How does an accident reconstructionist become accredited?

A reconstructionist interested in becoming accredited must apply to the Commission and be deemed eligible to sit for an accreditation examination based on their unique combination of knowledge, training and experience. Different sections of the application are assigned point values based on knowledge, training, experience, skills and abilities. As a general rule it is better to include more information than less.

Step 1: Collect Related Documents

Certificates from training and seminars

The application review committee will be looking for completion of industry recognized accident investigation and reconstruction, and/or engineering training courses, such as those offered by Northwestern University Center for Public Safety (NUCPS); Institute of Police Technology & Management (IPTM); Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE); or the Collision Safety Institute, to name a few. Some other training providers are listed on our Resources page. Copies of certificates of completion will need to be attached to the application. The Application Review Committee will consider any and all seminars, non-traditional training and other sources of experience in the accident reconstruction field.

Diplomas: High school, Undergrad (if applicable) and Graduate (if applicable)

If you plan to apply an undergraduate or graduate degree to your application a copy of the degree awarded should be submitted with the application. If the degree does not indicate what engineering discipline or area of study it is in, a short narrative describing what the field of study was should be provided.

Employment History

You’ll need to have basic information about past employment, including positions you’ve held and starting/ending dates.

Information on published works and presentations

If you’ve written any related works that have been published or presented on accident reconstruction topics to groups, ensure that you have relevant information for each published work or presentation. Titles, dates, and the names of people involved (co-authors/editors or the name of the group to which you presented) are necessary.

At least three (3) references

A minimum of three (3) personal and/or professional references are required. For each reference, the individual’s name, address, and phone number are required; and the individual’s email address and occupation are requested.

Organization membership (if applicable)

To qualify for the discounted application fee, you must indicate in the relevant application section which participating organization(s) you are part of. ACTAR reserves the right to check on your membership status within any organization at any time.

In addition, any related organizations of which you are a member may be included in your application in the appropriate section. You’ll need the organization’s official name, your title/membership grade/level, and starting and ending dates.

License information for professional engineers and private investigators

If you currently hold a Professional Engineer’s License or a Private Investigator License, you’ll need to provide the license number, expiration date, and state in which the license is valid for your license to be considered.

Court testimony details

If you’ve been an expert in court, be prepared with information on the case name, case number/caption, state in which the testimony took place, and the court ID.

Photo of yourself for your public directory profile

Your photo will not be part of the application submitted to the review committee (just as your account login credentials and public information are not included), but uploading a photo within the public information section of the application will ensure that you have a public directory profile as soon as you’ve passed the accreditation exam.

Additional attachments

If there are any other documents that you feel support your expertise in accident investigation and reconstruction, you’ll be able to upload those and provide details at the end of the application, so have them handy.

Step 2: Timing

If you anticipate sitting for a particular examination please assure that your application and all necessary attachments is received by ACTAR at least 60 days before the scheduled examination date. This will allow ample time for the Application Review Committee to review your application and qualify you to sit for the examination before the 30 day advance registration deadline.

Step 3: Start your application

When you are ready, start your application by entering basic information and login credentials that you’ll use for logging into ACTAR.org. If at any point in the application pages you need to step away from the computer, take a moment to click the “Save” button at the bottom of the current application page. This will save all of the information you’ve entered securely in the database for you to pick up with at a later time.

When you’ve completed a page in the application, click the “Save and Continue” button to securely save the information you’ve entered to the database and move to the next section of the application.

If you need to go to a previous page of the application, first click the “Save” button at the bottom of the current page to save any information you’ve entered securely in the database; then, click the appropriate page number in the bar along the top of the application page.

Step 4: Complete your application

When all 5 pages of the application have been completed and are ready to submit (you won’t be able to undo your submission but will have a chance to send the committee additional materials if requested by the committee), click the “Save and Submit” button at the bottom of the last page of the application.

Step 5: Application fee

Upon submitting your application, your submission will be securely saved in the database but will not be available to the committee for review until you’ve paid the application fee.

The current application fee is a non-refundable $150.00 if the applicant is a current member of at least one of the ACTAR Participating Organizations; otherwise the application fee is $175.00.

Step 6: Check the mail and log into your ACTAR.org

You’ll receive notice of the approval or disapproval of your application by mail. Your ACTAR.org dashboard will also reflect your status by noting whether your application is still being reviewed; whether you are qualified to register to take the accreditation exam; or whether you’ll need to contact the Application Review Committee Chairperson.

If an application fails to gain the required score, the applicant will have the opportunity to review the deficiencies with the Application Review Committee Chairperson. An applicant is allowed one year to eliminate any shortcomings without the need for additional application fees.

Applicants with a sufficient score are qualified to sit for the accreditation examination and are granted a two year eligibility period and three attempts to successfully complete both portions of the examination. To register for an exam, log into your ACTAR.org account, and your dashboard will provide you a link to register.

The examination fee (separate from your application fee) is $50.00 if the applicant is a current member of at least one of the ACTAR Participating Organizations; otherwise the examination fee is $100.00.