Ipse dixit (Latin for "he said it himself") is an assertion without proof; or a dogmatic expression of opinion. It's a fallacy of defending a proposition by baldly asserting that it is "just how it is," thus distorting the argument by opting out of it entirely: the claimant declares an issue to be intrinsic, and not changeable.
Today's phrase is relevant as I received a reply to my enquiries about LEVA's certification programs and Grant Fredericks' testimony (link).
I sent the inquiry to LEVA's certification board for two reasons, seeking to clarify in my mind what was said and attempting to reconcile this new information with existing information across several professional domains. The accreditation of certification bodies is something that the National Commission on Forensic science examined and supported (link).
- The OSAC has compiled a list of certifications for each discipline. One of the categories on the list deals with a certification program's accreditation.
- Professionally, I and my firm perform third-party / independent verification services for digital / multimedia forensic science practitioners. I/we are the "V" in ACE-V. Thus, in evaluating customer reports, processes, CVs and etc., it's important to have the facts of the relevant data points.
In terms of transparency, here's the reply that I received from LEVA's certification committee:
"Thanks for taking the time to ask for clarification regarding Grant's testimony about LEVA certification and training accreditation and UIndy. We're glad to provide the following.
After several others and I reviewed the video, it seemed to us Grant was not referencing LEVA's certification program being accredited by UIndy. He went on to say seconds later that the LEVA training was accredited and that is true. At time 20:35. He says it quite clearly.
LEVA's certification program was unveiled in January 2004. The University of Indianapolis started accrediting the three LEVA core classes in 2006.
In an article written by Thomas C. Christenberry, then Director of Public Safety Education, School for Adult Learning, University of Indianapolis, he stated: "A significant benefit for LEVA is the academic association with the University of Indianapolis. LEVA developed three core courses: Level 1 – Forensic Video Analysis and the Law, Level 2 – Digital Multimedia Evidence Processing, and Level 3 – Advanced Forensic Video Analysis and the Law. Each of the core courses has been reviewed by the University of Indianapolis’ School for Adult Learning, which approved the awarding of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for successful completion of the courses. Some students request university credit for the courses completed, and the University of Indianapolis has approved these core courses for credit.""
Having not exactly received an answer, I attempted to clarify and sent the following in reply:
"Thanks for the response.
If I’m understanding your reply, including the quote from Christenberry, the LEVA 1-3 courses were (or are?) approved by U Indy for CEUs. Approving the courses for the issuance of CEUs is analogous to LEVA approving my courses for credit towards the initial / continuing educational requirements for LEVA certification. With the end of the relationship, and the end of the program for which Cristenberry was responsible, the assumption would be that U Indy is no longer issuing CEUs for LEVA’s courses. If LEVA isn’t receiving this service from U Indy, I would imagine that the ASTM’s service would be a logical replacement (https://www.iacet.org/ap/104421/)? I’m well familiar with the model as the LAPD worked with Los Angeles City College to issue CEUs for the LAPD’s internal training courses. My POST Photoshop course was part of that regime at the time. By the time one finished all the mandatory LE training, you could almost receive an AS in Criminal Justice.
Perhaps, a way of looking at the statements made by Grant is either he mis-spoke, or misunderstood the relationship and services offered by U Indy as clearly the issuance of CEUs is not an accreditation of a training program. The training landing page on the LEVA web site lists neither a current accreditation nor how to apply for CEUs for the various training events (https://leva.org/index.php/training). If you have a certificate or other proof of current accreditation of LEVA’s program, please do share. I would like to update the OSAC with this information."
To which I received the following:
"Thanks, we appreciate your input and information."
Yes. That's it.
Thus, if one believes the LEVA certification program to be "accredited," it must only be by ipse dixit as there is noting on the LEVA web site, and nothing in their response to me that would indicate otherwise.
Thus it is that I will continue to advise clients who's staff are LEVA certified to refrain from stating that the certification program is accredited in either their testimony or their reports. Also, without anything to the contrary, the OSAC's list will remain unchanged.
Have a good day my friends.