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Welcome to ABMDI

The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators


The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) is a voluntary national, not-for-profit, independent professional certification board that has been established to promote the highest standards of practice for medicolegal death investigators.

ABMDI certifies individuals who have the proven knowledge and skills necessary to perform medicolegal death investigations as set forth in the National Institutes of Justice 1999 publication Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator (2011 updated version available).

ABMDI was created, designed, and developed by veteran, practicing medicolegal death investigators who were involved in the development of Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator. It will also assist the courts and public in evaluating competence of the certified individual.

In 2005, the ABMDI was first accredited by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board and reaccredited in 2010.

The goal of FSAB is to establish a mechanism whereby the forensic community can assess, recognize and monitor organizations or professional boards that certify individual forensic scientists or other forensic specialists.

Purpose of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators®

  • To encourage adherence to high standards of professional practice and ethical conduct when performing medicolegal death investigations.
  • To recognize qualified individuals who have voluntarily applied for basic and advanced levels of professional certification.
  • To grant and issue certificates to individuals who have demonstrated their mastery of investigational techniques and who have successfully completed rigorous examination of their knowledge and skills in the field of medicolegal death investigation.
  • To maintain a listing of individuals granted ABMDI certification.
  • To recertify individuals every five years according to established professional recertification criteria, including continuing education requirements and work verification.

Benefits of Certification

Official guidelines for medicolegal death investigators had not been established until publication of the National Guidelines for Death Investigation by the National Institute of Justice in December 1997. Twenty-nine tasks were identified that may need to be performed to properly conduct a medicolegal death investigation. The guidelines were renamed and published in 1999 as Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator. These national guidelines were validated by the Technical Working Group for Death Investigation (TWIGDI), the National Medicolegal Review Panel (NMRP) and 146 members of the TWGDI national reviewers network. Certification provides official recognition by an independent professional certification body that an individual has acquired specialized knowledge and demonstrated proficiency in the standards and practice necessary to properly conduct medicolegal death investigations. The individual agrees to adhere to the highest standards of professional practice and ethical conduct when serving the public and when representing the profession.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions of our certificants are not necessarily those of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.