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Forensic Science Virtual Academy (Forensic Science Communications, January 2002)

Template by Author (Forensic Science Communications, January 2002)

January 2002 - Volume 4 - Number 1

Training Update

Forensic Science Virtual Academy

The FBI Laboratory is unveiling the Virtual Academy.The vision for this project is to design, develop, and implement a structured, efficient, electronically-delivered system of learning that adds value to the forensic science community by providing a means for individuals and organizations involved with forensic science, law enforcement, and the judicial system to access consistent training and materials relating to evidence.

Two steps have been taken to fulfill this mission. The first and most important step was establishing the concept of training partners as the cornerstone of the Virtual Academy. The second was purchasing the Meridian KSI, Inc. software product Knowledge Centre, now being customized to provide the infrastructure for this project.

Collaborations are valuable because they provide broader perspectives and help in the standardization of training. Training partners will work together under the guidance of the Technical Working Group for Educational Development (TWGED) to:

  1. Develop standard curriculum guidelines for classroom and self-paced continuing professional development courses that will require:
    • defined, job-related instructional objectives
    • pre-assessments to identify current knowledge/competencies
    • content that supports the instructional objectives
    • post-assessments with defined pass/fail parameters
  2. Develop and implement an instructor approval process
  3. Develop a standard course/instructor evaluation tool
  4. Establish a review process for all courses to ensure that:
    • the curriculum guidelines have been followed
    • content is based on valid and reliable and/or on generally accepted principles within the forensic science community
  5. Develop course/instructor training materials for the training partners to use
  6. Use self-paced courses as prerequisites for classroom training (where appropriate)
  7. Offer an integrated course catalog, searchable by keyword or topic

We encourage everyone, student and/or training partner, to join us in providing a single, comprehensive, web-based learning solution that offers a means to acquire the essential knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to support the worldwide forensic science community.

Agency Application Information

To become a part of the FBI Virtual Academy community, please complete the application found by clicking on the Agency Application Form link below. You must submit this information before individuals from your agency can begin using the Virtual Academy.

  1. Complete one application for each separate entity-forensic laboratory, law enforcement, or judicial system-within your agency. An agency may submit up to three agency applications based on the entities encompassed within their organizational structure.
  2. Identify a Training Manager for each application. It is vital to the effectiveness of your training program that you select an appropriate person for this position. For guidance with this decision, a brief description of the Training Manager’s responsibilities appear below.

    NOTE: If you are part of a laboratory system, please submit an application and identify a Training Manager for each individual/branch laboratory in the system.


  • Responsible for first-line course approval for your agency’s employees
  • Responsible for verifying independent learning events (e.g., academic degrees, training taken outside of the Virtual Academy) before they are included in an employee’s official transcript
  • Responsible for establishingiIndividual development plans for your employees (optional)
  • Required to have Internet connection to the Virtual Academy and e-mail in order to carry out administrative responsibilities

When your agency is registered, employees and students will be able to self-register for the Virtual Academy. Access to the Virtual Academy is expected in October 2002, so submit your applications as soon as possible.

Please direct any problems you have with this application to:

Debbie Hauger
Training Unit
Building 12
FBI Academy
Quantico, Virginia 22135-0001
Fax: (703) 632-4657

Agency Application Form



Jane M. Homeyer
Training Unit Chief
FBI Academy
Quantico, Virginia 22135
Phone: (703) 632-4630
Fax: (703) 632-4657
E-mail: jhomeyer@fbiacademy.edu