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April 2024

This Standards Bulletin from the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science provides a monthly update on forensic science standards moving through the OSAC Registry and standards development process, along with other OSAC news and standards-related information.

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Forensic Science Standards Updates

OSAC Registry Updates

OSAC Registry Ribbon

The following 9 standards (7 SDO published and 2 OSAC Proposed) have been added to the OSAC Registry, effective April 2, 2024.  

Standards Open for Comment 

SDO Published Standards Under Consideration for the OSAC Registry

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 6, 2024, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:

OSAC Proposed Standards Under Consideration for the OSAC Registry

The following OSAC Proposed Standards are being considered for the OSAC Registry and are open for comment. To be considered, comments must be placed in the OSAC Comment Form and sent to comments [at] (comments[at]nist[dot]gov) by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 6, 2024

Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

Academy Standards Board (ASB)

  • Recirculation - ASB Best Practice Recommendation 122, Best Practice Recommendation for Performing Alcohol Calculations in Forensic Toxicology. 202x. 1st Ed. Comment deadline April 8, 2024. 
  • Recirculation - ASB Standard 081, Standard for Training in the Use of Statistics in Interpretation of Forensic DNA Evidence. 202x. 1st Ed. Comment deadline April 18, 2024. 
  • BSR/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 129-202x, Best Practice Recommendations for Internal Validation of Human Short Tandem Repeat Profiling on Capillary Electrophoresis Platforms (new standard) Comment deadline May 13, 2024.
  • BSR/ASB Standard 039-202x, Standard for Internal Validation of Human Short Tandem Repeat Profiling on Capillary Electrophoresis Platforms Comment deadline May 13, 2024.
  • BSR/ASB Standard 007-202x, Postmortem Impression Submission Strategy for Comprehensive Searches of Essential Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Databases (revision of ANSI/ASB Standard 007-2018). Comment deadline May 13, 2024. 

ASTM International

  • ASTM E1459-202x, Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation. Comment deadline April 15, 2024. 

Facial Identification Scientific Working Group (FISWG)

 Comment deadline May 17, 2024:

  • Principles for Responsible Use of Facial Recognition Technology
  • Image Processing Techniques for Facial Image Comparison
  • Minimum Training Criteria When Using Facial Recognition Systems
  • Facial image Comparison Feature List for Morphological Analysis
  • Standard Guide for Postmortem Facial Image Capture

Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE)

 Comment deadline May 11, 2024:

  • 2024-03-08 SWGDE Legal and Scientific Support Related to the Admissibility of Image Examinations (23-I-001-1.0)
  • 2024-03-07 SWGDE Video and Audio Redaction Guidelines (18-M-001-2.2)
  • 2024-03-07 SWGDE Technical Overview of Digital Video Files (17-V-001-1.3)
  • 2024-03-07 SWGDE Guidelines for the Use of Macro Photography in Forensic Science (24-P-001-1.0)
  • 2024-03-07 SWGDE Considerations for Release of Synopsis Videos for Public Review (21-V-002-1.2)
  • 2024-03-07 SWGDE Best Practices for Drone Forensics (21-F-002-1.2)
  • 2024-03-07 SWGDE Best Practices for Digital Video Authentication (23-V-001-1.2)
  • 2024-03-07 SWGDE Best Practice for Photo Documentation of Scars, Marks, and Tattoos (24-P-002-1.0)

Visit OSAC’s Standards Open for Comment webpage to access these documents and for the instructions on how to submit your comments. 

SDO Updates 

New Published Standards

From ASTM:

  • ASTM E1388-24, Standard Practice for Static Headspace Sampling of Vapors from Fire Debris Samples
  • ASTM 1732-24, Standard Terminology Relating to Forensic Science

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On March 8, 2024, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on pages 2 and 4 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ADA’s and IEE’s work on the following standards:

  • BSR/ADA Standard 1100-202x, Dentistry - Orthodontic/Craniofacial/Forensic Photographic Views and Viewsets.
  • BSR/IEEE 2834.1-202x, Standard for Digital Forensics on Trusted Learning Systems

On March 29, 2024, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on pages 2 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s and ASTM’s  work on the following standards:

  • BSR/ASB BPR 021-202x, Best Practice Recommendation for the Preparation of Test Impressions from Footwear and Tires (revision of ANSI/ASB BPR 021-2019) 
  • BSR/ASTM WK89942-202x, New Guide for Image Comparison Opinions (new standard)

Implementation Impacts & Resources

OSAC Registry Implementation Open Enrollment Returns


We are pleased to announce that the OSAC Registry Implementation Open Enrollment will continue in 2024. This year’s open enrollment period will extend from Monday, July 1 through Monday, September 2, 2024. The timing of this period has been strategically selected to align with National Forensic Science Week which runs from September 15 through 21 during which time contributing Forensic Science Service Providers (FSSPs) will be recognized for their efforts.

Please help us to make this Open Enrollment period the most successful one so far. Submitting an OSAC Implementation Declaration Form notifies OSAC of the standards that have been implemented in your system. If your agency has yet to declare implementation, this would be a great time to do so. If you have previously submitted a declaration form, let us know what standards you have added to your operations by submitting an updated 2024 open enrollment declaration. When all participants in the standards development process are considered, there are over one thousand individuals dedicating their time and efforts to improving the national forensic science standards landscape. The declaration process helps to demonstrate the value of your efforts through documentation of the extent of standards used.

Visit the OSAC website for more information about the 2024 Open Enrollment period and how to participate.

Help OSAC Collect Valuable Implementation Data by Encouraging Your Agency to Declare Implementation

To further illustrate the extent of your success, your assistance is requested to help increase the pool of data and continue to grow this important cohort of declared implementers. If your agency is not currently listed amongst the known implementers, please work with your administration to encourage submission of a declaration form! 

For additional information on implementation and to access the declaration form, visit the OSAC Registry Implementation webpage.

Measuring the Impact of Implementation: 2023

OSAC reached its 10th anniversary in 2024! OSAC’s mission is to strengthen the nation’s use of forensic science by facilitating the development of technically sound standards and encourage their use throughout the forensic science community. Measuring success requires evaluating the extent that forensic science service providers (FSSPs) are implementing standards that have been developed and posted on the OSAC Registry.

As of January 3, 2024, there were 178 standards posted on the OSAC Registry in 22 forensic science disciplines, including interdisciplinary standards. As of the same date, there were also 150 FSSPs that had completed and submitted OSAC Registry Standards Implementation Declaration forms from 31 states and four foreign countries.

Take a closer look at the impact of implementation throughout 2023, including the top implemented standards and data from the 150 implementers that have reported standards implementation on their declaration forms.  

Forensic Standards Implementation Mentor Program

OSAC Mentor Prograg

Do you know of a Forensic Science Service Provider (FSSP) that is interested in implementing the standards on the OSAC Registry and does not know where to start? 

Has your organization implemented standards on the OSAC Registry and wants to be a mentor to others? 

Learn more about OSAC’s Forensic Science Standards Implementation Mentor Program and help make an impact on implementation. 


New OSAC Registry Implementers 

OSAC Implementer Ribbon

OSAC would like to recognize and congratulate these latest OSAC Registry Implementers:

  • Department of Homeland Security, Office of Biometric Identity Management, Biometric Support Center | Springfield, VA
  • Maryland Department of State Police Forensic Sciences Division | Berlin, Hagerstown, & Pikesville, MD. Check out this article and  news clip for an inside look into the Maryland State Police Laboratory and hear about their recent decision to voluntarily implement standards on the OSAC Registry within their three laboratories. 

Over 150 organizations have self-declared their use of standards on the OSAC Registry. Read more about some of these OSAC Registry Implementers and their accomplishments on the OSAC website. 

Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry?

Complete OSAC’s Registry Implementation Declaration Form and send it to forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know. Your organization will subsequently be awarded an OSAC Registry Implementer Certificate.

Interested in learning more about implementation? Check out OSAC’s Implementation Recognition Factsheet

Upcoming OSAC Events

May 14 - 16: 2024 OSAC Meeting | Jacksonville, FL 

  • Biology SAC and SCs
  • Chemistry: Trace Evidence SAC and SCs
  • Medicine SAC and SCs
  • Physics/Pattern Interpretation SAC and SCs

June 10-11: FSSB Summer Quarterly Meeting | Herndon, VA

Other Forensic Science News, Training, & Events

AFQAM Cooperative Training Program 

The Association for Forensic Quality Assurance Managers (AFQAM) announced the release of its AFQAM Cooperative Training Program. The AFQAM Cooperative Training Program is open to everyone, and you do not need to be an AFQAM member to participate.  

This training program is ideal for those new to quality assurance or interested in quality assurance such as new Quality Manager’s, Technical Leader’s, new hires, or other roles that assist with quality assurance in the laboratory. It was developed by experienced forensic quality assurance experts and is broken up into courses that focus on key topics in quality assurance. The first two courses available are ‘Introduction to ISO’ and ‘Accreditation – What Is It Good For?’.

To review the available courses and register please follow this link: []

Additional courses will be released in the near future. For questions, please email contact [at] (contact[at]afqam[dot]org).

AAFS Standards Resources and Training 

As part of a cooperative agreement with NIST, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is developing training, tools, and resources to enhance implementation efforts and broaden awareness of forensic science standards among communities of interest. 

  • Standards factsheets provide a clear, concise, and easy way to understand the purpose of a specific standard, why it is needed, and the benefits of adoption. Standards factsheets are available for 135+ standards on the OSAC Registry. 
  • Standards checklists are a tool that forensic science service providers can use to track progress towards implementation, identify gaps or barriers to implementation, or document objective evidence of implementation or compliance with a standard. Checklists are available for 130+ standards on the OSAC Registry. 
  • Standards videos and webinars are available for free from AAFS Connect. Learn about the standards development process, standards development activities in various disciplines, and information about specific SDO published standards on the OSAC Registry. 

Connect with OSAC

Follow us on Social Media

To stay up to date on the latest OSAC news, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn (#ForensicOSAC).

If you are presenting anything related to OSAC activities, we would love to highlight your efforts. Please be sure to send a few pictures and a brief description and we will gladly share your activities on our feed. 

Contact Us

If you have feedback, questions, or want to learn more about how you can help strengthen forensic science through standards, contact us at forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov)