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December 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: 1
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 8
  • New SDO published standards: 2
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 16
Download PDF (301.05 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. 

New Standard Added to the OSAC Registry

OSAC Proposed Standard (added December 7, 2021):

To date, the OSAC Registry contains 77 standards (67 SDO published and 10 OSAC Proposed Standards). Visit the OSAC Registry webpage to see the complete list and access these standards.

Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry? Complete OSAC's Standards Implementation Declaration Form and send it to mark.stolorow [at] (mark[dot]stolorow[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know.

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 January 3, 2022 on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry.

  • ADA 1088-20, Technical Report: Human Identification by Comparative Dental Analysis. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 044, Standard for Examination of Documents for Indentations, First Edition, 2019. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 061, Firearms and Toolmarks 3D Measurement Systems and Measurement Quality Control, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 062, Standard for Topography Comparison Software for Toolmark Analysis, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 063, Implementation of 3D Technologies in Forensic Firearm and Toolmark Comparison Laboratories, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here

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 January 3, 2022.


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

SDO Updates

New SDO Published Standards


Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

For the full list of forensic science standards that are currently open for comment at SDOs (16) and how to submit your feedback, visit OSAC’s Standards Open for Comment webpage. This page consolidates and tracks comment deadlines for you and will be updated on a weekly basis.

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

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

Academy Standards Board (ASB)

On December 3, 2021, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page two in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s work on the following document:  

  • ASB Best Practice Recommendation 174, Best Practice Recommendation for Age Estimation in Forensic Anthropology. While a standard exists for the estimation of age at death in forensic anthropology (ASB Standard 133), currently there are no widely accepted documents that provide guidance, procedures, or preferred methods for age at death estimation in forensic anthropology. This document fills that gap. This best practice recommendation provides guidance and preferred methods for the estimation of age at death in forensic anthropology. It does not provide minimum standards for estimating age at death as these are covered in ASB Standard 133.


An ASTM work item (WK) is a proposed new standard or a revision to an existing standard that is under development.

On November 26, 2021, a PINS was published on page four in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASTM’s work on the following standards:

  • BSR/ASTM WK78747 Guide for Forensic Examination of Fibers. This document is an introduction to the fiber examinations in forensic casework. It is intended to assist individuals who conduct forensic fiber analyses in their evaluation, selection, and application of tests that can be of value to their examinations.
  • BSR/ASTM WK78748 Practice for a Forensic Fiber Training Program. This practice is for use by laboratory personnel responsible for training examiners to perform forensic examinations and comparisons of fibers, fabrics, and rope/cordage.
  • BSR/ASTM WK78749 Guide for Microspectrophotometry in Forensic Fiber Analysis. This guide is intended to assist forensic examiners who conduct ultraviolet (UV), visible, near infrared (NIR), or fluorescence emission spectral analyses on single fibers. This guide is to be used as a part of a broader analytical scheme.

On November 5, 2021, a PINS was published on page five in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASTM’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASTM E2764-202x, Standard Practice for Uncertainty Assessment in the Context of Seized-Drug Analysis. This new practice provides guidance on the concept of uncertainty and its application to the qualitative and quantitative analysis of seized drugs. In this context, uncertainty encompasses limitations of qualitative methods as well as numerical ranges as applied to quantitative analyses.

Other News

Other Forensic Science News, Events & Training

Trace Evidence Collection App is Available Now!

OSAC, NIST, and the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) worked together to develop a mobile app to accompany OSAC’s Trace Materials Crime Scene Investigation Guide. The mobile app enables the user to access, search, and reference the guide's contents at any time and in any location. With this information easily accessible, users can reference descriptions of different types of trace evidence, information about where trace evidence might be encountered in crime scenes, and instructions outlining the collection and packaging of trace evidence. For more information and links to download, go to the Trace Evidence Collection App’s page on the FTCoE website:

AAFS 2022 Annual Scientific Conference

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) 74th Annual Scientific Conference will be held February 21-25 in Seattle, WA. AAFS 2022 will be a hybrid event, offering both in-person and virtual attendance options, and registration is now open. Visit the AAFS website for ongoing updates about the meeting.


ASTM’s E30 committee has begun submitting its standards to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for designation as American National Standards. The E30 executive committee approved this action, with support from the main committee membership, to engage broader, critical stakeholder input into the forensic science standards being developed. Read this news release from ASTM to learn more about E30 and how you can participate.


The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) is offering the following webinars. Learn more and register.

  • Using Mixture Models to Examine Group Differences: An Illustration Involving the Perceived Strength of Forensic Science Evidence | December 9, 2021 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CST
  • Improving Forensic Decision Making: A Human-Cognitive Perspective | February 17, 2022 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST


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