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Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI) is a professional with the expertise to conduct a variety of investigative interviews with victims, witnesses, suspects or other sources to determine the facts regarding suspicions, allegations or specific incidents in either public or private sector settings.
"Higher levels of professionalism will go a long way to
advancing and improving this incredibly important
part of our jobs," says Kirk Lonbom, CFI
Assistant Deputy Director, Illinois State Police.
The objective of this certification program is to create comprehensive, universally accepted professional standards combined with an objective measure of an interviewer's knowledge of those standards.
The ultimate goal is that every person and every organization with a stake in interviewing will benefit from the program, as will the reputation and effectiveness of the entire profession.
Mission: Center for Interviewer Standards and Assessment (CISA) is to provide standards and principles for comprehensive investigative interviewing in both the private and public sector.
The Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI) designation issued by the International Association of Interviewers (IAI) indicates the certificate holder possesses the knowledge necessary to pass IAI's rigorous examination. This designation does not guarantee the interviewing or interrogation skills or performance of any certificate holder. IAI hereby disclaims all liability to third parties in connection with the actual field performance of a certificate holder.
Code of Ethics
A CFI shall adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Any reported violation of the Code of Ethics will result in an investigation by IAI, which may result in sanctions up to and including the revocation of the CFI designation.
Code of Ethics
A Certified Forensic Interviewer:
• Shall strive for excellence and professionalism in the performance of his or her duties.
• Shall not engage in unethical or illegal conduct, abiding by the law at all times.
• Shall exhibit the highest level of professionalism while interviewing sources, victims, witnesses, and suspects.
• Shall follow the rules of law and general practice in the jurisdiction of the inquiry.
• Will accurately document and testify to the content of the interview, revealing all information without bias.
• Will comply with all lawful orders of courts and administrative bodies.
• Shall not engage in unethical, physically abusive or coercive activities during an interview or interrogation.
• Will respect the dignity of all people being fair and just in dealing with an individual.
• Will conduct himself or herself in a manner that serves the cause of truth and justice.
• Will separate himself or herself from influences which might bias their judgments while conducting the inquiry.
An applicant omitting information or providing false or misleading information when applying for the CFI designation violates the Code of Ethics.
Standards and Principles of Practice
A Certified Forensic Interviewer:
• Shall not reveal confidential information obtained from an interview or interrogation without proper authorization.
• Shall compare information received during the interview against that discovered during the investigation to evaluate the individual’s truthfulness and accuracy.
• Will accurately document the information obtained during an interview without bias or prejudice.
• Will cooperate and share information with other investigators unless doing so would be unethical, compromise an investigation, or be illegal.
• Shall continually strive to increase competence and knowledge in the profession.
• Shall not provide a report or opinion on the medical or psychological condition of an interviewee unless the interviewer is qualified to make such a report.
• Shall not participate in any interview or investigation designed to circumvent the law or impede justice.
• Shall not accept or solicit benefits designed to influence his or her opinions or report.
• Shall not knowingly submit, or permit to be submitted, by another, information that is misleading or false in a report. Each report shall be an objective factual account
of the information provided in the interview.
• Shall not inquire about religion, politics, sexual preferences, union activities or race unless it is relevant to a specific investigation.
• Shall cooperate in the investigation of any alleged violations of the CFI Code of Ethics or Standards of Practice.
A CFI or CFI applicant who makes false or misleading statements to CISASM violates the CFI Code of Ethics. A CFI or CFI applicant accused of violations of the CFI Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice shall be investigated by the Grievance Board of CISASM.
The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice establishes the minimal standard for interviewing and interrogation; however, any conduct or omission that discredits the CFI designation will not be condoned. Violations of the Code of Ethics and/or Standards of Practice may result in censure, suspension or the removal of the CFI designation.
Hector Erazo, CFI, PI a Sr. AP Investigator, Target Corporation, says about CFI
"Right now, IAI and CFI are the best ways of doing that.
In a field where the majority consider themselves experts, it is assuring to know that IAI
filters through the multitudes and brings the industry's true professionals to light.
The CFI designation is a must-have now, in preparation
for the challenges of tomorrow."
CFI will help interviewers gain and test the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct a variety of investigative interviews with an understanding of the legal issues and with high levels of proficiency in the following:
- Interview Preparation
- Behavioral Analysis
- Accusatory and Non-Accusatory Interviewing
- Documentation and Presentation of finding
IAI was created and will be monitoring the Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI) program for professional interviewers and interrogators.