Certificate Course in Questioned Documents

In the world of forensic science, the analysis of questioned documents stands as a crucial skill, weaving together elements of handwriting analysis, ink examination, and document authenticity. This certificate course serves as a gateway for participants to explore the fascinating nuances of document examination, offering a hands-on experience that goes beyond the pages. Whether you are a student aiming to delve into the intricacies of forensic document analysis or a professional seeking to enhance your skill set, join us on this enlightening venture where each stroke of a pen tells a story, and every document holds its secrets waiting to be unveiled.

Course Objectives:

  1. Acquire comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in the examination of questioned documents, including handwriting analysis, signature verification, and detection of alterations.
  2. Learn the state-of-the-art forensic techniques for document analysis, including ink examination, decipherment of indented writing, secret writing, examination of counterfeit currencies.
  3. Gain insights into the legal aspects of questioned document examination, understanding how findings can be presented in legal proceedings and contribute to investigations.
  4. Acquire a valuable skill set that enhances career prospects in various fields, including law enforcement, legal practice, and forensic science.
  5. Develop a strong understanding of ethical considerations in questioned document examination, emphasizing the importance of integrity, objectivity, and professionalism in the field.
  6. Receive a recognized Certificate of Completion, validating the successful mastery of questioned document examination skills and knowledge.

Weeks and Topics:

  • Week 1: Introduction and nature of questioned documents (Quiz 1)
  • Week 2: Principles of handwriting examination, master pattern and natural variations (Quiz 2)
  • Week 3: Questioned document examination: class and individual characteristics (Quiz 3)
  • Week 4: Alteration in documents: erasures, obliteration and their examination (Quiz 4)
  • Week 5: Forgery and disguise and Forensic signature verification for forgery identification Examination of currency notes (Quiz 5)
  • Final Exam

Suggested Readings:

  • Questioned Documents by Albert Osborne, Boyd Publishing Co. Albany, NY.
  • Forensic Document Examination : Principles and Practice by Katherine Koppenhaver, Humana Press
  • Scientific Examination of Questioned Documents by Ordway Hilton, CRC Press

Grading Policy:

Course grades are based upon the following criteria:

  • Quizzes (10 points each): 50
  • Final Exam: 50

Course participants need to achieve at least 70% on the quizzes and 75% attendance in order to successfully complete the course.