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 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 human factors and legal experts.
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 September 5, 2022, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:
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 draft OSAC 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 drafts are 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 September 5, 2022.
OSAC wants to better understand how the standards on the OSAC Registry are being used, the challenges around standards implementation, and what support is needed to improve it. To do this, we need to hear from the nation’s forensic science service providers.
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:
The success of OSAC’s efforts to facilitate the development of technically sound forensic science standards and promote the adoption of those standards by the forensic science community depend on your participation. OSAC is currently seeking to fill member vacancies on its committees and subcommittees due to a number of membership terms that will be expiring this September.
If you are one of the over 500 current members and are interested in seeking a second term, you will be considered for the vacancy. If you have previously applied, you do not have to submit a new application unless your contact information or other responses have changed since your original submission.
If you are interested in joining OSAC, please complete and submit an application form in order to be eligible and considered for the positions opening in October.
Please contact OSAC Project Manager, Donna Sirk (donna.sirk [at] nist.gov) for more information.
Join us for the upcoming OSAC Public Update Meeting taking place on September 13, 2022. This virtual event will feature presentations from the chairs of OSAC’s seven Scientific Area Committees and the Forensic Science Standards Board. Each presenter will describe their unit’s activities, including the standards they are working on, challenges being addressed, and priorities for the upcoming year. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions and share feedback. Learn more and register.
OSAC is seeking nominations for the 2022 Sharon B. Nakich Award. In honor of our colleague, Sharon Nakich, this OSAC peer-to-peer award acknowledges a helpful attitude, kindness, teamwork, or behind-the-scenes contributions to support the goals of OSAC. It recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to promote OSAC’s mission through their support of OSAC. This nominee works diligently and tirelessly as a champion for OSAC, at times without recognition.
To submit your nomination, please provide two or more narrative statements from two or more different individuals addressing the criteria mentioned above. Nomination justifications should include, but are not limited to, a description of:
Please send your nomination and supporting documentation to allison.getz [at] nist.gov by Friday, September 2, 2022.
OSAC’s VITAL, Friction Ridge, Facial Identification, and Footwear & Tire Subcommittees will be presenting updates at the International Association for Identification (IAI) Educational Conference happening July 31 – August 6 in Omaha, Nebraska. For more information about these and other standards-related presentations occurring throughout the week, view the IAI Conference agenda.
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.
One of these resources, AAFS 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. There are currently 12 AAFS Factsheets available for standards listed on the OSAC Registry in the following forensic science disciplines: DNA, fire investigation, firearms & toolmarks, ignitable liquids and explosives, seized drugs, toxicology, and trace evidence. The factsheets, standards-related webinars, and future resources are available on the AAFS Standards Resources and Training site.