABFDE. Contents 1 Objectives of the ABFDE 2 History of ABFDE 3 Requirements to apply 4 Ongoing requirements for certification 5 References 6 External links Objectives of the ABFDE The Board states its objectives as "to establish, enhance, and maintain standards of qualification for those who practice forensic document examination and to certify, as qualified specialists, those voluntary applicants who comply with the requirements of the Board." [1] The ABFDE is intended to assist the judicial system and the public by providing "a practical and equitable system for readily identifying those persons professing to be specialists in forensic document examination who possess the requisite qualifications and competence".[1] Courts must assess the credibility of the document examiner as an expert witness and to do this they will often rely upon the examiner's reputation in the profession, his or her affiliations with credible professional organizations or societies as well as any third-party certifications they may possess. The ABFDE is sponsored by the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE), Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS), the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners (SAFDE), and the Southwestern Association of Forensic Document Examiners (SWAFDE) and further recognized by the [American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS)}, theInternational Association for Identification (IAI) and the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scienctists (MAAFS).[2] History of ABFDE The ABFDE is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia and was formed in 1977 under a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.[2] The ABFDE is accredited by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, Inc. (FSAB) to carry out certification of FDEs.[3] To date, there is no federal licensing involved in the discipline in North America. However, the court has recognized the ABFDE as reputable in the following cases, in denying a motion that claimed that handwriting comparisons were unreliable: To date, there is no federal licensing involved in the discipline in North America. However, the court has recognized the ABFDE as reputable in the following cases: People v. Tidwell, 706 P.2d 438 (1985). Text State v. Livanos, 725 P.2d 505 (1986). Text Buoni v. Ferres Industries, 219 N.J. Super. 96 (1987). Text US v. Buck, SDNY Lexis 9913 (1987). US v. Bourgeois, 950 F.2nd 980 (1992). Text John J. Harris sat as the inaugural chairman in 1977, and in the following year, the Committee of Certification was created. As of 21 December 2010, 125 Diplomates are listed as being certified examiners working in private, federal, state and local government laboratories.[4] Requirements to apply An applicant to the ABFDE for certification must meet the following requirements[5]: must be of good moral character, high integrity and good repute; and possess high ethical and professional standing must be a permanent residents of the USA, Canada or Mexico must possess a bachelor degree (or higher) from an accredited academic institution, or equivalent must have successfully completed a full-time training program that meets the requirements listed in the current ASTM E-2388 Standard Guide for Minimum Training Requirements for Forensic Document Examiners must comply with requirements of ASTM 444 Scope of Work of Forensic Document Examiners must provide three references from FDEs certified or recognized by the Board must be actively engaged in the full-time practise of forensic document examination and must demonstrate a record of appropriate professional activity in forensic document examination In addition to meeting the basic requirements listed above, an applicant must also pass comprehensive written, practical and oral examinations that test the wide range of problems encountered in document examination. Ongoing requirements for certification Certificates issued by the ABFDE are valid for five years, and can be renewed.[6] During that five-year renewal period, the Diplomate must be actively engaged in forensic document examination work either as an examiner, as a supervisor of other forensic document examiners or as a trainer of forensic document examiners. Additionally, the Diplomate applying for recertification must earn at least 40 continuing education credits to demonstrate that s/he has maintained currency in the profession. Credits are awarded for a variety of related activities, such as attendance and participation at ABFDE approved forensic meeting and programs, and publication of articles in journals approved by the Board. References ^ a b ABFDE Board of Directors (October 25, 2010). "Background, Function and Purposes of the ABFDE" (PDF). http://www.abfde.org/htdocs/AboutABFDE/BackgroundFunctionsPurposes.pdf. Retrieved 2010.Dec.17.  ^ a b ABFDE Board of Directors. "Main page". http://www.abfde.org. Retrieved 2010.Dec.17.  ^ Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, Inc.. "Accredited Boards". http://www.thefsab.org/accredited.html. Retrieved 2010.Dec.17.  ^ ABFDE, Inc.. "Find an ABFDE Expert". http://www.abfde.org/FindExpert.html. Retrieved 2010.Dec.21.  ^ ABFDE Board of Directors (October 25, 2010). "Qualifications and Requirements for Certification in Forensic Document Examination" (PDF). http://www.abfde.org/htdocs/certification/QualificationsandRequirementsforCerts.pdf. Retrieved 2010.Dec.17.  ^ ABFDE Board of Directors (October 25, 2010). "Recertification Requirements" (PDF). http://www.abfde.org/htdocs/certification/RecertificationRequirements.pdf. Retrieved 2010.Dec.17.  External links Official ABFDE Website The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, Inc.