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August 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 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: 6
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 4
  • New SDO published standards: 1
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 4
Download PDF (321.46 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.


Six New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

SDO Published Standards

OSAC Proposed Standards

Standards Open for Comment for OSAC Registry Approval

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] (comments[at]nist[dot]gov) by 11:59 p.m. ET on September 6, 2021.

note: Osac resource Task Group members are encouraged to review these draft OSAC Proposed Standards and submit comments to forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov) in accordance with OSAC's REVISED processes.

Visit the OSAC website to see all the standards under consideration for the OSAC Registry, along with their status in the Registry approval process

Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry? Complete OSAC’s Registry 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 SDO Published Standards

On July 26, 2021, the Academy Standards Board (ASB) published the following standard:

Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

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

Visit the OSAC website to see the latest forensic science standards open for comment at SDOs. 

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

The following documents are being initiated and are expected to result in new or revised standards.


  • On July 9, 2021, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page two in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin a 30-day period for public comment on the initiation of ASB’s work on the following document:
    • BSR/ASB 173, Standard for Education and Training of Forensic Toxicology Personnel. This document provides minimum requirements for educational qualifications, training, competency, experience, continuing education, and certification of laboratory personnel performing or overseeing forensic toxicology analysis and breath alcohol instrument calibration. This applies to the following sub-disciplines: postmortem toxicology, human performance toxicology (e.g., drug-facilitated crimes and driving-under-the-influence
      of alcohol or drugs) and other forensic testing (e.g., court-ordered toxicology, general forensic toxicology). Laboratory personnel that exclusively perform administrative or non-technical duties are outside the scope of this document.

Other News

Apply to Join OSAC!

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OSAC is currently seeking to fill member vacancies on its committees, including its new Forensic Nursing Subcommittee. If you want to participate in the standards development process and make an impact on the forensic science community, please submit an application to be eligible and considered for the positions opening in October. 

OSAC Registry Implementation Survey: Your Input Needed

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There’s still time to participate in OSAC’s Registry Implementation Survey!  We need to hear from your organization so we can better understand the current state of Registry implementation and what support forensic service providers need to improve standards implementation. The survey is intended to be a yearly snapshot and assessment, and the first one will cover the 46 Registry standards posted through March 2021. 

The survey will close August 20 and results will be shared in OSAC’s Fall Newsletter/Annual Report, later in October. For more information and to preview a PDF version of the survey, visit the OSAC website. If you have any questions, please email the OSAC Program Office at forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov).

Other Forensic Science News, Events & Training

Provide Comments on Three TWG3D2T Documents

The Toolmark Technologies Technical Working Group (TWG3D2T) is seeking feedback on the following three documents:

Click on each of the document links above to submit your comments. The public comment period is open until 11:59 p.m. ET on August 31, 2021.

National Institute of Justice

Subscribe to NIJ’s forensic list ( to see the latest NIJ awards, solicitations, events, and publications.

Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE)

CSAFE is offering two online short courses designed to introduce probability and statistics concepts to forensic practitioners. The short courses are free of charge, but registration is required. 

Upcoming Webinar: A Survey of Fingerprint Examiners’ Attitudes towards Probabilistic Reporting | September 22 | 11:00 a.m. – noon CDT.  

Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE)

NIJ’s FTCoE, provides evidence-based resources about forensic technologies and emerging challenges. Recent FTCoE activities include three new Just Science podcasts, all part of the Research and Considerations for Sexual Assault Cases season.

Upcoming Webinar: Best Practices for Digital Image Processing | August 5 | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET.