top of page

Criteria & Guidelines

Board Certification Administration and Guidelines/Rules

The Board of Directors of the ASFP (the “Board”) is solely responsible for the administration of the certification process and is the final ruling body of any certification disputes.

The Board considers ethics violations, failure to adhere to the principles of forensic podiatry, and public and private grievances, for podiatrists applying for certification, re-certification or who are currently certified.

The Board has the authority to refuse to allow the certification or re-certification examination or process to proceed or may mandate additional education, training, and letters of reference and/or research prior to allowing the certification or re-certification process to proceed.

The Board can, at any time, revoke, limit and/or suspend certification, reprimand, mandate additional education or training, or expel the podiatrists from the ASFP for failing to follow the principles of forensic podiatry, failure to adhere the ASFP certification guidelines or ASFP by-laws and/or for ethical or legal violations.

During the certification or re-certification process (or during investigation of failure to adhere to forensic podiatry principles, ethical violations or other grievances) the Board can request information, documentation, and additional records from the podiatrist. When such information is requested, the individual must deliver the materials to the board within 30 days; however for instances involving certified podiatrists, the Board has the power to revoke, reprimand, suspend or limit certification prior to receiving such documents. Any investigations are kept confidential until the Board makes a decision.

In cases where the Board finds a podiatrist has committed an impropriety, such as an ethical violation, failed to follow forensic podiatry principles, or other legal issue, the Board may, at its sole discretion, notify the public, government, State and/or Federal agencies of such improprieties (in addition to taking action against the podiatrist).

If candidates for certification have any questions regarding the certification process, they are encouraged to contact the President of the ASFP. The examination is in English and any materials submitted to the Board for certification or at any other time, must be in English. Submitted materials will be reviewed after successfully passing the written examination.


The Board can change certification eligibility requirements, guidelines and rules at any time, with or without notice, and can change the ASFP ethical standards and rules.


The Board will designate or appoint a proctor(s) to review a candidate’s certification materials and examinations. In the event that a candidate fails to meet eligibility requirements or fails the examination, at the Candidate’s request (which must be requested in writing within 30 days of notification from the ASFP), the Board will appoint a different proctor(s) to verify the findings and/or review eligibility.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. A DPM degree (or equivalent) with a minimum of five years in private podiatry practice (not including residency or fellowship);

  2. A completed application;

  3. Three letters of professional recommendation on letterhead (see “letter” criteria);

  4. A member in good standing in the ASFP;

  5. Good character/ethical standing and have their application approved by Board;

  6. Evidence of forensic podiatry experience and/or additional education/training and/or research in the field of forensic podiatry for the Board’s and/or proctor’s review and approval. This must include:

a. Attendance at a minimum of two forensic conferences with information applicable to forensic podiatry in the prior five years;

b. Documented participation in a minimum of one forensic workshop or training in forensics with information applicable to forensic podiatry (no time limit);

c. A minimum of one research project or publication (or lecture) specifically related to forensic podiatry or one forensic podiatry case (no time limit):

i. Research does not need to be published (this may involve footprint, footwear, or assessments, etc.);

ii. A lecture will be considered as qualifying if it is presented to a forensic science, forensic podiatry, podiatry, and/or law enforcement body;

iii. A case will be considered as qualifying if the candidate can show that case required the application of forensic podiatry knowledge. (A case need not be fully resolved, but must show that the podiatrist provided assistance requiring forensic podiatry knowledge.).

d. In the event the Board and/or proctor determine that the candidate has not met adequate “experience/education/research” described above, the Board can require such experience/education/research. The candidate will be allowed a grace period of one year to provide the Board with evidence of completion of such experience/education/research. In this event, if the Board determines that candidate’s further experience/education/research is inadequate or is not received by the Board within a year, the candidate will be denied certification and must wait a minimum of one year to reapply.

  7. Completion of Disclaimer/Attestation form.

  8. Completion and filing of the application.

  9. Payment of required fee $150.00 (non-refundable)

  10. Agreement to adhere to the ASFP certification ethical standards and regulations.

  11. A passing score in the examination:

a. The examination will be offered to the candidate upon satisfaction of all other requirements for certification.

b. The examination consists of two parts—multiple-choice questions and essay and/or practical problems. Candidates must pass Part A to be eligible to take Part B.

c. Part A is comprised of 50 multiple-choice questions, which must be completed in two hours. Candidates must achieve a score of 75% or higher to pass.

d. Part B is comprised of a practical problem with essay questions, which must be completed in 3 hours. Incomplete, erroneous reasoning/application of forensic podiatry principles and/or incorrect conclusions will result in failure.

e. The examination will be offered to candidates during forensic podiatry-related conferences, such as an IAI, ASFP sponsored event. There will be a 90-minute break between completion of the grading of Part A and start of Part B.

f. Candidates should prepare for the examination by studying the materials in the Certification Preparation List (see below).


Letter of Reference Criteria

Appropriate letters of reference must be from podiatrists or other physicians who can attest to the candidate’s moral and ethical character and who have known the candidate for at least the prior three years. At least one letter of reference must be from a current member of the ASFP.


Important Additional Guidelines/Rules about Board Certification:

  1. Successful completion of the examination will result in a board certification certificate being issued for five years from date of passage and expiring on December 1 st of the 5th year thereafter.

  2. “Podiatrist” refers in these guidelines to a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) or any physician with equivalent degree (as determined by theBoard).

  3. Board Certified podiatrists earn the distinction of being called diplomates,and are permitted to use the distinction “Diplomate, American Board of Forensic Podiatry”, “Diplomate, ASFP”, “DASFP” and/or “Diplomate ASFP.”

  4. Candidates who fail the board certification examination must wait six months from the date of notification of failure to reapply. Candidates who fail Part B are not required to retake Part A, provided they retake the Part B examination within two years of passing Part A. (In the event of extenuating circumstances for a candidate who wants to reapply, such as serious medical issues, the candidate may petition the Board to extend the grace period; the Board may extend the grace period solely at their discretion.)

  5. The written examination will only be offered once a year at a date and time determined by the Board.

  6. The examination is “closed book,” and no textbooks, notes, cell phones, electronic or computer devices, or other educational materials are permitted to be accessed or on the candidate’s person during the examination. Examinations (and associated materials) are the property of the ASFP and may not be removed, retained, copied, transmitted, or reproduced in whole or part by candidates. Failure to follow these rules may result in denial of certification, revocation of certification, suspension, reprimand, or expulsion from the ASFP.

  7. Podiatrists who are Board Certified must be a member in good standing with the ASFP and maintain continued membership in good standing with the ASFP. To prevent doubt, a podiatrist must cease to consider himself/herself, claim or advertise themselves as Certified, or use the any “Diplomate” distinctions or abbreviations associated with ASFP in any manner when he/she ceases to be a fully paid up ASFP member in good standing.


Board Certification is granted for a five-year term. An application for recertification requires a minimum of 90 days to process and must be received by the Board no later than September 1 st of the expiring year to avoid a lapse in certification. A candidate is not considered recertified until the Board notifies him or her. It is the candidate’s sole responsibility to apply to re-certification, regardless of any notification of certification expiration provided by the ASFP.


Recertification requires:

  1. A DPM degree (or equivalent);

  2. A member in good standing in the ASFP;

  3. Good character/ethical standing and have application reviewed by Board; Evidence of additional forensic podiatry experience and/or additional education/training and/or research in the field of forensic podiatry for the Board’s and/or proctor’s review and approval, as described in the initial certification process in Section 6 above. If certification has expired (over five years from prior certification) then the podiatrist is not considered certified during this grace period and cannot claim he/she is currently certified.

  4. Completion of Disclaimer/Attestation form;

  5. Completion and filing of the application;

  6. Payment of required fee ($25.00); and

  7. Agreement to adhere to the ASFP certification ethical standards and regulations.


Note: A grace period of three years will be allowed for recertification; however, during this three-year period the podiatrist is not considered board certified and cannot claim he/she is currently certified or use the any “Diplomate” distinctions or abbreviations associated with ASFP in any manner. In extenuating circumstances, such as serious medical issues, a podiatrist may petition the Board to extend the grace period, and the Board may extend the grace period at their sole discretion. Failure to recertify within this grace period will require the podiatrist to begin the certification process over (including repeating examination parts A and B, providing the eligibility materials, including letters of reference, and so on).


Board Certification Preparation List

The following materials may be useful to prepare for the certification examination:

  • DiMaggio J.A. and Vernon W. Forensic Podiatry: Principles and Methods (2 nd ed.), Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2017.

  • Tuthill, Harold, and Graeme George. Individualization: Principles and procedures in criminalistics. Lightning Powder Company, 2002.

  • Rich DPM, Jeremy, Dean MD, Dorothy E., Powers PhD. Forensic Medicine of the Lower Extremity. Humana Press, CT., February 2005.

  • Thompson, Tim and Black, Sue, Forensic Human Identification – An Introduction. CRC Press, 2007.

  • Fisher, Barry AJ, and David R. Fisher. Techniques of crime scene investigation. CRC Press, 2012.

  • Hilderbrand, Dwane S. Footwear, the Missed Evidence. Temecula, CA: Staggs, 2007.

  • Saferstein, Richard. Forensic Science: From the Crime Scene to the Crime Lab, 3rd Edition, 2016.

  • Matson, Jack V. Effective expert witnessing: practices for the 21st century. CRC Press, 2012.

  • Valmassy, Ronald L. Clinical Biomechanics of the Lower Extremity. St. Louis: Mosby – Year Book, Inc., 1996

  • Bodziak, William J. Footwear Impression Evidence. Second Edition, New York: Elsevier, 2000.

  • Birch, I., Nirenberg, M., Vernon, W., Birch, M. (2020). Forensic gait analysis: Principles and practice. Taylor & Francis Group CRC Press.

  • Vanderkolk, J. R. (2009). Forensic comparative science: qualitative quantitative source determination of unique impressions, images, and objects. Academic Press.


Examination Topics

Examination topics that can be expected to be covered include the following:

  • The History of Forensic Podiatry

  • Terminology

  • Crime Scene Processing

  • Physical Evidence, Crime Lab

  • Recovery, Enhancement and Collection of Pedal Evidence

  • Individuality of Feet

  • Chain of Custody

  • Principles of Individuality

  • Class and Individual Characteristics

  • ACE-V

  • Methods of Footprint Analysis & Comparison

  • Bare & Sock-Clad Footprint Analysis

  • Footwear Examination & Analysis

  • Footwear Manufacture

  • Footwear Sizing

  • Forensic Gait Analysis

  • Identification from Medical Records

  • Expert Witness Legal Issues (Including the Pre-Trial and Trial Process)

  • The Daubert Standard



Candidates with questions should contact Steve Wachter, DPM, DASFP.

bottom of page