The name of your organization uses the term "Questioned Document
Examiner," but you frequently refer to "Forensic Document Examiners" on
your website. Is there a difference or are they the same thing?
They are the same thing. The older term is Questioned
Document Examiner or sometimes "Examiner of Questioned Documents."
In the 1970's, the term Forensic Document Examiner started becoming
more popular and that is the term most commonly used today. The
ASQDE uses the term Questioned Document Examiner in its name because
the organization was founded in 1942 when that was the commonly used
What do forensic document examiners do?
Many forensic document examiners work in a federal, state or
local crime laboratories. A number of other forensic document
examiners are in private practice and mainly work on civil cases.
For most forensic document examiners, the most common examination is
the comparison of handwriting and signatures to determine whether
someone did or did not write them. Other types of examinations
include the examination typewriting, computer printed documents,
photocopies, decipherment of altered, obliterated and charred
documents, the examination of inks and paper, decipherment of erased
entries and indented writings, detection of counterfeit currency,
and the examination of commercially printed matter.
Do forensic document examiners determine personality or character
No, the practice of trying to determine personality or
character from handwriting is referred to as graphology,
graphoanalysis®, or simply handwriting analysis.
This practice is not part of forensic document examination.
How can I find a forensic document examiner to conduct an
examination for me?
How can I become a forensic document examiner?
The recognized training period for forensic document
examiners is a minimum of two years of full-time training under the
tutelage of a qualified forensic document examiner. There are no
college programs that will train you to become a forensic document
examiner. Many forensic document examiners are trained in federal,
state or local crime laboratories. Some are trained by qualified
private examiners. The ASQDE does not recognize self-instruction to
fulfill the requirements of basic training as a forensic document
examiner. We also do not recognize any online or correspondence
courses. The ASQDE recognizes the current version of
ASTM standard E2388 as containing the basic requirements for
training for forensic document examiners.
Does the ASQDE have a position on the authenticity of the
Barak Obama birth certificate, the Bush memo, who wrote the JonBenét
Ramsey letter, etc.?
The ASQDE is a professional membership organization whose
goals are to foster education, sponsor scientific research,
establish standards, and exchange experiences among public and
private practitioners in the field of forensic document examination.
The ASQDE, as an organization, does not provide analysis, render
findings, or state opinions regarding evidence related to particular
cases. Individual ASQDE officers and members are free to give their
professional opinions regarding such matters, but when they do,
their opinions are their own. Their opinions should not be construed
to represent a position taken by the ASQDE.