Each certified expert has the duty retrain themselves constantly in his field, at least in Germany. This is a basic condition for the existence of ceretification, and, ultimately, in the public interest.
Unfortunately, in some disciplines the traing program isn’t that substancial, which makes it difficult to some individual to meet this requirement sometimes. The more I am happy that I was invited this year to the 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners. This is the world’s most prestigious conference in the field of Questioned document examination. This is where international representatives of various investigative and enforcement, as well as representatives from science and research come together. Already last year I had the great pleasure to take part in the meeting, and many representatives previously only known from the literature, I could meet in person. The scientific level of the individual lectures in my opinion is the highest that I have been able to experience in my career the last years. Neither the symposia of the ISU Mannheim, the german Gesellschaft für Schriftvergleichung e.V. or the Symposium of Questioned Document Xxamination at the University of Wroclaw in Poland can compete here.
Basically, the participation in this conference is reserved to full members of the ASQDE only. Non-members must be explicitly invited by an existing member. Certainly one reason why the German participation of non-governmental experts is so low. But even German officials have it increasingly difficult to attend the meeting, as participation is associated with significant travel costs (USA / Canada). An unfortunate circumstance in my opinion.
In addition to my participation as a visitor, I hope also to occur as a speaker for the first time. One of the basic requirement for becoming am member of the ASQDE is a regular participation in the meetings, as well as the active participation by holding lectures. So this lecture is the last thing, that stands between me and my membership. Anyway, the abstract is submitted, and I am looking forward to the reunion with colleagues – for this year in Toronto, Canada.