The Virginia Chapter – IAAI has supported the IAAI – Certified Fire Investigator program for more than twenty years.  We are not the certifying body, but we do have instructors and proctors to facilitate the preparation and administration of exams to obtain the IAAI-CFI certification.
For more information on assistance available for the VA IAAI, contact Bob Henderson at (540) 256-1575 or

Practices and Procedures Manual
Application for IAAI-CFI
Application for Recertification


The Certified Fire Investigator Program of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) has the following objectives:

  • Recognition of Professional Standards of Achievement in Fire Investigation Theory and Practice by Government and Private Sector Fire Investigators.
  • Encouragement of Continued Education and Training in the Field of Fire Investigation.
  • Increased Professional standing in the Fire Investigation Field.
  • Identification of the sources of Professional Knowledge for the Theory and Practice of Fire Investigation, Related Fields and the Laws and Regulations governing or affecting Fire Investigation.


The International Association of Arson Investigators seeks to acknowledge demonstrated competence in all phases of fire investigation, as held by numerous individuals from many fields, both public and private. This goal is accomplished by awarding points for achievements in Education, Training and Experience as they relate to Fire Investigation. These point totals are subject to maximums in each of these areas, which further assure substantial field experience as opposed to a primarily academic or theoretical background.
A test has been developed covering the various job requirements for fire investigators, as identified in NFPA Document 1033. An applicant must achieve minimum levels of Education, Training and Experience in fire investigation to be eligible to challenge the examination. Recertification opportunities are provided for CFIs who demonstrate continued Education, Training and Experience.

General Information

 Membership in the IAAI and/or a state or provincial chapter of the IAAI is not required to become an IAAI CFI or to recertify.
Certification as a Fire Investigator by the IAAI does not determine whom shall engage in the practice of the investigation of fires and explosions, nor does it substitute for any licensing or registration required by law. The IAAI has no intention of determining who shall engage in the practice and profession of Fire Investigation. That a person is not certified does not indicate that he or she is unqualified to perform fire investigations, only that such person may have not fulfilled the requirements, or has not applied, for Certification.
The official mailing address of the Investigator Certification Program is:

International Association of Arson Investigators
Certified Fire Investigator Program
2111 Baldwin Avenue, Suite 203
Crofton, Maryland  21114


Why Certify?
There are several reasons why professional certification is vital, but the most important reason is that it provides a standardized mechanism to distinguish an individual's training and expertise. By maintaining certification, a fire investigator stays informed of the latest methods and theories and is duly recognized for their accomplishments.
What is the CFI Qualification?
It is standardized evaluation of a fire investigator's training and expertise.
What does CFI do for me?
It encourages you to be your best and stay atop the latest methods and theories of fire investigations, thus promoting quality fire cause determinations and developing self‑esteem. It also provides a means to be recognized by others, in and out of a court‑of‑law.
Who does the certifying?
The Certified Fire Investigator Program is administered by the IAAI. Because it is nationally accredited, ProBoard certificates may also be obtained.
How do I become certified?
Once you receive an application from the International IAAI office, complete and return the application to the International Office. Next, you will receive notice of your application's approval or rejection. If approved, you may challenge the examination. If you are rejected, re‑submittal procedures will be forwarded to you with the notice.
What happens once I'm certified?
You must recertify every five years by completing a Recertification Application. You, alone, are responsible to ensure you submit your recertification application before the expiration date on your IAAI-CFI card.
How much does this cost me?
The application fee for IAAI members is US$195.00. Non‑IAAI members' fee is US$570.00. Make your check out to the "IAAI" or make payment by credit card. Application fee is non-refundable.