Fingerprint specialist and CSI Africa contractor, Armand van Heerden, has become the first individual from Africa to earn the title of Certified Crime Scene Analyst (CSSA) from the International Association for Identification (IAI).
Van Heerden obtained CCSA certification in July following a rigorous written examination. Over 1600 individuals currently hold IAI Crime Scene Certifications, making it the largest of the eight IAI Certification Programs. However, according to Don Ledbetter, chair of the Crime Scene Certification Board, van Heerden is an African first.
“After reviewing both the current roster of Crime Scene certifications, and the IAI’s historical records, it is my belief that Mr. van Heerden is the first successful applicant from Africa. My hope is that he will soon be one of many,” wrote Ledbetter.
The CCSA certification is one four crime scene certifications offered by the IAI, and requires a minimum of three years’ prior experience in crime scene-related activities.
Van Heerden’s previous experience includes 10 years’ service in the the South African Police Service (SAPS) as a criminalistics expert. More recently he has worked as a crime scene specialist and an investigative training and support specialist at Pretoria-based FDA.
The IAI is the largest forensic organisation in the world, with more than 6,000 members. Initially known as the International Association for Criminal Identification, the IAI was founded in October 1915 with an objective to be the de facto professional association for individuals engaged in forensic identification, investigation, and scientific examination of physical evidence.