How does a person become a Forensic Handwriting Expert?


How does a person become a Forensic Handwriting Expert?

In order for a person to study Forensic Handwriting & Document Examination, it is not necessary that he first studies Analytical Graphology (i.e. the corresponding sector of psychology), irrelevantly if some people & institutions follow such a practice (e.g.
Forensic Handwriting Examination is a part of Forensic Sciences and Universities that provide such studies do not have a preliminary graphological training.
Forensic Handwriting Examination, apart from the analysis of the characteristics of handwriting, has some pure technical aspects through use of specific machines and procedures (ESDA, IR & UV radiation etc) depending on a case by case basis.
Some universities that provide studies in the field, are the University of Lausanne (, the university of Lancashire ( and the University of Staffordshire ( If one takes a look at their curriculum, one will find no graphology courses. The same goes for the University of Manheim in Germany, which has been a pioneer in the field of Forensic Handwriting Examination for decades (
Also, if one looks at the requirements in some of the above University programs, one will find that a Science degree (Physics, Math or Chemistry) is required; this is normal since principles of physics, chemistry and statistics often appear in Forensic Handwriting Examination. Possession of a Science degree is not a necessary condition for someone to train in Forensic Handwriting examination; holders of degrees of other sciences (e.g. Law) can train, but the presence of physics, mathematics and chemistry in the theory and processes followed in examinations is noted.
Regardless, the model of training in Forensic Handwriting Examination both in Greece and worldwide, was and still consists of 2 stages: a) Apprentice with an established Forensic Handwriting Expert and b)Practice in the field.
As practice one acquires experience from actual cases, and contributes in the examination and the writing of the reports.
All that are not included in Greek Laws that oversee this procedure, so one can write oneself in the tables of experts without all of the appropriate training, which is a dangerous and reckless practice.

Also, there are a lot of correspondence courses available. Let’s se what Thomas W. Vastrick mentions in his book “Forensic Document Examination Techniques”:

Training is conducted through in-residence internship for a minimum of two years under the guidance of a qualified (certified) forensic document examiner. Many programs require a three-years internship. Correspondence courses, also referred to as distance learning, are not appropriate methods of training. In-residence is the only way in which the instructor can constantly gauge the progress and accuracy of the trainee. Due to the serious nature undertaken by this profession, unerring accuracy is the standard of the field and demanded by the instructor.

Also, one should note concerning the numerous handwriting associations that exist, that there are allot who offer membership via paying a fee, and thus membership to such an association is not proof of expertise. On the other hand there are reliable associations, where either a certification of competency is given through examinations, or examinations are required to become a full member.

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