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December 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: 6
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 6
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 9
Download PDF (326.04 KB)


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 science 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, quality, and legal experts. 

Six New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

Three SDO Published Standards (added December 6, 2022):

Three OSAC Proposed Standards (added December 6, 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 January 2, 2023, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:

  • SWGDE 22-F-002-1.0, Best Practices for Chromebook Acquisition and Analysis. Submit your comments here
  • SWGDE 18-Nov-1.0, Minimum Requirements for Testing Tools used in Digital and Multimedia Forensics. 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 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] (comments[at]nist[dot]gov) by 11:59 p.m. ET on January 2, 2023.

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] (mark[dot]stolorow[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know. Your organization will subsequently be awarded an OSAC Registry Implementer Certificate.



New Published Standards

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On November 4, 2022, a Project Notification System (PINS) was published on page two in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s work on the following standard:

  • ASB 006-202x, Best Practice Recommendation for DNA Analysis for Human Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents, Second Edition. This document provides guidance to practitioners on the utilization of DNA technology in the identification of decedents. The document provides recommendations and guidance to jurisdictions on implementing an appropriate DNA sample collection and documentation strategy and provides an analysis plan to effectively contribute to the identification of decedents in a mass fatality incident.

On November 18, 2022 a PINS was published on page four in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASTM’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASTM WK84047-202x, New Guide for Forensic Physical Fit Examination. This guide covers the forensic physical fit examinations for the macroscopical and microscopical examinations of broken, torn, or separated materials for the purpose of determining whether or not they were once joined together to form a single object. This guide is intended as an overview of the process for the physical fit examination of these materials and to assist individuals in the evaluation and documentation of their physical comparisons.

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:

  • 5 standards open for comment at ASTM in seized drugs (2) and trace materials (3). 
  • 2 standards open for comment at NFPA.
  • 2 standards open for comment at SWGDE. 


Access to ASTM Standards

OSAC has worked with ASTM to improve access to the E30 (forensic sciences) collection of standards. Through an agreement with ASTM, the public now has free access to these documents.

The published ASTM E30 standards can be accessed from the OSAC Registry webpage. Simply click on the link to the ASTM standard you would like to read, and you will be taken directly to the document!



If you could not attend this event held November 8-10, the recorded sessions are now available on the NIST website for on-demand viewing.

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 over 30 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 38 standards on the OSAC Registry. 
  • Standards 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. 

Upcoming Events

AAFS WEBINAR: Overview of ASB 061, 062, 063: Technology Documents for Firearm and Toolmark Examination | December 8, 2022 | 1:00 p.m. ET

FTCoE WEBINAR: Digital Caseload Processing with the NIST National Software Reference Library | December 13, 2022 | 1:00 p.m. ET 

75th Annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences Meeting | February 13-18, 2023 | Orlando, FL
There will be many OSAC and standard-related presentations and workshops at this year’s AAFS Meeting! Check the Program Information and mark your calendars!   

2023 NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Symposium | February 14, 2023 
At the R&D Symposium, researchers and practitioners will meet to discuss, discover, and share new approaches and applications to elevate the status of forensic science and increase its impact. This event will be held at the AAFS Meeting with both in-person and virtual components.