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Certification Courses

The FETI path to certification consists of different levels of certification: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Each level of certification is comprised of a number of courses that must be completed in sequential order.  For example, Basic certification is made up of 3 courses: Introduction to FETI, Practical Application of FETI, and Blue Interview Evaluations and Basic Exam.

Courses vary in duration and type. Some courses are online only and some are hybrid – requiring both online lessons and in-person training events.

Events are always in-person and are typically hosted by different organizations around the world. You can see a schedule of all of FETI’s events at our training calendar.

The Introduction to FETI in-person, classroom portion of the course is 2 consecutive days. Each day begins at 9am and ends at 5pm.

Company

Certified FETI does not endorse any position within the larger scope of policies and programs amongst organizations and communities that are inherently biased or presumptive.

A certified FETI interviewer must take each and every report of an experience seriously and strive to do everything possible to understand the participants experience without interpretation or bias. The very definition of “believe” is an action verb. It means to accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of and to hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose. Synonyms of “believe” include “be convinced by, trust, have confidence in, consider honest, and consider truthful. This is totally antithetical to the third element of the FETI Framework – neutral and equitable. To start by believing would automatically mean to begin from a place of bias.

MISSION

To maximize opportunities for information collection.

 

VISION

Certified FETI envisions a world where…

…any interviewer is able to collect and accurately document an individual’s high stress or traumatic experience in a neutral, equitable, and fair manner based in science and practice.

…all interviews are a participant-centric process with the goal of increasing opportunities for Experiential Information Collection.

 

VALUES

The following list of core values reflects what is truly important to as an organization. These are not values that change from time to time, situation to situation or person to person – but rather they are an underpinning of our company culture.

Certified FETI values: Accessibility, Accountability, Neutrality, Innovation, Individuality, and Stewardship

Criminal Prosecution

Judges have wide latitude on how questions are asked and how examinations are conducted. Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the only way or the best way, and the court frequently makes accommodations to facilitate testimony from a range of victims who may have specific needs: young children, individuals with learning disabilities, individuals whose first language is not English, or those who aren’t able to hear.

If you think Certified FETI Methodology might be an issue, file a pre-trial motion to educate the bench about what you will introduce during the trial. Certified FETI is a methodology designed to maximize opportunities for information collection in a non-leading, non-judgmental way. Most judges appreciate this approach. If this is not true in one case, don’t be discouraged. Remember, every judge is different. Try again!

Jury members and even judges have a picture of how victims are supposed to react during trauma. You can’t do anything about those preconceived notions. You can, however, allow the victim to explain their reactions and behaviors in a way that is relatable to the jury.

Sometimes a victim’s reactions and behaviors not only make sense but bolster their report, and you can bring forward this evidence as it supports your case. You can also offer alternative explanations for a victim’s behavior when you anticipate that the defense is going to call the victim a liar.

Understanding the brain’s response to high-stress and/or trauma and asking non-leading questions and brain-based cues based on that understanding will increase the quality of the information gathered from the outset. That said, it is not unusual for many people that sharing information about high-stress or traumatic experience is a process rather than a one-time event. The tenets of Certified FETI – including non-judgment, neutrality, and empathy – promote, allow for, and encourage on-going engagement by victims, suspects, and witnesses within the criminal justice system.

Certified FETI methodology is about maximizing opportunities for information collection. There may be pertinent details that victims didn’t feel comfortable discussing during traditional interviews, but if put in the moment with brain-based cues, they may offer new information. While traditional interviews work in certain settings, but information gleaned from trauma victims during these interactions may be incomplete, incoherent or even incorrect. Using the Certified FETI Framework and engaging the participant with empathy may help them provide more information.

When victims provide inconsistent information that does not necessarily mean there is a credibility issue. Brain science also teaches that traditional telltale signs of deception are identical to the side effects of trauma and extreme stress, so it is crucial to approach trauma victims using Certified FETI methodology.

Certified FETI interviews are recorded, and thus memorialized, in adherence with the Certified FETI Framework. Recording is important because it provides visual context to victim statements. Adding the victim’s voice and image to that narration comes closer to providing a more accurate, nuanced recounting of that experience. You can use this nuanced recounting to paint a picture of the victim’s experience for the jury.

The National District Attorneys Association has produced a series of whitepapers that outline nationwide best practices for prosecuting a range of crimes. In addition to simply recognizing the brain science of trauma, the association recommends ensuring that trauma-informed interviewing best practices are internalized and become part of the DNA of any attorney general’s office. The association asks for victims to be treated with tolerance, empathy and dignity, and that interviewers do not jump to conclusions during the interview. These are foundational attributes of the Certified FETI Framework.

“We have a professional duty as prosecutors, advocates, and legal staff to become well versed in trauma. Survivors are more likely to engage throughout the investigation and court process if trauma-informed practices … are implemented.”

2017 National Domestic Violence Prosecution Best Practices Guide

The association also argues that it is “essential for all agencies who are involved in these cases to be trained in proper trauma-informed responses to this vulnerable population.”

In a 2018 whitepaper outlining best practices for sexual assault prosecution, the association explained how crucial it is that prosecutors receive special training before taking a case revolving around a victim of sexual assault or other traumatic events.

Attorney general offices at the state level are mirroring these national recommendations. In December 2018, the Minnesota Attorney General’s task force released a report focused on correcting how state law enforcement and prosecution handle sexual assault cases in order to present ideas for legislative debate. The detailed accounting includes a number of recommendations for state agencies on all levels, but approaching victim interviews with a foundational knowledge of trauma appears throughout the recommendations.

The Minnesota report suggests that “attorneys who prosecute sexual assault cases should receive training on the neurobiology of trauma and trauma-informed interviewing, along with their law enforcement counterparts.”

See Report – Attorney General’s Working Group on Sexual Assault (Minnesota), Page 12

Events

The FETI path to certification consists of different levels of certification: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Each level of certification is comprised of a number of courses that must be completed in sequential order.  For example, Basic certification is made up of 3 courses: Introduction to FETI, Practical Application of FETI, and Blue Interview Evaluations and Basic Exam.

Courses vary in duration and type. Some courses are online only and some are hybrid – requiring both online lessons and in-person training events.

Events are always in-person and are typically hosted by different organizations around the world. You can see a schedule of all of FETI’s events at our training calendar.

FETI Framework

The elements of the FETI Framework™ outline the skills, abilities, and information necessary to conduct a Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview.

The FETI Framework™ consists of the following 4 elements:

  1. Based in Science and Practice
  2. Opportunities for Information™
  3. Neutral and Equitable
  4. Continuum of an Interview Experience™

FETI Framework | Certified FETI®

Neutral and equitable is an important and vital pillar of the Certified FETI framework. All Certified FETI interviewers should always strive to be unbiased with no preconceived notions, beliefs or agendas. The stated goal of a Certified FETI interview maximize opportunities for experiential information collection.

A Certified FETI interviewer does not attempt to draw a conclusion or make determinations of credibility. Every participant, regardless of status, can and should expect a fair and impartial interview experience. It is absolutely imperative, for the integrity of each and every interview, for the interviewer to approach each interview with an open mind without judgment. Each interview must stand on its own merits without interpretation, bias or opinion. To do otherwise would be in direct contradiction to the goals, values, and purpose of a Certified FETI interview.

Hosting

A signed contract guaranteeing a minimum number of registrations is required for all hosted Certified FETI® Courses.  We encourage host organizations who are unable to meet the requirements for our certification courses to look at the possibility of hosting a Certified FETI® Presentation.

Certified FETI® Training Courses must adhere to specific requirements set by training faculty and therefor are not able to be modified in length or content.  Additionally, individual paid registration is required and some Certified FETI® Training Courses have limits on the number of attendees.  Certified FETI® Presentations may be customized to accommodate a hosting organizations specific needs and do not require individual registration.  Hosting organizations may have as many attendees as they would like at a presentation for one fee.

Yes.  Once a hosted training reaches 75 paid attendees the hosted organization receives 5 complimentary registrations to distribute at their discretion.  Depending on venue attendance limits, each additional 50 registrations provides 5 complimentary registrations. The complimentary registrations cannot be used for already registered attendees.

Yes.  Depending on the venue selected there may be additional requirements of the host organization.

Yes.  The administrative office will assist you with identifying available instructors depending on the date you select.

No.  Practical Application of FETI® courses must immediately follow an Introduction to FETI® course.

The process begins by submitting a request to host your training here.  It is helpful to provide the information outlined on page 2 of this guide.

Yes.  There are no professional requirements for a host organization.

Host organizations are required to contractually guarantee a minimum of 50 attendees for an Introduction to FETI® course and a minimum of 30 attendees for a Practical Application of FETI® course.  Host organizations must also cover all fees associated with their selected training venue. Certified FETI® covers all other costs and facilitates all registrations.

Introduction to FETI

The Introduction to FETI in-person, classroom portion of the course is 2 consecutive days. Each day begins at 9am and ends at 5pm.

Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement uses Certified FETI to increase the quantity and quality of the information that they are able to gather from victims, witnesses, and suspects. While Certified FETI is not a replacement for investigations (rather, it is a science-based interviewing methodology), it does maximize and enhance the opportunities for better information collection which, in turn, can and often does result in better overall investigations and outcomes. Additionally, the principles of Certified FETI, including neutrality and empathy, encourage and allow for continued participant engagement with law enforcement throughout the criminal justice system process.

Practical Application of FETI