This Standards Bulletin from the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science provides a monthly update on:
The OSAC Registry is a repository of high-quality, technically sound published and proposed standards for forensic science. These written documents define minimum requirements, best practices, standard protocols and other guidance to help ensure that the results of forensic analysis are reliable and reproducible.
The OSAC legacy process for Registry approval is used to review existing SDO published standards for technical quality and placement on the Registry. Please submit your comments by the deadline on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry.
The OSAC Registry approval process is used to review OSAC drafted standards (i.e., OSAC Proposed Standards) for technical quality and placement on the Registry. The following OSAC draft proposed standards are being considered for submission to an SDO. The final draft provided to the SDO will be available on the OSAC Registry as an “OSAC Proposed Standard.” OSAC welcomes comments on whether the current draft is suitable for release to the SDO as well as suggestions for improvements in content and wording. To be considered, comments must be placed in the OSAC Comment Form and sent to comments [at] nist.gov by the deadline.
Visit the Standards Under Consideration webpage to see all of the standards being considered for the Registry and where they are in the approval process.
Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry? Complete OSAC’s Laboratory Implementation Declaration Form and send it to mark.stolorow [at] nist.gov () to let us know. Share your implementation experience and be featured in a future OSAC news post.
ASB Standard 153, Standard Practices for Proficiency Testing for Forensic Toxicology Laboratories, First Edition, 2021. This document defines the minimum scope and frequency for proficiency testing for laboratories engaged in the following sub-disciplines: Postmortem forensic toxicology; human performance toxicology (e.g., drug-facilitated crimes, driving-under the-influence of alcohol or drugs, breath alcohol); and general forensic toxicology (non-lethal poisonings or intoxications). This document is not intended to cover employment drug testing or court-ordered toxicology (e.g., probation and parole, drug courts, child services). Comment deadline April 19, 2021.
Recirculation* – ASB Standard 024, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Humans: Location Check Using Pre-scented Canines, First Edition, 2021. This document provides the requirements for pre-scented canine-location check search using a canine team to search for and identify a specific person’s (target) scent at a given location. This standard promotes consistency across agencies, departments, and organizations utilizing pre-scented canines’ location check search and provide the judicial system optimized protocol. Comment deadline May 6, 2021.
Recirculation* – ASB Standard 026, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Humans: An Aged Trail Using Pre-scented Canines, First Edition, 2021. This document provides the requirements for training, certification, and documentation pertaining to pre-scented canine-aged track/trail search. Pre-scented canine aged trail searches use a canine team (canine and handler) to search for and follow aged trails of a specific person’s (target) scent over different surface types. An aged track/trail is a human-scent pathway that has been present for some period, typically expressed with a time frame associated with the track/trail (e.g., a 24-hour or older track/trail). Comment deadline May 6, 2021.
Recirculation* – ASB Standard 027, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Humans: Patrol Canine Team, First Edition, 2021. This document provides standards for the training, certification, and documentation pertaining to canine teams (canine and handler) trained to search for specific person(s), location(s), and/or article(s) by starting from the last known position. This pertains to trails less than 24 hours old. Comment deadline May 6, 2021.
Recirculation* – ASB Standard 121, Standard for the Analytical Scope and Sensitivity of Forensic Toxicological Testing of Urine in Drug-Facilitated Crime Investigations, First Edition 2021. This document delineates the minimum requirements for target analytes and analytical sensitivity for the forensic toxicological testing of urine specimens collected from alleged victims of drug-facilitated crimes (DFC). This document does not cover the analysis of blood and other evidence that may be collected in DFC cases. Comment deadline May 6, 2021.
Call for comment of ANS Limited Substantive Changes – ANSI/ASB Standard 036, Standard Practices for Method Validation in Forensic Toxicology, First Edition, 2019. This document delineates minimum standards of practice for validating analytical methods used in the field of forensic toxicology that target specific analytes or analyte classes. Specifically, it is intended for the subdisciplines of postmortem forensic toxicology, human performance toxicology (e.g., drug-facilitated crimes and driving-under-the-influence of alcohol or drugs), non-regulated employment drug testing, court-ordered toxicology (e.g., probation and parole, drug courts, child services), and general forensic toxicology (non-lethal poisonings or intoxications). This document is not intended to address method validation in the discipline of breath alcohol testing. The fundamental reason for performing method validation is to ensure confidence and reliability in forensic toxicological test results by demonstrating the method is fit for its intended use. Comment deadline May 10, 2021 – please note that comments will only be accepted on the revisions noted in the substantive changes document.
*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] aafs.org () by the comment deadline.
Five professional forensic science organizations, all represented on the OSAC FSSB, have recently released statements declaring their support for the development and implementation of forensic science standards.
Read statements from the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE), the Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers (AFQAM), the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT), and National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) on OSAC’s Registry Implementation webpage.
Our colleagues at CSAFE will be hosting the following upcoming webinars:
To register for these webinars and to learn more about CSAFE activities, view CSAFE’s March 2021 Newsletter.
The National Institute of Justice’s FTCoE will be hosting a webinar, Lessons Learned from Proficiency Test Results in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis on Thursday, April 15 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET. For more information about this webinar and to register, click here.
Visit the FTCoE Events Calendar to view other upcoming and archived forensic science events.
OSAC offers a variety of ways for members, affiliates and other experts in the forensic science community to participate in the standards advancement process. Click here to learn how you can help make an impact on the forensic science community through standards.