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TITLE 37PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS
PART 15TEXAS FORENSIC SCIENCE COMMISSION
CHAPTER 651DNA, CODIS, FORENSIC ANALYSIS, AND CRIME LABORATORIES
SUBCHAPTER CFORENSIC ANALYST LICENSING PROGRAM
RULE §651.207Forensic Analyst Licensing Requirements Including License Term, Fee and Procedure for Denial of Application and Reconsideration

(a) Issuance. The Commission may issue an individual's Forensic Analyst License under this section.

(b) Application. Before being issued a Forensic Analyst License, an applicant shall:

  (1) demonstrate that he or she meets the definition of Forensic Analyst set forth in this subchapter;

  (2) complete and submit to the Commission a current Forensic Analyst License Application form;

  (3) pay the required fee(s) as applicable:

    (A) Initial Application fee of $220 for Analysts and $150 for Technicians/Screeners;

    (B) Biennial renewal fee of $200 for Analysts and $130 for Technicians/Screeners;

    (C) Temporary License fee of $100;

    (D) Provisional License fee of $110 for Analysts and $75 for Technicians/Screeners;

    (E) License Reinstatement fee of $220;

    (F) De Minimis License fee of $200 per ten (10) licenses;

    (G) Uncommon Forensic Analysis License fee of $200 per ten (10) licenses; and/or

    (H) Special Exam Fee of $50 for General Forensic Analyst Licensing Exam, required only if testing beyond the three initial attempts or voluntarily taking the exam under the Unaccredited Forensic Discipline Exception described in subsection (g)(5)(C) of this section; and

  (4) provide documentation that he or she has satisfied all applicable requirements set forth under this section.

(c) Minimum Education Requirements.

  (1) Seized Drugs Analyst. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in seized drugs must have a baccalaureate or advanced degree in chemical, physical, biological science, chemical engineering or forensic science from an accredited university.

  (2) Seized Drugs Technician. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License limited to the seized drug technician category must have a minimum of an associate's degree or equivalent.

  (3) Toxicology (Toxicology Analyst (Alcohol Only, Non-interpretive), Toxicology Analyst (General, Non-interpretive), Toxicologist (Interpretive)). An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in toxicology must have a baccalaureate or advanced degree in a chemical, physical, biological science, chemical engineering or forensic science from an accredited university.

  (4) Toxicology Technician. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License limited to the toxicology technician category must have a minimum of an associate's degree or equivalent.

  (5) Forensic Biology (DNA Analyst, Forensic Biology Screener, Nucleic Acids other than Human DNA Analyst, Forensic Biology Technician). An applicant for any category of forensic biology license must have a baccalaureate or advanced degree in a chemical, physical, biological science or forensic science from an accredited university.

  (6) Firearm/Toolmark Analyst. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in firearm/toolmark analysis must have a baccalaureate or advanced degree in a chemical, physical, biological science, engineering or forensic science from an accredited university.

  (7) Firearm/Toolmark Technician. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License limited to firearm/toolmark technician must have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent degree.

  (8) Materials (Trace) Analyst. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in materials (trace) must have a baccalaureate or advanced degree in a chemical, physical, biological science, chemical engineering or forensic science from an accredited university. A Materials (Trace) Analyst performing only impression evidence analyses must have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent degree.

  (9) Materials (Trace) Technician. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License limited to materials (trace) technician must have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent degree.

  (10) Foreign/Non-U.S. degrees. The Commission shall recognize equivalent foreign, non-U.S. baccalaureate or advanced degrees. The Commission reserves the right to charge licensees a reasonable fee for credential evaluation services to assess how a particular foreign degree compares to a similar degree in the United States. The Commission may accept a previously obtained credential evaluation report from an applicant or licensee in fulfillment of the degree comparison assessment.

  (11) If an applicant does not meet the minimum education qualifications outlined in this section, the procedure in subsection (f) or (j) of this section applies.

(d) Specific Coursework Requirements.

  (1) Seized Drugs Analyst. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in seized drugs must have a minimum of sixteen-semester credit hours (or equivalent) in college-level chemistry coursework above general coursework from an accredited university. In addition to the chemistry coursework, an applicant must also have a three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) college-level statistics course from an accredited university or a program approved by the Commission.

  (2) Toxicology. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in toxicology must fulfill required courses as appropriate to the analyst's role and training program as described in the categories below:

    (A) Toxicology Analyst (Alcohol Only, Non-interpretive). A toxicology analyst who conducts, directs or reviews the alcohol analysis of forensic toxicology samples, evaluates data, reaches conclusions and may sign a report for court or investigative purposes, but does not provide interpretive opinions regarding human performance must complete a minimum of sixteen-semester credit hours (or equivalent) in college-level chemistry coursework above general coursework from an accredited university.

    (B) Toxicology Analyst (General, Non-interpretive). A toxicology analyst who conducts, directs or reviews the analysis of forensic toxicology samples, evaluates data, reaches conclusions and may sign a report for court or investigative purposes, but does not provide interpretive opinions regarding human performance must complete a minimum of sixteen-semester credit hours (or equivalent) in college-level chemistry coursework above general coursework that includes organic chemistry and two three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) college-level courses in analytical chemistry and/or interpretive science courses that may include Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Informatics, Instrumental Analysis, Mass Spectrometry, Quantitative Analysis, Separation Science, Spectroscopic Analysis, Biochemistry, Drug Metabolism, Forensic Toxicology, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology, or Toxicology.

    (C) Toxicologist (Interpretive). A toxicologist who provides interpretive opinions regarding human performance related to the results of toxicological tests (alcohol and general) for court or investigative purposes must complete a minimum of sixteen-semester credit hours (or equivalent) in college-level chemistry coursework above general coursework that includes organic chemistry, one three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) course in college-level analytical chemistry (Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Informatics, Instrumental Analysis, Mass Spectrometry, Quantitative Analysis, Separation Science or Spectroscopic Analysis) and one three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) college-level courses in interpretive science (Biochemistry, Drug Metabolism, Forensic Toxicology, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology, or Toxicology).

    (D) An applicant for a toxicology license for any of the categories outlined in subparagraphs (A) - (C) of this paragraph must have a three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) college-level statistics course from an accredited university or a program approved by the Commission.

  (3) DNA Analyst. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in DNA analysis must demonstrate he/she has fulfilled the specific requirements of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing effective September 1, 2011. An applicant must also have a three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) college-level statistics course from an accredited university or a program approved by the Commission.

  (4) Firearm/Toolmark Analyst. An applicant must have a three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) college-level statistics course from an accredited university or a program approved by the Commission. No other specific college-level coursework is required.

  (5) Materials (Trace) Analyst. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in materials (trace) for one or more of the chemical analysis categories of analysis (chemical determination, physical/chemical comparison, gunshot residue analysis, and fire debris and explosives analysis) must have a minimum of sixteen-semester credit hours (or equivalent) in college-level chemistry coursework above general coursework from an accredited university. In addition to chemistry coursework for the chemical analysis categories, all materials (trace) license applicants must also have a three-semester credit hour (or equivalent) college-level statistics course from an accredited university or a program approved by the Commission. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License in materials (trace) limited to impression evidence is not required to fulfill any specific college-level coursework requirements other than the statistics requirement.

  (6) Exemptions from specific coursework requirements. The following categories of licenses are exempted from coursework requirements:

    (A) An applicant for the technician license category of any forensic discipline set forth in this subchapter is not required to fulfill any specific college-level coursework requirements.

    (B) An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License limited to forensic biology screening, nucleic acids other than human DNA and/or Forensic Biology Technician is not required to fulfill the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing or any other specific college-level coursework requirements.

(e) Requirements Specific to Forensic Science Degree Programs. For a forensic science degree to meet the Minimum Education Requirements set forth in this section, the forensic science degree program must be either accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) or if not accredited by FEPAC, it must meet the minimum curriculum requirements pertaining to natural science core courses and specialized science courses set forth in the FEPAC Accreditation Standards.

(f) Waiver of Specific Coursework Requirements and/or Minimum Education Requirements for Lateral Hires, Promoting Analysts and Current Employees. Specific coursework requirements and minimum education requirements are considered an integral part of the licensing process; all applicants are expected to meet the requirements of the forensic discipline(s) for which they are applying or to offer sufficient evidence of their qualifications as described below in the absence of specific coursework requirements or minimum education requirements. The Commission Director or Designee may waive one or more of the specific coursework requirements or minimum education requirements outlined in this section for an applicant who:

  (1) has five or more years of credible experience in an accredited laboratory in the forensic discipline for which he or she seeks licensure; or

  (2) is certified by one or more of the following nationally recognized certification bodies in the forensic discipline for which he or she seeks licensure;

    (A) The American Board of Forensic Toxicology;

    (B) The American Board of Clinical Chemistry;

    (C) The American Board of Criminalistics;

    (D) The International Association for Identification; or

    (E) The Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners; and

  (3) provides written documentation of laboratory-sponsored training in the subject matter areas addressed by the specific coursework requirements.

  (4) An applicant must request a waiver of specific coursework requirements and/or minimum education requirements at the time the application is filed.

  (5) An applicant requesting a waiver from specific coursework requirements and/or minimum education requirements shall file any additional information needed to substantiate the eligibility for the waiver with the application. The Commission Director or Designee shall review all elements of the application to evaluate waiver request(s) and shall grant a waiver(s) to qualified applicants.

(g) General Forensic Analyst Licensing Exam Requirement.

  (1) Exam Requirement. An applicant for a Forensic Analyst License must pass the General Forensic Analyst Licensing Exam administered by the Commission.

    (A) An applicant is required to take and pass the General Forensic Analyst Licensing Exam one time.

    (B) An applicant may take the General Forensic Analyst Licensing Exam no more than three times. If an applicant fails the General Forensic Analyst Licensing Exam or the Modified General Forensic Analyst Licensing Exam three times, the applicant has thirty (30) days from the date the applicant receives notice of the failure to request special dispensation from the Commission as described in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph. Where special dispensation is granted, the applicant has 90 days from the date he or she receives notice the request for exam is granted to successfully complete the exam requirement. However, for good cause shown, the Commission or its Designee at its discretion may waive this limitation.

Cont'd...

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