Computer Forensics Examiner Certification

The Certified Forensics Computer Examiner (CFCE) designation is earned after passing the certified computer forensics examiner exam. It was the first certification available in the field of computer forensics and demonstrates competency with Windows-based computers only. The International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS) offers training and certification programs for prospective certified forensics computer examiners, and individuals can find training materials online.

Eligibility Requirements to Become a Certified Computer Forensics Examiner

The International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists is a volunteer organization of current and former law enforcement professionals, and is the official training and certifying body for individuals interested in taking the Certified Forensic Computer Examiner exam. All candidates interested in taking this exam must become members of the IACIS and take a series of Certified Electronic Evidence Collection Specialist courses. Candidates from the United States and Europe are permitted to complete the two-week training program. The U.S.-based course is offered during the first half of the year and the European-based courses are offered in the second half of the year.

All candidates must be full-time members of a law enforcement agency and must comply with the IACIS Code of Ethics. Law enforcement agency officers that serve on a contract basis may be eligible to become IACIS members and take certified forensics computer examiner courses towards certification.

The certified computer forensics examiner designation is recognized worldwide and may be a requirement for certain positions in the field. Many employers prefer candidates to have a bachelor's degree and some type of certification from organizations like the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS).

The Certified Forensics Computer Examiner Certification Process

The certified forensics computer examiner certification process is structured slightly differently than other certification programs in this field. Candidates can complete either an internal or external certificate training program in order to prepare for the exam. Candidates who choose to complete the internal certification process attend a two-week training course that serves as an accelerated training program. After completing the course, students are assigned to a coach who then guides the student through the assessment phase. The student continues learning by reading study materials and working on various hands-on projects in preparation for their exam.

Candidates who choose the external certification process do not attend the two-week training program and must go through the assessment phase on their own. This phase is completed under the supervision of a monitor, and the candidate does not work with a coach at any time - they are responsible for learning on their own. The assessment phase lasts about ten months after each course with milestones for completing different objectives.

After successfully completing the certification process, candidates must be prepared to take a proficiency test once every three years to keep their certification status current. In addition to this test, professionals must complete at least 60 hours of training computer forensic or a related field. As of 2011, annual dues for IACIS members were $50 per year and the member must also complete a minimum of one forensic examination per year.