Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)
This certification focuses on individuals who wish to manage or conduct cyber crime investigations. It focuses on tasks, knowledge and skills in three primary topical areas:
- Case management: this includes evaluating cases for potential conflicts of ethics, determining case needs and developing investigative strategies, and implementing such strategies using available investigative resources to handle case objectives and requirements.
- Evidence Collection: this covers the gamut from conducting physical or electronic surveillance to gather relevant data and information, to interviewing or interrogating potential suspects or witnesses, to collecting and preserving objects and data for assessment and analysis for potential use as evidence. This area also includes conducting research and analyzing data to produce relevant information and explanations to document and corroborate physical or digital evidence.
- Case Presentation: this includes preparing reports to substantiate investigative findings, and preparing and presenting testimony based on review of case files, interactions with legal counsel, and presenting relevant facts and explanations.
To be eligible for certification as a PCI, individuals must not only pass a demanding examination (the first such exam will be administered in New Orleans during the ASIS annual meeting from September 15-18, 2003; cost is $300 for ASIS members, $350 for nonmembers). Additional requirements also include:
- 9 years of investigations experience, with three or more years of case management experience, or
- A Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university plus 7 years of investigations experience, with three or more years of case management experience, and
- A clean criminal record that will not “negatively reflect on the security profession, ASIS International, or the PCI program.”
In short, this is a senior-level computer forensics certification with a decided emphasis on investigations and trial work. Those who wish to conduct investigations or find work as expert witnesses in cyber crime cases would do very well indeed to obtain this credential, provided they can meet its fairly demanding requirements.