Continuing Education


General Information

All meeting sessions are lectures with one or more speakers. Continuing professional education credits are offered for physicians, dentists, and attorneys. Continuing ­education credit applications have been ­submitted for physicians and dentists. Attorneys may request CLE credit; please see the “Legal” section. Nurses may use the AAFS CME Credit Reporting Forms for filing CERP hours with their state accreditation agency. Please check with your state agency for details. In addition, AAFS offers a generic CE certificate which may be used for purposes not outlined above.

To register for continuing education credit, please complete the appropriate section on the meeting Registration Form. An ­­individual must be a registrant to obtain continuing education credits. Fees charged for continuing education credits are based on ­projected costs of providing the various types of continuing education credit. The AAFS has adopted a user-pay approach so that those individuals who benefit from the specific continuing education program are responsible for the costs incurred.

In order to be in compliance with the various accrediting organizations, introductions, breaks, and lunches have been deducted from the total hours. Please note that continuing education credit is not available for all sessions. All continuing education credit ­recipients will receive documentation regarding the number of continuing education hours awarded. Attendance reports are filed with the appropriate state or national agency, as required.


Objectives of the AAFS Continuing Education Program

To provide for multidisciplinary presentation, instruction, and discussion of relevant forensic science issues related to science, ­evidence and the law, and to research descriptive studies, technology and methods, diagnostics, interpretations, testimony, and ­administrative functions performed by forensic scientists in the disciplines of pathology, biology, odontology, anthropology, psychiatry & behavioral science, psychology, engineering sciences, toxicology, questioned document examination, criminalistics, jurisprudence, digital & multimedia sciences, and general forensic ­investigation.


Expected Outcome of Participation

A participant in the AAFS Continuing Education Program should: a) understand the perspectives and roles of the various forensic science ­disciplines; b) increase awareness of current forensic science issues; c) learn new technologies and methods; d) broaden diagnostic acumen; e) gain practical knowledge to modify current practices; f) affirm current concepts and practices; g) improve interpretative skills regarding evidence, observations, and information; h) interact with colleagues; and, i) expand one’s historical perspective on the forensic sciences.


Faculty Disclosure Policy

As a sponsor of continuing education, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences must insure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all its educational activities. All faculty participating in a sponsoring activity are expected to disclose any significant financial interest or other relationship: (1) with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) and/or provider(s) of commercial services discussed in an educational presentation; and, (2) with any commercial supporters of the activity. (Significant financial interest or other relationship can include such things as grants or research support, employee, consultant, major stockholder, member of speaker’s bureaus, etc.) AAFS has an established policy regarding conflicts of interest that includes decisions the Program Committee members may make in selecting content for the Annual Scientific Meeting Program. By serving on the committee, regardless of role, each member has agreed to comply with Section 1.4.7. of the AAFS Policy and Procedure Manual.

To serve on the 2017-18 Program Committees, it is required that AAFS staff members, program committee members, and reviewers complete a Conflict of Interest form before they are provided access to review submissions for the program. For continuing education accreditation purposes, the disclosed relationships are published below so that learners are aware of the nature of any relationships that may impact the selection of presentations for the program. If a committee member failed to provide complete disclosure of a relevant financial interest or relationship, the committee member or reviewer was not allowed to serve. The executed Faculty Conflict of Interest forms are on file in the AAFS Office.


American Board of Criminalists Approval

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is approved by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) to offer continuing education points for approved workshops for criminalists and forensic scientists. The ABC maintains responsibility for the program, and credit may be awarded to ABC Fellows, Diplomates, and Affiliates.


Overall Purpose and Objective Statements for Major Aspects of AAFS Programs

Workshops and Special Sessions
Purpose: To provide an opportunity for experts to present material and to lead discussion and practical exercises related to ­forensic science ­methods, procedures, diagnosis, investigation, professional relations and practices, communication, administration, and ­professional ­development.
Educational Objectives: Detailed individually in each workshop and special session announcement and description.
CE Credit: Varies from 1.5 credit hours to 16 credit hours depending on sessions.

Breakfast/Luncheon Seminars
Purpose: To provide an opportunity for presentation and discussion of relevant historical and current topics of forensic science interest related to specific case investigations, or general or specific investigative needs and procedures, methodologies, and ­testimony.
Educational Objectives: Detailed individually in each breakfast/luncheon seminar announcement and description.
CE Credit: Designated for a maximum of .75 credit hour for Breakfast Seminars and 1.0 credit hour for Luncheon Seminars.

Plenary Session
Purpose: To provide a multidisciplinary presentation and discussion of issues related to the forensic science profession.
Educational Objectives: Attendees will be able to: a) identify the challenges the forensic science profession has faced and will continue to face in terms of ensuring quality; b) identify ways to deal with the variances each challenge presents; and, c) identify the entities which have influence over setting the quality standards in the field of forensic science.
CE Credit: Designated for a maximum of 2.0 credit hours.

Oral and Poster Section Scientific Sessions
Purpose: To provide an opportunity for presentation and discussion of case reports, descriptive studies, review presentations, research, administrative issues, and investigative/diagnostic methods regarding topics and issues of importance to a primary ­discipline among the forensic sciences.
Educational Objectives: To meet the educational objectives stated by each presenter for his/her presentation.
CE Credit: Varies according to the individual’s session attendance. Designated for a maximum of 25.0 credit hours.

Last Word Society
Purpose: To provide a retrospective forensic analysis of historical events and to provide education about the history and evolution of forensic ­sciences as well as the modern methods and technologies used to re-examine past events of forensic science interest. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of the original opinions and case outcome and on the development of newer hypotheses based on the re-analysis.
Educational Objectives: To meet the educational objectives stated by each presenter for his/her presentation.
CE Credit: Designated for a maximum of 2.0 credit hours.


Guidelines For Claiming Credit

As the sponsor of Continuing Education Credit, the AAFS recognizes that the forensic science disciplines are inextricably linked and that interdisciplinary knowledge is critical to promote competence in forensic practice. As a result, the claiming of credit for various ­continuing education ­activities related to medicine, dentistry, law, and other forensic disciplines need not be limited to one’s primary professional specialty. For example, a forensic pathologist from the Pathology/Biology Section may gain very useful and relevant information by attending a presentation in the Anthropology Section scientific session. It is appropriate to claim continuing medical education credit for that session. Many other examples exist where the claiming of continuing education credit is appropriate for attending sessions that cover material related to, but which lay outside of, one’s primary professional area of expertise.

It is the conference attendee’s responsibility to document which program sessions were attended and to determine those sessions for which continuing education credit may be claimed. The AAFS operates under the assumption that meeting attendees will, in general, be unlikely to attend sessions that will not be beneficial to their professional practice and that the claim for continuing education credit is justified if a session contains scientific or practice-related information that may bring new knowledge, may affirm current knowledge, or may provide information that could possibly modify one’s professional practices.

Those who wish to receive continuing education credit must register and pay for this service on the meeting Registration Form. CE Credit Request Forms will be available at the registration desk. The completed forms must be returned to AAFS by the designated deadline.


Dental

This continuing education activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP) through joint providership efforts between Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and American Academy of Forensic Science.

Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of the credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE Provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at www.ada.org/cerp.


Legal

Continuing legal education credit will be awarded on an hour-for-hour basis. Attorneys may file the AAFS-issued CLE certificate with their respective state bars. Please contact Continuing Education Coordinator Kimberly Wrasse, kwrasse@aafs.org, no later than the January 24, 2018, pre-registration deadline if your state bar will not allow you to self-report. AAFS will apply for accreditation/approval from your state in this circumstance.


Medical

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and American Academy of Forensic Science. The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 52 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


General

General continuing education credit is offered for those practicing the various forensic science disciplines not represented in the aforementioned list.