Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

January 2020

The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science Standards Bulletin provides an update on forensic science standards that are moving through the Registry Approval Process at OSAC and those moving through the development process at standards developing organizations (SDOs). 

Download PDF (336.77 KB)

Bulletin Summary

The OSAC Standards Bulletin is organized to capture the following standard development phases in the OSAC Registry Approval and SDO processes:

  • After being published by an SDO, selected standards and guidelines may proceed to the OSAC Registry Approval Process where they are evaluated further for technical merit and impact on the forensic science community.
  • In the SDO process, OSAC committees or task groups submit an idea (i.e., work item), a partially drafted document, or a fully drafted document to an SDO for further development, commenting, and publishing. 

Number of New Standards Placed on the OSAC Registry: None

Number of OSAC Registry Documents Open for Comment: None

Number of SDO Documents Open for Comment: Six (6)

OSAC Registry Updates

OSAC Registry Banner

The OSAC Registry serves as a trusted repository of high-quality, science-based standards and guidelines for forensic science practice. A document included on the Registry has progressed through the formal SDO process and has been published as a standard. OSAC elevates standards to the OSAC Registry as an endorsement of a document’s high quality and to encourage its adoption by relevant stakeholders in the forensic science community.

Standards Moving through the OSAC Registry Approval Process

The following standards have moved from one step in the OSAC Registry Approval process to another during the last month:

In the Comment Adjudication Phase:

For a list of all standards currently under consideration, please visit the OSAC website.  

If your organization is on the "tip of the spear" and has already embraced the OSAC Registry implementation efforts, let us know!

Please email mark.stolorow@nist.gov to share your experience. 

SDO Updates

New or Revised Standards

Now available icon
Credit: Pixabay

Comment Period Open on Draft Documents

Consider sharing your expertise by commenting on the following documents to ensure they are technically sound and aligned with the needs of the forensic science community:

ASB:

  • ASB 126, Best Practice Recommendation for Casting of Footwear and Tire Impression Evidence. This new document provides best practice recommendations for casting of footwear and tire impression evidence by appropriate personnel. Following the recommendations described in this document should result in the optimal recovery of impressions. Comment deadline January 13, 2020.  
  • ASB Technical Report 051, Scope of Work for a Footwear/Tire Examiner. This technical report covers the primary responsibilities, types of examinations, and constituent duties of a footwear/tire examiner for lab management, quality assurance, law enforcement and the judiciary. Comment deadline January 20, 2020.
  • ASB 114, Best Practice Recommendation for Validation of Forensic DNA Software. This document assists a laboratory in designing validation studies to evaluate the various software programs used in the forensic DNA laboratory. Specifically, this guidance document applies to, but is not limited to the following: (a) software used as a component, part, or accessory of instrumentation; (b) software that impacts chain of custody documentation; (c) software that impacts the decision process and/or influences conclusions or reporting; and (d) software created by the laboratory to assist with calculations and/or data transfers. This document does not cover probabilistic genotyping. Comment deadline January 27, 2020.

For the ASB documents listed above, download the comment template and return it to asb@aafs.org by the comment deadline. 

ASTM International:

  • Guide for Systematic Approach to the Extraction, Analysis, and Identification of Ignitable Liquids in Fire Debris Samples (WK64631). This guide describes a systematic approach to the extraction, analysis, and identification of ignitable liquids and their residues in solid and liquid samples. This guide also addresses evidence handling, extraction methodologies, instrumental analysis techniques, and analytical data interpretation. Comment deadline January 20, 2020.
  • Practice for Forensic Paint Analysis Training Program (WK64632). This document is intended as a practice for use by laboratory personnel responsible for training examiners to perform forensic examinations and comparisons of paint. It contains a list of training objectives with recommended methods of instruction, reading assignments and structured exercises to provide practical experience for the trainee. Comment deadline January 20, 2020. 
  • Practice for Forensic Tape Analysis Training Program (WK64633). This document is intended as a practice for use by laboratory personnel responsible for training examiners to perform forensic examinations and comparisons on pressure sensitive tapes and adhesives. It contains a list of training objectives with recommended methods of instruction, reading assignments and structured exercises to provide practical experience for the trainee. Comment deadline January 20, 2020.

To access the ASTM documents listed above, contact Brian Milewski (bmilewski@astm.org) to become a member of Committee E30 on Forensic Science. 

New Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

The following documents are being initiated and are expected to result in a new or revised standard:

ASB:

  • On December 6, 2019 a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 20 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin a 30-day period for public comment on the initiation of ASB’s work on the following document:
    • BSR/ASB Std 139-202x, Reporting DNA Conclusions. This new document will provide the reporting requirements for autosomal STR and haplotype DNA conclusions for results obtained from evidentiary samples in forensic casework and does not apply to paternity or any other biological relatedness conclusions. 
  • On December 20, 2019 a PINS was published on page 20 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin a 30-day period for public comment on the initiation of ASB’s work on the following document:
    • BSR/ASB Std 096-202x, Standard Method for the Examination and Documentation of Ammunition and Ammunition Components. This new document will establish a standard for firearm and toolmark examiners and technicians to examine and document ammunition and/or ammunition components. 

Contact Teresa Ambrosius (tambrosius@aafs.org) for more information on the proposed ASB documents or to submit your comments. 

Other News

Workshop announcement
Credit: Pixabay

Attending the 2020 AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim, California?

If so, be sure to attend Workshop 14 - Mass Disasters and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) on Monday, February 17, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to learn more about the OSAC Registry Approved Standard ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 010, Forensic Anthropology in Disaster Victim Identification, Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority, First Edition, 2018 and its impact on the forensic science community. 

Visit the AAFS Annual Scientific Meeting website for more information and to register!

 

OSAC Implementer Ribbon

 Check out this article by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation-Division of Forensic Sciences (GBI-DOFS) about its journey and support for implementing the standards on the OSAC Registry. This article is also available in the latest ASCLD Crime Lab Minute.