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Sorting Out Certification

IAAI's New Evidence Skills Practicum

By: Rod Ammon

The International Association of Arson Investigators held a “beta test” of the IAAI’s new Evidence Skills Practicum with the Washington, DC Fire Department. The practicum is designed to test investigators in person to see what they have learned online through www.cfitrainer.net evidence modules, in the classroom and on the job. One comment from an investigator that attended was “I like the increased integrity of the training and learning.” Working in front of evaluators in the investigation field, the participants were tested on table tops with evidence mock-ups designed to re-create scenarios often seen in the field. The evidence collection and preservation skills that were tested re-enforced the cognitive learning that had already been completed by the students. An immediate critique of their performance after the skill station evaluation was provided with a remedial re-test if necessary at the end of the day. The Practicum is designed to complete the circle of training by testing the fire investigators evidence collection skills. Using skill sheets the evaluators observed the fire investigators as they performed tasks to document, collect and preserve typical fire scene evidence. The lead developers of the practicum, Dan Heenan and Kirk Hankins were thrilled with the results. The DC Fire department investigators did very well. Their department contributed the location, support and participants that helped the IAAI learn from the beta test. The plan is to roll out the Evidence Skills Practicum program around the country in 2011.






 
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