ACTAR Frequently Asked Questions

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ACTAR
PO Box 1493
North Platte, NE 69103-1493
800-809-3818
actaradmin@actar.org

ACTAR Frequently Asked Questions

The following are several frequently asked questions by people interested in the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction. If you do not see an answer to a question you may have, leave us an e-mail message and we will make every effort to answer your question(s).

What is ACTAR?
The Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) is an internationally recognized commission with more than 1260 ACTAR Accredited Reconstructionists practicing throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. These Accredited Reconstructionists are engineers, physicists, police officers, consultants, former police officers and those of other backgrounds working in the profession.

How does an accident reconstructionist become accredited?
A reconstructionist must apply to the commission and meet minimum standards of education and experience. If the standards are met, the reconstructionist must successfully complete a practical and a theoretical examination to be accredited.

How does an accident reconstructionist maintain accreditation?
The reconstructionist abides by a code of conduct (discipline procedure under ACTAR bylaws) and maintains a minimum level of continuing education in the profession.

Who governs the commission?
A Board of Directors with representatives from the following organizations:

  • International Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (IAARS)
  • Society of Accident Reconstructionists (SOAR)
  • National Association of Professional Accident Reconstruction Specialists (NAPARS)
  • National Association of Traffic Accident Reconstructionists and Investigators (NATARI)
  • Canadian Association of Technical Accident Investigators and Reconstructionists (CATAIR)
  • Midwest Association of Technical Accident Investigators (MwATAI)
  • Southwestern Association of Technical Accident Investigators (SATAI)
  • Maryland Association of Traffic Accident Investigators (MdATAI)
  • University of Central Missouri (UCMO)
  • Illinois Association of Technical Accident Investigators (IATAI)
  • Texas Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (TAARS)
  • Washington Association of Technical Accident Investigators (WATAI)
  • New Jersey Association of Accident Reconstructionists (NJAAR)
  • Pennsylvania State Police (PSP)
  • Michigan State Police (MSP)
  • Forensic Accident Reconstructionists of Oregon (FARO)
  • American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
  • New York Statewide Traffic Accident Reconstruction Society (NYSTARS)
  • California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists (CAARS)
  • Colorado State Patrol (CSP)
  • Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
  • Oregon State Police (OSP)
  • South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP)

Should I renew my accreditation early or wait until the end of the five-year accreditation period?
The answer may depend upon the propensity for acquiring CEUs. If you foresee attending any training courses for which CEUs are likely to be offered and you already possess the 80 CEUs required for reaccreditation, you may wish to renew early so that the upcoming course CEUs can be used for the next renewal period. CEUs, in excess of the required 80, are non-transferable between renewal periods. Upon renewal the CEU count starts from zero.

What is the cost to initially participate in the ACTAR Program?
The current application fee is a non-refundable $150.00 if the applicant is a current member of at least one of the above participating organizations, otherwise the application fee is $175.00. The examination fee is $50.00 if the applicant is a current member of at least one of the above participating organizations, otherwise the examination fee is $100.00.

What does the ACTAR examination process consist of?
The examination consists of two parts. A Theory portion, 75 questions (multiple choice, true-false and problem solving) with a maximum time limit of four (4) hours for completion. Examination questions are drawn from areas such as Kinetic Energy, Conservation of Momentum, Time-Distance Evaluations, Physical Evidence from the road and vehicle, Photography, Lamp Analysis and Airborne Analysis.

The Practical portion is a staged collision. The candidate is supplied with photographs of the scene and involved vehicles, vehicle data and damages, location and type of physical evidence and a skeleton diagram. The candidate is asked to provide impact and departure speeds, angles, Delta-V for each vehicle and identify specific physical evidence. There is a maximum time limit of four (4) hours to complete this portion of the examination.

If I am not successful completing one portion of the examination, must I take the entire examination over?
No. You need only apply to retake the failed portion of the examination. A maximum limit of 3 attempts are permitted to successfully complete the process by ACTAR. Once you successfully complete the examination process, your five-year accreditation period begins on the date the examination was successfully completed.

Is the examination difficult?
It depends on the training and skill level of the applicant. Generally, about 20% of all applicants fail the Theory portion and about 40% the Practical portion. The examination is challenging, but not impossible to successfully complete.

Does the registration number assigned to me by ACTAR rank me with other ACTAR accredited reconstructionists?
No. Your ACTAR registration number is an administrative way of tracking an applicant. ACTAR numbers are assigned as applications are received and entered into the various ACTAR files. There is absolutely NO ranking or standing by a registration number. A lower number simply means that reconstructionist applied and was accredited earlier in time than a reconstructionist with a higher number.

 
Updated: January 28, 2014

 
 

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