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February 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 developing organizations (SDOs).

Bulletin Summary:

  • New standards added to the OSAC Registry: 0
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 3
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 13
Download PDF (253.5 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. 

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 March 6, 2023, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:

  • AES 76-2022, AES Standard for Audio Forensics – Speech Collection Guidelines for Speaker Recognition: Interviewing at a Temporary Location. 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 March 6, 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 Specification

BSI, the UK’s National Standards Body, has published a Publicly Available Specification (PAS), PAS 377:2022, Consumables used in the collection, preservation and processing of material for forensic analysis – Product, manufacturing and forensic kit assembly.  

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 ASB in firearms & toolmarks (2), friction ridge (1), and forensic anthropology (2).
  • 8 standards open for comment at ASTM in facial identification (2), ignitable liquids and explosives (3), gunshot residue (2), and trace materials (1).


OSAC FSSB Meeting: Public Feedback Session

Beginning in March 2023, the OSAC Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) will have a public feedback session available during their quarterly meetings. The purpose for this public session is to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share feedback within the FSSB related to agenda items or matters with 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 quarterly FSSB meeting will be held virtually on March 15-16, 2023. The public session will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 15 from 4:30 – 5:00 p.m. ET. If you wish to share feedback with the FSSB, please complete this form by March 10, 2023.

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

Calling All Forensic Biologists: OSAC’s Human Forensic Biology Subcommittee Needs Your Input

OSAC's Human Biology Research Task Group is seeking input regarding current research needs, standards, and training for the forensic biology community. This survey will aid the OSAC Human Biology Task Group in (1) identifying the most practitioner-relevant research needs in the forensic biology community, (2) generating new standards or training documents based on practitioner feedback, and (3) understanding and identifying future training needs.

The survey will take approximately 30-60 minutes to complete. Participation requires that you are at least 18 years of age or older. Participation in this survey is fully voluntary and all responses will be anonymous. There is no compensation for completing the survey. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Nadja Schreiber Compo at schreibe [at] (schreibe[at]fiu[dot]edu).

Access the survey here:

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!


Forensic Seized Drug Analysis Interlaboratory Study Engagement Survey

Several groups at NIST are working on developing a series of interlaboratory studies to support the forensic seized drug community. To prepare for these studies, information about the current technology and needs of the community is needed. Forensic practitioners actively involved in seized drug analysis are invited to participate in this six-question survey which is intended to gauge interest in the first two planned studies and better define the direction of future studies. The survey will close February 28, 2023.

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 45+ 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 50+ 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

75th Annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences Meeting | February 13-18, 2023 | Orlando, FL

There will be many OSAC and standards-related presentations and workshops at this year’s AAFS Meeting! Check the full lineup at OSAC at AAFS or the AAFS Program Information and mark your calendars!

NIST (which includes OSAC) will be exhibitors at the conference - visit us at booth #127 to learn more about forensic science research and standards efforts.

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.