Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

April 2020

The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science Standards Bulletin provides an update on forensic science standards that are moving through the Registry Approval Process at OSAC and those moving through the development process at standards developing organizations (SDOs).

Download PDF (292.82 KB)

Bulletin Summary

The OSAC Standards Bulletin is organized to capture the following standard development phases in the OSAC Registry Approval and SDO processes:

  • After being published by an SDO, selected standards and guidelines may proceed to the OSAC Registry Approval Process, where they are evaluated further for technical merit and impact on the forensic science community.
  • In the SDO process, OSAC committees or task groups submit an idea (i.e., work item), a partially drafted document, or a fully drafted document to an SDO for further development, commenting, and publishing.

Number of new standards placed on the OSAC Registry: none

Number of OSAC Registry documents open for comment: twelve (12)

Number of SDO documents open for comment: sixteen (16) 

OSAC Registry Updates

OSAC Registry Ribbon

The OSAC Registry serves as a trusted repository of high-quality, science-based standards and guidelines for forensic science practice. A document included on the Registry has progressed through the formal SDO process and has been published as a standard. OSAC elevates standards to the OSAC Registry as an endorsement of the document’s high quality and to encourage its adoption by relevant stakeholders in the forensic science community.

Intent to Add to the OSAC Registry - Items Open for Comment

Please submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 7, 2020 on whether the following standards should be included on the OSAC Registry. 


  • ANSI/ASB 045, Standard for Stature Estimation in Forensic Anthropology, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB 090, Standard for Sex Estimation in Forensic Anthropology, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here

Biological Methods

  • ANSI/ASB 022, Standard for Forensic DNA Analysis Training Programs, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.

Materials (Trace)

  • ASTM E1967-19 Standard Test Method for the Automated Determination of Refractive Index of Glass Samples Using the Oil Immersion Method and a Phase Contrast Microscope. Submit your comments here
  • ASTM E2330-19 Standard Test Method for Determination of Concentrations of Elements in Glass Samples Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for Forensic Comparisons. Submit your comments here


  • ANSI/ASB 036, Standard Practices for Method Validation in Forensic Toxicology, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.

Wildlife Forensics

  • ANSI/ASB 019, Wildlife Forensics General Standards, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB 028, Wildlife Forensics Morphology Standards, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB 029, Report Writing in Wildlife Forensics: Morphology and Genetics, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB 046, Wildlife Forensics Validation Standards – STR Analysis, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB 047, Wildlife Forensics Validation Standard – Validating New Primers for Sequencing, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB 048, Wildlife Forensics DNA Standard Procedures, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here.

In the Comment Adjudication Phase

  • None currently.

In the Appeals Phase

For a list of all standards currently under consideration, please visit the OSAC website

Has your organization already started implementing OSAC Registry Approved Standards? Complete OSAC's Laboratory Implementation Declaration Form and send it to mark.stolorow [at] (mark[dot]stolorow[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know. Share your implementation experience and be featured in a future OSAC news post.


SDO Updates

New or Revised Standards

Now available icon
Credit: Pixabay

On February 28, 2020 the American Academy of Forensic Science Standards Board (ASB) announced the publication of ANSI/ASB Standard 088, General Guidelines for Training, Certification, and Documentation of Canine Detection Disciplines, First Edition, 2020. This document, initially developed by OSAC’s Dogs & Sensors Subcommittee and finalized by the ASB Dogs and Sensors Consensus Body, contains requirements for the development of training of canine handlers and canines and will also detail the canine team assessments and the basis for certification procedures including record keeping and document management. This standard does not cover discipline specific guidelines.

Comment Period Open on Draft Documents


*Please note that comments on a re-circulation will only be accepted on revised sections of a document, comments made to text not revised from the original comment period will not be accepted.

For the ASB documents listed above, download the comment template and return it to asb [at] (asb[at]aafs[dot]org) by the comment deadline. 

ASTM International - Comment Deadline May 6, 2020:

For access to the ASTM documents listed above, contact Brian Milewski (bmilewski [at] (bmilewski[at]astm[dot]org)) to become a member of Committee E30 on Forensic Science.

New Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

  • None currently.


Other News

New Fire Debris & Explosive Resources Now Available

OSAC’s Fire Debris & Explosives (FD&E) Subcommittee is pleased to announce a new resource for the forensic science community. This new resource, entitled Analysis of Explosives Reference List is an extensive list of published books, reviews, guides, studies, on-line resources, and articles that is subdivided by topic and year of publication for ease of use. The FD&E Subcommittee has also updated the Analysis of Fire Debris Reference List which is an analogous resource. Both resources are available on the FD&E Subcommittee’s web page.

Participants Needed for Organic Gunshot Residue Interlaboratory Study

OSAC’s Organic Gunshot Residue Task Group (TG) is looking for participants to join an interlaboratory study on the collection and analysis of organic gunshot residues. This study is intended to support a draft standard practice the TG has developed which contains methodologies for gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analyses of organic gunshot residues. Visit the Gunshot Residue Subcommittee webpage to learn more about the study and how you can participate. 

Participants Needed for Bullet Black Box Study

NIST and Noblis are seeking participants for a bullet black box study to evaluate the accuracy, repeatability, and reproducibility of bullet comparisons by firearms examiners. For more information please click here.

Request for Comments on SWGDRUG Documents

The Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG) has posted two DRAFT revised documents for review by the forensic science community. To ensure the document addresses the needs of the community, SWGDRUG invites comments and suggestions.

The two documents are available on the SWGDRUG website. Please provide your comments on this proposed document using the provided survey links below:

Responses from the community will be collected until May 10, 2020.

National Institute of Justice Funding Opportunities

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has released solicitations for several forensic science research and development opportunities. If you are considering submitting a research proposal to NIJ, a helpful list of OSAC identified R&D needs can be found here