Course overview

Bloodstain pattern analysis requires a deep technical understanding of blood’s dynamics and how these dynamics help investigators determine what may have happened at a crime scene. This course helps prepare students to recognize types of bloodstain patterns and understand how to document and analyze those patterns properly. Students should expect to gain a better understanding of how to events at a crime scene lead to certain bloodstain patterns and how to properly approach scenes where blood is a key element.

It is recommended that students have completed a basic crime scene processing class and/or have some field experience prior to taking this course.

Day One.

Students can expect to begin class with a pre-test, then move in to learning the history of BPA and the key principles behind bloodstain pattern analysis.

  • History of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

  • Basics of blood

  • Updated OSAC terminology

  • Health precautions and PPE

  • Falling height and drop size

  • Non-spatter recognition

Day Two.

Day two builds upon day one where students learn to recognize non-spatter stains and altered stains. Students then begin measuring stains and making calculations.

  • Taxonomy of non-spatter stains

  • Recognizing altered stains

  • Complex multiple pattern stains

  • Measuring bloodstains

  • Gamma angle determination

  • Area of convergence

  • Area of origin

Day Three.

Day three introduces students to the tangent method and proper photography of bloodstain patterns.

  • Trigonometry of patterns

  • Overall, mid-range and close-up photography

  • Scaling patterns and scaling stains

Day Four.

Day four teaches students how to properly search for and enhance bloodstains encountered at the crime scene. Students then learn how to approach bloodstains found on fabrics.

  • Blood searching vs. blood enhancements

  • Chemical enhancements & photography

  • Fabric characteristics

  • Bloodstains on fabric

  • Important evidentiary fabric stains

Day Five.

On the last day of class, students work in groups to analyze and discuss case BPA studies and work on a large scale final group practical. Students then present their findings to the class.

Course links

basic bloodstain pattern analysis course syllabus

course policies


january 6th - 10th, 2020

peoria, az

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Course requirements.

Students will need to bring any camera equipment normally carried while on duty.

(Camera kit rental is available. Select option during registration)

Student are also encouraged to train with their own crime scene equipment since that is what they will use on a day to day basis. However, all forensic supplies needed to complete the practical exercises will be available (excludes camera kit).

IAI Approved.

This course is approved by the Crime Scene Certification Board of the International Association for Identification for 40 hours towards certification and re-certification credit.


This course is approved for credit by the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts.