Board Certification (advanced)
- Currently be certified at the ABMDI Registry Level and in good standing for a minimum of six months.
- Have at least an Associates degree from a post secondary institution recognized by a national educational accrediting agency.
- Currently be employed in a Medical Examiner/Coroner jurisdiction or equivalent military authority with the job responsibility to "conduct scene investigation".
- Have a minimum of 4,000 hours of experience in the past six years.
- NOTE: If you are currently employed by a M.E./Coroner's office full time, you will have accumulated 4,000 hours in two years. If you are employed part time, you must have accumulated 4,000 hours within the past six years.
- "On-Call" time accumulates as follows:
- Each on-call hour = 0.25 hours
- Investigation of a natural death, no scene investigation = 1 hour
- Investigation of a non-natural death, no scene investigation = 2.5 hours
- Investigation of a death with scene investigation = 5 hours
Applications are available upon receipt of an application request form. The $100 non-refundable application fee must accompany the request form. Application materials must be completed in their entirety and returned to the ABMDI office at least 30 days prior to the desired examination date.
Included in the Board Certified application packet:
- Application Form (Code of Ethics included)
- Employment Verification Form (requiring notarization by a third-party notary)
- Forensic Science Specialist Reference form
- Administrator/Supervisor Reference form
- Law Enforcement Reference form
In addition to the forms above, you must submit either a copy of an Associates Degree or a letter from the Registrar's Office of your college or university verifying your college degree. Transcripts are not necessary; all we need is verification of your degree.
There is an 18-month time limit to complete the application process. If, after 18-months, you have not completed all application requirements and scheduled an examination, your Board Certification file will become inactive. You will have to reapply and pay the application fee again in order to start the process.
Board Certification Recertification
In order to continue Board Certification status, the Fellow must
- Be in good standing (current in all fees)
- Reaffirm in writing the Code of Ethics
- Currently be employed with a medical examiner/coroner jurisdiction with the responsibility to conduct scene investigations or show current competency
- Submit 45 hours of approved continuing education in the continuing education folder provided to the Fellow upon successful complettion of the examinatio
Board Certification Examination
The scope of knowledge for the Board Certified exam will rely heavily on the applicant's cumulative experience and further training in medicolegal death investigation. It can include independent study and attendance at workshops, seminars, and other training venues. As a minimum, and given that the examination is broad based and encompasses the Forensic Sciences, the applicant is required to have an Associate Degree.
The 5.5 hour examination is administered online at local colleges and universities. It is divided into two parts:
- A Performance Section--This portion consists of three medicolegal death scene scenarios. You will be asked to:
- Write a narrative description of the scene in the space provided using medical terminology.
- Develop a set of up to 10 questions that could be used to interview witnesses and/or suspects
- Develop a list of up to 5 pieces of potential evidence.
- A Multiple Choice Section--This portion consists of 240 multiple choice test items. You have up to 4 hours to complete this, which is divided into the following 8 sections:
- Investigating Specific Death Scenes
- Investigating Multiple Fatalities
- Investigating Atypical Death Scenes
- Investigating Institutional Deaths
- Demonstrating Leadership Skills
- Demonstrating Legal Knowledge
- Communication Skills
- Demonstrating Advanced Forensic Science Knowledge
Board Certification Examination
Once you pass the Board Certification examination, you become a Fellow of the ABMDI (F-ABMDI). Certificants are issued a certification number that potential employers can request for verification of certification.
Board Certification Fees
- Non-refundable Application Fee: $100
- Non-refundable Examination Fee: $400
- * Additional fee of $50 if paper/pencil test requested.
- After certification, yearly maintenance fee: $50
Note: There is an 18 month time limit to complete the application process and sit for the exam. There is a "wait-time" of 21 days between test and retest, but the test scores are good for one year.