image description

McCrone Certification Course Requirements

The Role of Certification

The Certification Program provides explicit evaluation of a student’s knowledge and capabilities in Applied Chemical Microscopy.

There are three general requirements:
(1) successful completion of six McRI courses,
(2) passing a comprehensive written examination following these courses, and
(3) passing a series of practical proficiency trials.

Course Requirements

The “McCrone Course Experience”: is an important component of Certification by McCrone Research Institute. At least six McCrone Research Institute courses must be taken. Courses taken at McCrone Research Institute prior to enrollment in the Certification Program may be applied towards certification. However, normally at least two courses will be taken after enrollment in the Certification Program. Courses must satisfy the five breadth requirements: Primary, Secondary, Methods, Sample Preparation/Collateral Methods and Advanced Courses. Specific courses that satisfy these requirements are listed below. Substitutions will be considered upon petition. Additional courses are elective.

1. Primary Course Requirement

Filled by successful completion of any ONE of the following courses:

  • Applied Polarized Light Microscopy (#1201)
  • Pharmaceutical Microscopy (#1203)
  • Forensic Microscopy (#1204)
  • Microscopy for Art Conservators (#1206)

Some courses no longer offered may fulfill this requirement – contact us for details.

2. Secondary Course Requirement

Filled by successful completion of a second course, usually within 3 to 12 months of the initial course. During the intervening time students should have practiced the methods learned in the Primary Course and used the polarized light microscope in their area of application. The Secondary Course may be one of the four courses listed above, but cannot be a repeated course. Other courses meeting this requirement are:

Any non-repeated course listed under the Primary Course Requirement (1) above.

  • Digital Imaging and Photomicrography (#1105)
  • Chemical Microscopy (#1202)
  • Polymer Microscopy (#1205)
  • Microscopy of Food (#1560)
  • Microscopy of Extraneous and Foreign Matter in Food (#1555)
  • Microscopical Identification of Asbestos (#1608A)
  • Comparative Microscopy of Soils (#1710)
  • Hair & Fiber Microscopy (#1207)
  • Microscopy of Explosives (#1722)
  • Forensic Paint Microscopy (#1715)
  • Forensic Microscopy of Glass (#1712)
  • Microcrystal Tests for Illicit Drugs and Diverted Pharmaceuticals (#1725)
  • Forensic Dust Analysis (#1750)

Any of the courses listed under the Advanced Course Requirement (5) below.
Some courses no longer offered may fulfill this requirement – contact us for details.

3. Methods Course Requirement

Filled by successful completion of any ONE of the following:

  • Digital Imaging and Photomicrography (#1105) [may not also be used to fill Req. #2]
  • Microchemical Methods (#1270A)
  • Fluorescence Microscopy (#1210)
  • Modern Pollen Identification (#1537)
  • Animal Hair identification (#1208)
  • Asbestos Fiber Counting (NIOSH 582) (#1616)

Some courses no longer offered may fulfill this requirement – contact us for details.

4. Sample Preparation or Collateral Methods Course Requirement

Filled by successful completion of any ONE of the following courses:

  • Fluorescence Microscopy (#1210) [may not also be used to fill Req. #3]
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis (#1402)
  • Practical Infrared Microspectroscopy – FTIR (#1422)
  • Sample Preparation and Manipulation for Microanalysis (#1501E)
  • Indoor Air Quality: Fungal Spore Identification (#1630)
  • Indoor Air Quality: Identification of House Dust and Indoor Particles (#1633)
  • Raman Microspectroscopy (#1430)

Some courses no longer offered may fulfill this requirement – contact us for details.

5. Advanced Course Requirement

Filled by successful completion of any ONE of the following courses:

  • Advanced Applied Polarized Light Microscopy (#1251)
  • Advanced Microchemical Methods (#1270B)
  • Advanced Asbestos Identification (#1608B)
  • Advanced Indoor Air Quality: Advanced Fungal Spore Identification (#1631)
  • Advanced Indoor Air Quality: Fungal Culture Plate Identification (#1632)
  • Advanced Forensic Microscopy (Trace Evidence) (#1701)

Some courses no longer offered may fulfill this requirement – contact us for details.

6. Elective Course Requirement

This requirement is filled by successful completion of at least one additional course, making a total of at least six.

Examination Requirement

A comprehensive written examination must be passed after completion of the required courses. The 3-hour examinations may be taken at the end of the final course, during the annual Inter/Micro meeting, or by special arrangement. The content of the examination reflects that of the specific courses taken by the student. Application to take the comprehensive examination must be made at least 3 months prior to the examination. There is an application fee of $200 (fees subject to change). If the applicant does not pass, the examination may be repeated once upon re-application. Failure to pass a second time is grounds for dismissal from the program.

Proficiency Trials

An extensive Proficiency Trial must be successfully completed by Candidates, in addition to completion of the written examination. Each trial consists of the characterization of a sample using Polarized Light Microscopy, documentation by photomicrography and providing a written report of the sample characteristics. The content of the Proficiency Trials reflects that of the specific courses taken by the student. There is a $200 fee for each Proficiency Trial (fees subject to change). Failure to pass the proficiency trials, or complete them in a timely manner, is grounds for dismissal from the program.

Conferring of Certification

After successful completion of the proficiency trials, candidates have satisfied the requirements for Certification and, upon nomination of the Director, the Board of Directors will confer Certification in Applied Chemical Microscopy.

Further Information:

McCrone Research Institute
2820 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616-3230
312-842-7100 (phone)
312-842-1078 (fax)
info@mcri.org