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December 2023

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 development organizations (SDOs). 

Bulletin Summary:

  • New standards added to the OSAC Registry: 0
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 0
  • New SDO Published Standards: 3
  • New Work Proposals: 2
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 21
Download PDF (200.4 KB)

OSAC Registry Updates

OSAC Registry Ribbon

The OSAC Registry is a repository of selected published and proposed standards for forensic science. These documents contain minimum requirements, best practices, standard protocols, terminology, or other information to promote valid, reliable, and reproducible forensic results.

The standards on this Registry have undergone a technical and quality review process that actively encourages feedback from forensic science practitioners, research scientists, human factors experts, statisticians, legal experts, and the public. Placement on the Registry requires a consensus (as evidenced by 2/3 vote or more) of both the OSAC subcommittee that proposed the inclusion of the standard and the Forensic Science Standards Board. 

OSAC encourages the forensic science community to implement the published and proposed standards on the Registry to help advance the practice of forensic science.

There are no new standards being added to the OSAC Registry this month.

There are no standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment this month.

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 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.


SDO Updates

New Published Standards

ASTM recently published the following standards:

  • ANSI/ASTM E1188-23, Practice for Collection and Preservation of Information and Physical Items by a Technical Investigator (revision of ANSI/ASTM E1188-2011 (2017)).
  • ANSI/ASTM E2057-23, Specifications for Preparation of Laboratory Analysis Requests in Sexual Assault Investigations (revision of ANSI/ASTM E2057-10 (2015)).
  •  ANSI/ASTM E3294-23, Standard Guide for Forensic Analysis of Geological Materials by Powder X-Ray Diffraction  (revision of ANSI/ASTM E3294-22).
    • NOTE: The 2022 version of this document, ASTM E3294-22, is currently on the OSAC Registry.

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On November 17, 2023, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 2 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 206-202x, Mass Fatality Incident Management (new standard). This document provides best practice recommendations on the fundamental management considerations to be addressed in planning for and implementing a comprehensive disaster victim identification (DVI) operation.  
    • NOTE: This is OSAC 2022-N-0020, Standard for Mass Fatality Incident Management, currently on the OSAC Registry. The OSAC Proposed document was originally written as a standard and the ASB document is being written as a best practice recommendation.
  • BSR/ASB Standard 205-202x, Standard for Methodology in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (new standard) This standard will provide a framework of expected consistency that up until now has been lacking in the field.
    • NOTE: This is OSAC 2022-S-0030, Standard Methodology for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, currently on the OSAC Registry.

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:

  • 7 standards open for comment at ASB in Biology/DNA (2), Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (1) Forensic Toxicology (2), Friction Ridge (1), and Medicolegal Death Investigation (1).
  • 14 standards open for comment at SWGDE.

OSAC Program Office News

OSAC Implementation Mentors Needed

The FSSB Implementer Cohort Task Group (TG) is looking for mentors to help FSSPs on their implementation journey. If your organization has implemented standards on the OSAC Registry and is interested in being a mentor to other organizations, let the Implementer Cohort TG know! Complete the Mentor Exchange Program Form and a TG member will be in touch.

OSAC FSSB Meeting: Public Feedback Session

The OSAC Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) will have a public feedback session available during its upcoming quarterly meeting. The purpose for this public session is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share feedback with the FSSB related to agenda items or matters within the FSSB’s authority. The FSSB will consider all feedback from the public, and remarks can be made by the submitter or by the OSAC Program Office on behalf of the submitter. 

The next public feedback session will take place virtually on Thursday, December 14, 2023. If you wish to share feedback with the FSSB, please complete this form by December 8, 2023.

The schedules and agendas for FSSB meetings can be found on the FSSB Meetings webpage.

Other Forensic Science News, Events, & Training

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 125+ 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 120+ 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. 

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