Medicolegal Death Investigator Certification Exam

The Medicolegal Death Investigator  certificate is designed to give the graduate a recognized credential that can translate into greater recognition within their respective field.  Successful completion of the exam demonstrates the student has an understanding of the death investigation process and has meet the minimum knowledge standard. 

The scope of knowledge for the certificate exam is defined in the National Institute of Justice publication Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator.

Many professionals currently working in death investigations or those wanting to enter the field of death investigations do not yet qualify for other national certification programs.  Until now, no standardized basic knowledge certificate existed for those entering the field of death investigation or those working in other investigative capacities where more than a passing knowledge of death investigations may be needed.

This certification is intended to fill the gap in certification of basic knowledge of death investigations not previously available.

Exam Details

How to Apply

  • Contact us for next steps 
  • Application Fee $50

The Exam

  • Number of questions   225 
  • Categories
-Communication and Interaction
-Ethics and Professional
-Identifying Evidence
-Investigating Death
-Job Related Stress
-Scientific Knowledge 
  •  Time limit for exam – 2 hours 
  •  Cost:  $150 for  exam 
  •  Retest fee $50  
  •  Exam administered through independent testing platform.
  •  Proctored Exam – local college, university, or  testing center.

Who Qualifies

Students who have completed the Medicolegal Death Investigator Online Academy or apply for the exam based upon education and experience. 

Continuing Certification

  • $50 per year maintenance fee
  • Continuing Education of 20 hours every 2 years – Law Enforcement or Medicolegal Investigation ,   nursing, medical, etc.  

CEU hours must be submitted to the Academy Testing review committee every two years. CEU hours can be hours gained in and for other disciplines such as law enforcement investigation (not general LEO procedures),  nursing, emergency medicine,  criminal justice, etc.  CEU’s can be applied to this certification as well as the students other field of discipline. 

CEU’s must be submitted and approved within 60 days following of the 24 month cycle,  Cycle begins the date of successful exam completion.  All CEU’s must have been gained within the 24 month cycle.

The Medicolegal Death Investigator Certification is not associated with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, (ABMDI). It is the goal of this certification to move students through the development of skills and experience toward a career in Medicolegal Death Investigation. 


Testing Committee

Darren Dake


Medicolegal and Criminal Investigator and Trainer 

Anita Brooks

Common Trauma Expert, Author, and International Trainer 

Dottie Owens

Coroner, Ada County Idaho

Third in nation to be double accredited by both IACME and NAME.

Paul Parker

Executive Officer, San Diego County LE Review Board, former assistant Coroner Clark County Nevada, 20+ years in C/ME management and investigations.

Todd Thorne

Supervising Criminalist, Wisconsin and  over 20 years Forensic Consulting 


“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

About us

The test questions were developed by a team of experts in various disciplines from across the country each focusing on the minimum knowledge needed to be a Medicolegal Death Investigator. The scope of knowledge for the certificate exam is defined in the National Institutes of Justice publication Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator. As well as from the testing committee’s combined experience and research in all areas of death investigation and evidence management.

Our mission

The testing committee will meet each quarter to review the testing process and student scores to try and identify any areas that may need further development or restructuring. The committee will also consider new scientific advancements and investigative procedures as they align to current testing categories and questions, making changes or modifications as needed.

Our Certificate

The Medicolegal Death Investigator certificate is designed to give the graduate a recognized credential that can translate into greater recognition within their respective field. Successful completion of the exam demonstrates the student has an understanding of the death investigation process and has met the minimum scope of knowledge for the certificate exam as defined in the National Institutes of Justice publication “Death Investigation: A Guide for the Scene Investigator”.

Frequently Asked Questions

The exam is hosted through a third party testing agency. You will sit for the exam at a testing center in your area such as a library, college, or University. 

If you fail your first attempt at passing the exam you may retake the test in 30 days at the same location. The retest fee is $50 per attempt.  You may attempt the exam as many times as you wish, but must wait 30 days between attempts. 

A passing score for each section of the examination is predetermined using standard cutting score methods.

Examination Grading

1. The professional testing agency retained by the certification committee shall grade the examinations/retests.

2. A passing score for each section is predetermined using standard cutting score methods. The applicant shall successfully pass each curriculum section of the examination.

3.  The professional testing agency shall provide pass/fail scores of initial testing to the applicant directly, as well as to the testing committee panel.   

4.  A pass/fail score shall be released. Numerical scores are not recorded in the applicant’s file.

 5.  The Death Investigation Academy and/or testing committee shall officially notify the applicant of examination results

This certification has been vetted by a panel of experts in the criminal and death investigation fields.  This particular certification level is new to the industry,  however, with this certification you are demonstrating to a prospective employer that you meet  National Knowledge Standards as set forth in publications by the NIJ and CDC.

Yes.  You will receive a professional, frameable certificate in the mail within 3-4 weeks after passing the exam. In addition, you will receive written documentation in the form of a congratulatory letter sent with your certificate, and both documents will list your unique certification number as listed in the C-MDI data base, which you can use to further verify your certification. 

Refunds are not granted due to the costs associated with administering exam.

An applicant wishing to apply to take the certification exam based soley on experience and education must have been employed in the field of death investigation or in a supporting role such as; Coroner/Medical Examiners office, Law Enforcement, Forensics or any State or Federal agency with a primary purpose of investigating death, for no less than 24 months, must possess either a High School diploma/GED, and must possess a higher education diploma/degree. Applicants with no less than five years or more combined work experience in death investigation in a Coroner/Medical Examiners office may substitute this work experience for the education experience listed above. Applicants no longer working in the field of death investigations, must have left this employment no longer than 6 months prior to the application date. Applications submitted based on education and experience will be individually evaluated and all information submitted will be verified prior to exam application approval.

Revisions to Examination

  1. The Certification Testing Committee shall meet at least once a year to review the test bank and evaluate it for current knowledge and technologies to ensure  the examination remains reliable and valid to the profession.  
  2. Questions are reviewed after every fifty (50) administrations and every year of offering.
  3. The Testing Committee shall consider test revision every year after statistical review. Revision is mandatory every three years.
  4. The Testing Committee, as an indicator of individual test item performance, shall also review question analysis. Poorly performing test questions are marked for review.
  5. Test revision shall consist of revising, rewriting, eliminating or adding new questions as deemed necessary under the supervision of the Testing Committee. Such revision shall meet the requirements set forth in the initial test development.
  6. The performance sections shall be revised and updated as deemed necessary, using the guidelines previously established.