Are we really serious – an ethics course for latent print examiners?  

Don’t we realize that the subject of ethics can be rather boring 
and perhaps even less fun than watching paint dry?  

Those are reasonable questions to ask. 

But yes, we are serious, and fortunately for you 
this is not your ‘average’ ethics course!

 So now we have some reasonable questions for you.  

How often do you think about ethics as a latent print examiner?

Do you consider ethics during your testimony? 

How do you address ethical issues within your agency? 

What is your procedure to handle things that fall into that dreaded ‘gray area’?

This novel 4-hour course will offer a diverse blend of lectures, external reading assignments, case studies and thought exercises to provide sound guidance in answering some difficult questions, such as: 

  • What are ethics and how do they interact with morality and integrity?
  • How do ethics affect latent print examiners?
  • What are some underlying motives for unethical behavior?
  • How do you avoid overstating the strength of evidence during testimony?
  • How should we handle ethical dilemmas?
  • Do we have an ethical responsibility to clearly report exculpatory results?
  • Is it unethical to go ‘opinion shopping’?

Upon completion of this course, we are confident you should be able to recognize, avoid and/or resolve ethical problems in the workplace.  How confident?  Well, we expect there will be extremely strong support for this proposition.  After all, it could be considered unethical to state anything further! 😊


RS&A is excited to announce another great addition to it's online training offering...Ethical Considerations in Latent Print Examination and Testimony.

This self-paced online training course is instructed by the RS&A Training Coordinator John Black.

Through lecture, John will pass along to you his vast expert knowledge and experience of ethics. 

ALL OF THIS ONLINE!  Anytime, Anywhere, Anyplace!

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Course Introduction

    • Before you Begin

    • Course Outline

    • Your Instructor: John P. Black, CLPE, CFWE, CSCSA

    • Course Introduction

    • Need Help? Have Questions?

  • 2

    What are Ethics?

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - What are Ethics?

    • What are Ethics?

  • 3

    Codes of Ethics

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Codes of Ethics

    • Codes of Ethics

  • 4

    The Impact of Ethics

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - The Impact of Ethics

    • The Impact of Ethics

  • 5

    Ethical Conflicts in Forensic Science

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Ethical Conflicts in Forensic Science

    • Ethical Conflicts in Forensic Science

  • 6

    Ethical Standards in Forensic Science

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Ethical Standards in Forensic Science

    • Ethical Standards in Forensic Science

  • 7

    Ethical Standards in the Courtroom

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Ethical Standards in the Courtroom

    • Ethical Standards in the Courtroom

  • 8

    Ethical Standards in the Workplace

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Ethical Standards in the Workplace (

    • Ethical Standards in the Workplace

  • 9

    The Nature of Unethical Behavior

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - The Nature of Unethical Behavior

    • The Nature of Unethical Behavior

  • 10

    Handling Ethical Dilemmas in Latent Print Examinations

    • Lecture Slides (PRINT) - Handling Ethical Dilemmas in Latent Print Examinations

    • Handling Ethical Dilemmas in Latent Print Examinations

  • 11

    Final Written Exam

    • Ethical Considerations in LP Examination and Testimony (80% Passing)

  • 12

    Before You Go...

    • Final Words From Your Instructor

    • Course Survey

    • Need Help? Have Questions?

Your Instructor

RS&A Training Coordinator


John P. Black serves as the Training Coordinator for Ron Smith & Associates, Inc. (RS&A). He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Chemistry as well as graduate hours in Analytical Chemistry from Indiana University. John has 28 years of experience as a forensic scientist and has worked for RS&A, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. He has spent the last 25 years as a latent print and footwear/tire track examiner, with 12 of those years also being devoted to crime scene investigation. John is certified by the International Association for Identification (IAI) as a Latent Print Examiner, Footwear Examiner and Senior Crime Scene Analyst. He is a former member of the IAI’s Crime Scene Certification Board, Ethics Committee, Editorial Review Board and Footwear/Tire Track Subcommittee. He has provided expert witness testimony in Federal and State courts on over 110 occasions in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas. John’s forensic research has been published in the Journal of Forensic Identification and the Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science. He has conducted over 250 training classes throughout North America, Africa, Asia, Central America and Europe on topics such as fingerprint examination, latent print processing, crime scene and evidence photography, crime scene investigation, courtroom testimony, impression evidence collection and bloodstain pattern analysis. John was awarded Distinguished Member status by the IAI in 2007.


4 Hours Latent Print & 2 Hours Testimony

This RS&A online training course has been approved for 4 hours credit toward IAI Latent Print Certification and Recertification. In addition, it has been approved for 2 hours credit toward the courtroom testimony training for initial certification applicants.

Course Tuition and Access Limits

Online Course Cost (4 Hours): $150.00

Special Introductory Price: $100.00

Max time to complete this course: 30 Days

Student Testimonials

This was an excellent class...

Joseph, AL

This was an excellent class presented by a knowledgeable instructor. I highly recommend it for anyone in the fingerprint examination business.

When social distancing is a priority...

Holly, AZ

I appreciate that this course was offered online, especially during these times of having to social distance. It allowed for continuing education to still take place which is crucial for maintaining IAI certification. I enjoy in person training better as a whole, but this was a great alternative when social distancing is a priority.

Content is important and well disseminated...


Content is important and well disseminated with the availability of the lecture and power points! Great content!