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April 2022

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 processes for published and OSAC Proposed Standards.
  • Standards moving through the development process at standards developing organizations (SDOs).

Bulletin Summary:

  • New standards added to the OSAC Registry: 11
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 9
  • New SDO published standards: 1
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 9
Download PDF (248.63 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 analyses are reliable and reproducible.

All the standards on the OSAC Registry have passed a rigorous technical and quality review by OSAC members, including forensic science practitioners, research scientists, statisticians, and legal experts. 

Eleven New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

SDO Published Standards (added April 5, 2022):

OSAC Proposed Standards (added April 5, 2022):

Standards Open for Comment for OSAC Registry Approval

SDO Published Standards

The OSAC Registry approval process for published standards is used to review existing SDO published standards for technical quality and placement on the Registry. Please submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 2, 2022 on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry.

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 024, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Humans: Location Check Using Pre-Scented Canines, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 026, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Humans: An Aged Trail Using Pre-scented Canines, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 027, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Humans: Patrol Canine Team, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here
  • ASTM E3196-21 Standard Terminology Relating to the Examination of Explosives. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3253-21 Standard Practice for Establishing an Examination Scheme for Intact Explosives. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3296-22 Standard Guide for Using Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography and Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry in Forensic Polymer Examinations. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3329-21 Standard Practice for Establishing an Examination Scheme for Explosive Residues. Submit your comments here
NOTE: IN JANUARY 2022, OSAC’S FORENSIC SCIENCE STANDARDS BOARD (FSSB) APPROVED THAT THE REQUIREMENT FOR AN OSAC-MANAGED COMMENT PERIOD FOR REGISTRY APPROVAL OF SDO PUBLISHED STANDARDS CAN BE MET DURING THE SDO’S PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD. THE PUBLIC WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON A STANDARD DURING ITS DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE SDO’S PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD. THIS CHANGE ALLOWS COMMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED DURING THE SDO DEVELOPMENT PROCESS, PRIOR TO PUBLICATION, ENABLING UPGRADES TO BE DIRECTLY INCORPORATED INTO THE STANDARD RATHER THAN RECEIVING THE COMMENTS AFTER THE STANDARD IS PUBLISHED. IN CASES WHERE OSAC CAN DOCUMENT THE SDO’S PUBLIC COMMENT OPPORTUNITY, OSAC WILL NOT EXECUTE A SECOND PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD DURING ITS REGISTRY APPROVAL PROCESS. SEE THE SDO UPDATES BELOW FOR INFORMATION ON THE STANDARDS CURRENTLY OPEN FOR COMMENT AT SDOS.

OSAC Proposed Standards

The OSAC Registry approval process for OSAC Proposed Standards is used to review OSAC drafted 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 11:59 p.m. ET on May 2, 2022.

NOTE: OSAC Resource Task Group (RTG) members are encouraged to comment on these standards by downloading the RTG Comment Table and submitting it to comments [at] nist.gov in accordance with the Registry approval process.

Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry?

Complete OSAC's Registry Implementation Declaration Form found on the OSAC website and send it to mark.stolorow [at] nist.gov to let us know. Your organization will subsequently be awarded an OSAC Registry Implementer Certificate.

SDO UPDATES

New SDO Published Standards

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) published the following standard on March 19, 2022: 

  • AES76-2022: AES standard for audio forensics – Speech Collection Guidelines for Speaker Recognition: Interviewing at a Temporary Location. This document specifies recommended practices for recording audio intended for use in forensic speaker recognition analyses, focusing on doing so at a temporary, non-laboratory location by possibly a non-professional in the forensic sciences. It includes recommendations for the physical preparation of the location, selection of appropriate recording hardware and audio formats, and possible methods for interviewers to elicit the desired type and amount of speech from subjects. It does not cover the methods used to analyze the resulting recordings and does not deal with details related to the handling, transmission, storage, or preservation of the collected data but does include a checklist to aid in the process.

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

An ASTM work item (WK) is a proposed new standard or revision to an existing standard that is under development. On March 4, 2022, a Project Notification System (PINS) was published on page four in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASTM’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASTM WK80705-202x, New Terminology for Relating to Gunshot Residue Analysis. There is currently no comprehensive terminology document for gunshot residue analysis that has been generated through a consensus process. This standard is intended to fill that void.

On April 1, 2022, PINS were published on page two in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin the Academy Standards Board’s (ASB) work on the following standards:

  • BSR/ASB BPR 181-202x, Media Communications Following a Mass Fatality Incident: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority. This document will provide recommendations to medicolegal authorities regarding media communications and information sharing during a mass fatality incident response.
  • BSR/ASB BPR 182-202x, Victim Accounting: Best Practice Recommendations for Medicolegal Authorities in Mass Fatality Management. This document will provide recommendations regarding victim accounting procedures during a mass fatality incident response, which currently does not exist for the medicolegal audience.

Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

Stakeholders from the forensic science community are encouraged to provide input on standards as they are being developed at SDOs. For SDO published standards going through the OSAC Registry approval process, the public will have an opportunity to comment on a standard during the SDO’s public comment period but will not be given a second opportunity to comment through OSAC on whether the resulting standard should be placed on the Registry. 

Visit OSAC’s Standards Open for Comment webpage to see the full list of forensic science standards open for comment at SDOs and how to submit your feedback. This page consolidates and tracks comment deadlines for you and will be updated on a weekly basis. It currently includes:

  • Nine standards open for comment at ASB in biology/DNA (1), firearms & toolmarks (2), forensic anthropology (1), forensic toxicology (2), and friction ridge (3).

OTHER FORENSIC SCIENCE NEWS, EVENTS & TRAINING

Webinars

  • Standards: The Not-So-Missing Link. As part of a cooperative agreement with NIST, AAFS has created a new video to help address the need for training related to forensic science standards. This video is the basis for a webinar that will be held April 21, May 19, and June 16. Registration for the April webinar is open and available here
  • Shining a Light on Black Box Studies. This webinar is part of CSAFE’s Spring 2022 Webinar Series and will be held April 22, 2022.
  • Extracting Case-Specific Information from Validation Studies. This webinar is part of CSAFE’s Spring 2022 Webinar Series and will be held May 10, 2022. 
  • Application of the OSAC Registry of Standards to Forensic Science Service Providers’ Quality Systems. This webinar, which originally occurred March 31, addresses the practical challenges facing quality managers and senior management in the process of standards implementation. View the archived webinar here

ASCLD Symposium

OSAC will be attending and exhibiting at the 2022 American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) Symposium being held April 24-28 in Reno, Nevada. Learn more about standards implementation in operational labs at a presentation being given on April 27 and during the Bring Your Own Slides Luncheon. In addition, visit OSAC at booth 21 in the exhibit hall and learn more about the forensic science standards under development and the latest additions to the OSAC Registry.

NIJ FY22 Research and Development in Forensic Sciences for Criminal Justice Purposes

National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking proposals for rigorous basic or applied research and development projects. An NIJ forensic science research and development grant supports a discrete, specified, circumscribed project that will:

  • Increase the body of knowledge to guide and inform forensic science policy and practice; or
  • Lead to the production of useful material(s), device(s), system(s), or method(s) that have the potential for forensic application.

For more information about this solicitation, visit the NIJ website. Grants.gov deadline is May 2, 2022.

FTCoE's Human Factors in Forensic Science Practice Sourcebook

NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) has developed a sourcebook to advance the understanding and adoption of insights from cognitive psychology into forensic practice. The five articles in the sourcebook are intended to address a specific field of knowledge within the cognitive psychology literature and how it may apply to and strengthen forensic science.