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Post 1
Profile education
The primary concern in the development of educational requirements for a
criminal profiler is uniformity. The consistency does not necessarily have to be in
specific course requirements but in consistency of content within courses. Formal
education in the sciences as a base of knowledge creates a reliability that experience will
never provide. A criminal profiling method with a solid scientific foundation will be
associated with one or more textbooks covering all aspects in detail-from definitions of
key terms related to theory, to the nature of behavioral examination involved, to the
limitations of the conclusions that may be offered (Turvey, 2012, xvi).
Criminal profiling must strive for respect and recognition as a profession. The
ideology of professionalism involves a number of different aspects: control of work
systems and processes, professional associations providing codes of ethics, licensing
requirements, competency standards, common, lengthy periods of shared education,
training and apprenticeships (Evetts, 2014, p.43).
There are so many aspects of criminal profiling that can be refined with advanced
education. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university should be a minimum
standard. Several courses should be included that will be utilized in the practice of
profiling. The emphasis should be in social sciences of criminal justice, psychology and
sociology. Criminal justice course in victimology, crime causation and motivations will
assist the profiler with a foundation of theories to apply while developing the profiles.
Psychology courses in abnormal behavior, diagnosis and treatment theories, as well as
assessment criteria will be helpful in understanding the mind of offenders. Sociology
courses in environmental structures, development, social stresses and impact of such in
varied communities will assist profilers in understanding cultures they are less familiar
with, insights into diverse perspectives, impacts of social stresses and theories on crime
causation as a result. This information will contribute to the accuracy and completion of
the offender profile. The advanced education in several disciplines creates a framework
of knowledge to decipher offender classifications with professional verbiage that is
recognized universally.
Scientific study in reasoning theories, logic and analytical thinking will increase
and focus the analysis of all of the evidence presented to the profiler. The professional CP
works of facts and evidence, not assumptions and hyperbole, methodology must be
objective and rooted in the tenets of the scientific method (Turvey, 2014).
Comprehension of evidence collection, preservation and processing is essential.
The profiler utilizes evidence data collected by the initial agency, therefore, these process
and evaluation of data techniques must be learned and applied consistently across all
agencies. The works towards acceptance of evidence reliability as well as continuity and
legitimacy in court testimony.
Formal education provides a basic foundation of knowledge but is just a starting
point. Relevant experience in an apprenticeship, internship, or associate profiler is
paramount to study and learn practical applications of the theories that have been studied.
Advanced formal education including original research thesis should be encouraged
providing advanced frameworks of concepts, theories, and processes. Profilers can use
this opportunity to focus more specifically on areas of personal interest. A team of
profilers with advanced education focused in varied concentrations provides a more
comprehensive analysis with the ability to support and augment a particular analytic
scenario. Advanced literacy in diverse disciplines offers more insights into offender
motivations and mindset. This provides strength against accusations of limited experience
Acceptance into professional organizations creates theory, purpose, process
continuity. Professional associations create accountability and stability in various extents
including, but not limited to, codes of ethics, use of appropriate methods, selection and
use of assessment procedures, and provisions of documentation (APA, 2018).
Admissions of professional articles for publication in scholarly journals conveys
expertise. These articles must be scientific not anecdotal or explanatory in nature. Peerreviewed articles exploring this topic have steadily increased, the statistical sophistication
of these studies is sorely lacking, with most including no statistics or formal analyses of
data (Dowden et. al., 2007). Journal entries outlining professional methodologies,
statistical accuracy, research on value of assistance, or obstacles and propositions for
improvement would enhance the competency of profiling while also providing
transparency and self-evaluation.
2. How should he/she obtain and build these knowledge, skills, and/or abilities?
Concerning how an individual should obtain and build criminal profiling knowledge,
skills, and/or abilities (KSAs), there are a number of aspects to consider in attempting to
answer the question. Some of these aspects are examined here.
As to how an individual should obtain the KSAs of criminal profiling, again, this is a
rather difficult question to answer. As was mentioned in answer to the initial forum
question listed above, training, such as it is, in criminal profiling and its various related
occupational titles (1) is difficult to come by, (2) many of the supposed experts in the
field do not agree on what type of training should be included, and (3) the peer-reviewed
and other scholarly and credible research does not appear to support the effectiveness of
criminal profiling or its admissibility at trial. So, given this information, where to begin?
The literature does, in fact, list some ways that those in the criminal profiling field
receive training. According to the literature, “Other ways by which officers learn about
[criminal profiling] are through lectures, articles in police publications, and technical
training at police academies and colleges” (Snook, Cullen, Bennell, Taylor, & Gendreau,
2008, p. 1269, para. 2). Yet, the article notes that these sources of information “present
[criminal profiling] as a viable investigative tool” (Snook et al., 2008, p. 1269, para. 2),
which multiple scholarly sources suggest it is not. In fact, the preceding article itself
states that criminal profiling continues to be practiced by “police agencies around the
world despite no compelling scientific evidence that it is reliable, valid, or useful” (Snook
et al., 2008, p. 1257, para. 1).
Other scholarly research seems to reflects this contradictory position. On the one hand,
the research states, “[O]ne cannot argue professionalization [of criminal profiling]
without education and training” (Petherick, 2005, p. 99, para. 3). On the other hand,
despite the preceding quotation, the same research plainly states, ” [T]here are as yet no
universal standards for profilers in terms of education, training, and experience”
(Petherick, 2005, p. 90, para. 5). While the research states that there are no universal
standards for profilers in terms of education, training, and experience, one would think
that policy and practice leaders in the criminal profiling field could at least establish
generally accepted standards, such as is the case in other professions.
Still other research–in a now rather familiar contradictory pattern–states that criminal
profiling training and accreditation programs have “sprouted up around the
world” (Kocsis, 2004, p. 15, para. 4). Yet, this same research in the very same paragraph
indicates, “[E]xpert profilers. . .market years of investigative experience as the main
source of their expertise” (Kocsis, 2004, p. 15, para. 4) and not “scientific advancement
of the practice of profiling” (Kocsis, 2004, p. 15, para. 4). Years of investigative
experience as the main source of expertise, while undoubtedly valuable in numerous
ways, does not in itself further generally accepted standards of professionalization in
criminal profiling through education and training.
And other research states, “The scholarly literature over the past decade has chronicled a
growing problem in the forensic technique colloquially called criminal profiling”
(“Criminology,” 2015). To add to this, other research indicates, “To date, however,
profilers have failed to show that their training improves their ability to develop accurate
profiles” (Snook et al., 2008, p. 1266, para. 1). In short, some of the research refers to
criminal profiling as a “colloquial” term, seemingly not worthy of a formal definition or
perhaps even recognition, and still other research indicates that criminal profiling is
inaccurate. It is hard to find evidence-based support for criminal profiling in the
literature, which would seem to make it rather difficult to establish a training standard in
the field.
In summary, the following quotations from the FBI, a suitable source for this subject,
sum up the problem: “[T]he actual content and subject areas of [criminal profiling]
training remain both unclear and frequently debated” (Scherer & Jarvis, 2014, para.
14) and “training processes in [criminal profiling] have not been documented well in the
existing literature” (Scherer & Jarvis, 2014, para. 14). Answering as to how one should
obtain KSAs in a field that cannot even agree on a job title for the profession or on a
definition of it, that is mostly without support in the scholarly literature, and that does not
have generally accepted standards of professional education and training is a difficult if
not impossible task.

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