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April 2021

This Standards Bulletin from the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science provides a monthly update on:

  • Standards moving through the OSAC Registry approval process and legacy process for Registry approval.
  • Standards moving through the development process at standards developing organizations (SDOs).

Bulletin Summary:

  • New standards added to the OSAC Registry: 4 
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 5
  • SDO documents open for comment: 6
Download PDF (298.68 KB)

OSAC Registry Updates

OSAC Registry Ribbon

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.

Four New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

SDO Published Standards

OSAC Proposed Standards

Standards Open for Comment

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.

Comment deadline May 6, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. ET:

  •     ASTM E3255-21 Standard Practice for Quality Assurance of Forensic Science Service Providers Performing Forensic Chemical Analysis. Submit your comments here

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] (comments[at]nist[dot]gov) by the deadline.

Comment deadline May 6, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. ET:

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] (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

SDO Documents Open for Comment

Academy Standards Board (ASB):

*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.

Other News

Professional Organization Support for OSAC Registry and Standards Implementation

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. 

Events & Training

Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE)

Our colleagues at CSAFE will be hosting the following upcoming webinars:

  • IRT for Forensics: A re-analysis of the FBI “Black Box” Study, April 8, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. CDT
  • Assessing Footwear Examiner Performance: Randomly Acquired Characteristics (RAC) Examinations, May 13, 11 a.m. – noon CDT

To register for these webinars and to learn more about CSAFE activities, view CSAFE’s March 2021 Newsletter.

Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE)

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.

Get Involved with OSAC

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.