What are the characteristics a good handwriting analyst should strive after? Well perhaps one should start with what a good handwriting analyst is not. A handwriting analyst is not someone who tells the future, attains training through reading a book from a bookstore or indulges in ‘over a cup of coffee’ quick ‘readings’ of handwriting for an over eager ‘please analyse my writing’ individual who thrusts a specimen of writing under the nose of the analyst.
The professional handwriting analyst understands the sensitive nature of the information obtained during a thorough analysis of the writing based on well researched principles. This means that the handwriting analyst is sensitive to the dignity of each person and thus treats the analysis with the confidentiality it deserves and certainly guards against any of his or her own biases and prejudices. Analysing a specimen of handwriting is a journey of discovery and never a witch hunt to find ‘juicy’ bits of information.
The professional handwriting analyst approaches the analysis of a handwriting specimen from a scholarly perspective, basing conclusions on well researched theories emanating from centuries of study, doesn’t draw uninformed conclusions, is never over confident and consults with other handwriting analysts on difficult specimens. In short, follows a strict code of ethics as would be expected from any human sciences professional.
Apart from the characteristics above, the handwriting analyst needs to have critical thinking skills, these being analytical and logical, deductive and inductive reasoning, synthesis, problem solving and the ability to write coherent, professional reports bearing in mind their responsibility towards whomever is going to read it. And lastly, the good handwriting analyst is on a lifelong quest to keep his or her skills and knowledge about handwriting analysis current, known in the world of the Human Sciences as continuous professional development and to provide an impeccable service to all who deal with people.