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.
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 31, 2022 on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry.
Academy Standards Board (ASB):
ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 008, Mass Fatality Scene Processing: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here.
ANSI/ASB Standard 085, Standard for Detection Canine Selection, Kenneling, and Healthcare, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here.
ANSI/ASB Standard 088, General Guidelines for Training, Certification, and Documentation of Canine Detection Disciplines, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here.
ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 094, Postmortem Impression Recovery: Guidance and Best Practices for Disaster Victim Identification, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here.
ANSI/ASB Standard 130, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Amplification Methods for Subsequent Capillary Electrophoresis Sequencing, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here.
ANSI/ASB Standard 131, Standard for Training in Forensic DNA Sequencing Using Capillary Electrophoresis, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here.
ANSI/ASB Standard 140, Standard for Training in Forensic Human Mitochondrial DNA Analysis, Interpretation, Comparison, Statistical Evaluation, and Reporting, First Edition, 2021. Submit your comments here.
ASTM E2451-21, Standard Practice for Preserving Ignitable Liquids and Ignitable Liquid Residue Extracts from Fire Debris Samples. 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] nist.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on January 31, 2022.
NOTE: OSAC RESOURCE TASK GROUP (RTG) MEMBERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO COMMENT ON THESE STANDARDS BY DOWNLOADING THE RTG COMMENT TABLE AND SUBMITTING IT TO forensics [at] nist.gov IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGISTRY APPROVAL PROCESS.
Visit the OSAC website to see all the standards under consideration for the OSAC Registry, along with their status in the Registry approval process.
ANSI/ASB Standard 026, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Humans: An Aged Trail Using Pre-scented Canines, First Edition, 2021. Initially drafted by OSAC’s Dogs & Sensors Subcommittee and finalized by ASB’s Dogs and Sensors Consensus Body, this new standard provides the requirements for training, certification and documentation pertaining to pre-scented canine-aged track/trail search. Pre-scented canine aged trail searches use a canine team (canine and handler) to search for and follow aged trails of a specific person's (target) scent over different surface types. An aged track/trail is a human scent pathway that has been present for some period of time, typically expressed with a time frame associated with the track/trail (e.g., a 24 hour or older track/trail).
ANSI/ASB Standard 092, Standard for Training and Certification of Canine Detection of Explosives, First Edition, 2021. Initially drafted by OSAC’s Dogs & Sensors Subcommittee and finalized by ASB’s Dogs and Sensors Consensus Body, this new standard provides the training requirements for a canine team (canine handler and canine), and details follow-on assessments for trained canine teams, in the field of explosives detection including traditional explosives detection canines (EDC), person screening canines (PSC), and explosives detection canines with person screening capabilities (EDC w/PSC). This standard is intended to be used as the basis for all phases of the training process and includes certification procedures, training and assessments, record keeping, and document management.
ANSI/ASB Standard 125, Organizational and Foundational Standard for Medicolegal Death Investigation, First Edition, 2021. Initially drafted by OSAC’s Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee and finalized by ASB’s Medicolegal Death Investigation Consensus Body, this new standard outlines the minimum requirements, fundamental activities, general procedures, facilities, and personnel that are the basic components of a medicolegal death investigation system. This document provides an overarching description of educational frameworks, operational roles, and processes for the medicolegal death investigation system.
ASTM published three new standards in November and December 2021:
ANSI/ASTM E3253-21, Practice for Establishing an Examination Scheme for Intact Explosives. This new standard, initially drafted by OSAC’s Ignitable Liquids, Explosives, & Gunshot Residue Subcommittee, was finalized and published by ASTM in November 2021. This practice covers the evaluation, selection, and application of techniques to establish examination schemes for use by forensic explosives examiners to identify intact (unexploded) low and high explosives.
ASTM E691-21, Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method was updated by ASTM on December 22, 2021. Developed by ASTM Committee E20 on Temperature Measurement, this practice describes the techniques for planning, conducting, analyzing, and treating the results of an interlaboratory study (ILS) of a test method. The statistical techniques described in this practice provide adequate information for formulating the precision statement of a test method. This practice is also concerned exclusively with test methods which yield a single numerical figure as the test result, although the single figure may be the outcome of a calculation from a set of measurements.
Standards Open for Comment at SDOs
For the full list of forensic science standards that are currently open for comment at SDOs (7) 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.
Other Forensic Science News, Events & Training
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.
Center for Statistics and Application in Forensic Evidence
The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) is offering the following webinars. Learn more and register.
Improving Forensic Decision Making: A Human-Cognitive Perspective | February 17, 2022 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST
Forensic Technology Center of Excellence
NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) will be delivering a virtual Firearm and Toolmarks Policy and Practice Forum on January 11-14, 2022 that will explore new developments, discuss the foundations of firearm and toolmark examination, and address the implementation of new technologies into workflows. Leading up to the forum, FTCoE is hosting a firearm and toolmarks webinar series to jump-start the discussion.