Send your trainees to become bench-ready forensic firearms examiners.
The Forensic Firearms Identification Training Certificate Program is a cohort-based, noncredit certificate program, directed by the VCU Department of Forensic Science. The 18-month program will accept participants via an application process, and is delivered through six modules using a combination of teaching/training modalities.
This program is designed to be an external training resource to firearms sections/units within crime laboratories, and aims to provide quality training to entry-level trainees already hired by a crime laboratory unit. The objective of the training is to produce bench-ready firearm analysts in the area of microscopic comparisons of firearm-related evidence.
Participants must complete the cohort application, and once approved, they will receive the online registration link for the program to be completed by November 15, 2023.
This will be a laboratory-intensive module (and final module) focused on competency assessment and expert testimony, including practical exams, competency tests, and moot court.
Trainees will complete a final series of competency tests and mock trial.
After successful completion of this module, trainees will participate in a small graduation ceremony and be issued certificates for completion of the program.
Laboratory training coordinators will be provided all training materials upon completion, including monthly evaluations and copies of all assignments completed during the course of the training.
Graduation/certification presentation ceremony
The ceremony is tentatively scheduled for August 15, 2025, following successful program completion.
“Bench ready” training
Complete training program with minimal follow-up training necessary; trainees will be ready to conduct microscopic comparisons out of training
No/minimal loss in productivity at the hiring lab; minimal involvement on behalf of the lab training coordinator, allows them to focus on their primary casework responsibilities, saving time and resources
Balances in-person, hands-on training with the instructor, and self-guided training; time and resources for trainees to build important skills on their own, such as self-initiative, time management, and critical thinking development
Why choose VCU?
Reputation in the forensic science field
Dedicated full-time faculty instructor with 15+ years of practitioner experience
Paying it forward to the forensic community
Well-established reputation as one of the best Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs for quality and professionalism in the academic and forensic communities across the US and abroad
One of the only universities with a firearm and toolmark examiner as a full-time faculty member, who actively offers consultation and forensic services to the law enforcement and legal communities in Virginia; maintains membership with AFTE and AAFS
Invests in future forensic scientists with program revenue supporting the future of the forensic community through the VCU Department of Forensic Science through expansion and improvement of academic programs and training certificate programs
The total cost for the program is $24,495. Once accepted into the program, a payment plan option can be selected at the time of online registration. Plan participants will be prompted to submit an Incremental Payment Plan Form.
The 2-part payment plan info is as follows:
Payment 1 in the amount of $16,000 is due by December 1, 2023, in order to confirm and finalize registration.
Payment 2 in the amount of $8,495 is due by December 1, 2024, in order for a participant to remain in the program.
What is included in the registration fee?
A tour of manufacturing facilities in the New England area, including all travel and accommodations, except per diem
All course materials and supplies (including ammunition, firearms, firing range visits, consumable office supplies, equipment necessary for examinations and training exercise, and materials for practical and competency tests and external proficiency tests)
Monthly instructor updates
These hotel options include a special rate and are in walking distance from VCU campus.Important Note: when making a reservation, you must mention the VCU Forensic Science group in order to take advantage of the state/government or special rate prior to booking.
Linden Row, 100 E Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia
$129 - $139 plus tax per night
No parking available, and hotel located about one mile from campus (approximately 15 minute walk)
$119 plus tax per night (this rate is contingent upon a 12-week stay, call for details and stay options)
Parking and/or breakfast available for an additional charge, and hotel located about one half of a mile from campus (approximately 8-10 minute walk)
A message from the department chair
Tracey Dawson Green, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor, Forensic Science
"The VCU Department of Forensic Science is dedicated to hosting relevant and meaningful continuing educational opportunities for the forensic practitioner community. We are excited to host this one-of-a-kind forensic firearms training program, which will include instruction by highly skilled, experienced firearms examiners and our brand new state-of-the-art forensic microscopy facility."
Ready to get started?
Click "Yes, I want to apply now!", tell us about your lab and trainee(s), and we will review your application and be in touch with a decision! Please note that the cohort will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, and additional applications will be waitlisted once all seats have been filled.
You may cancel your registration up until December 15, 2023, and receive a full refund, less a $35 processing fee, of any payment made by this date. The first payment amount is non-refundable after December 15, 2023. Cancellations must be received in writing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If a trainee must withdraw from the program after December 15, 2023, the second payment is not required; however, for a withdrawal to be granted, a notification of withdrawal must be received in writing by December 1, 2024 via email at email@example.com. The second payment amount is non-refundable after this date. If the registration fee had been paid in full, and a program withdrawal is made prior to the second payment deadline after December 1, 2023, a refund equivalent to the second payment amount will be processed, less a $35 processing fee. The program withdrawal must be made in writing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the second payment deadline.
In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the university will fully refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including change or cancellation charges to include but not limited to airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations. Should the training need to move to a teleconference platform, participants will be notified 48 hours prior to the program start date to adjust any travel plans.
Paid registrations are transferable if requested in writing via email at email@example.com through January 15, 2024. The participant must first be approved in the application process.