Forensic scientists face an increasing demand their services and for continuous improvement in the quality of those services, which in turn demands more effective professional and workforce development. However, large workloads and budget limitations make it difficult for practicing forensic professionals to travel to in-person training or conferences. The resulting training gaps and impediments to dissemination and translation of research and new technology into practice pose a significant problem for law enforcement.
Forensic scientists, police, and legal professionals require training tailored to their needs and available resources. Finally, laboratory managers prefer to avoid having staff away from the bench for extended periods of time to receive training or recertification.
Online Training and Knowledge Transfer across All Forensic Science Disciplines
At RTI, we offer online forensic science courses that address specific gaps in expertise, knowledge, and training in the field through an online portal, www.forensiced.org.
Course materials range from ethics to toxicology to particular practice challenges such as sudden unexplained infant death investigation and sexual assault response. These courses are taught by our experts as well as partners in the academic, commercial, and crime laboratory communities. All training is based on practitioner input and collaboration, with a range of virtual training and web-based education resources to address the needs of crime labs.
We also offer in-person training based on identified capability gaps in a forensic laboratory through our programs and partners, who have broad experience domestically and internationally. These diverse training resources provide ample opportunity for attendees to interact with subject matter experts and classmates.
We have provided training to thousands of forensic practitioners and other justice system professionals in all 50 U.S. states and more than 170 countries.
Comprehensive, Cost-Effective Training and Development for Forensic Professionals and other Criminal Justice Practitioners
Our web-based training options bolster the workforce development of criminal justice practitioners, while enhancing their knowledge and connecting them with other professionals in their field. These resources can also improve the successful adoption of best practices and new techniques by giving trainees access to a wider network of support services. For example,
- We offer web-based recertification exams for breath analysis instruments, giving more than 4,000 police officers in districts throughout the nation access to a convenient method of recertification.
- Through funding from the Office for Victims of Crime, we collaborate with the University and Tennessee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide web-based training for first responders in cases involving drug-facilitated sexual assault. This work now extends more broadly to support the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative of the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
- In collaboration with the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors and the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, we are developing a National Forensic Science Academy to provide comprehensive, certification-based training in management and leadership for crime laboratories.