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January 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: 8
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 7
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 11
Download PDF (310 KB)

OSAC REGISTRY UPDATES

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. 

Eight New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

One SDO Published Standard (added January 5, 2023):

Seven OSAC Proposed Standards (added January 5, 2023):

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

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 011, Scope of Expertise in Forensic Document Examination, First Edition, 2022. Submit your comments here. 
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 095, Standard for Minimum Qualifications and Training for a Footwear/Tire Forensic Science Service Provider, First Edition, 2020 (Errata 1, 2022). Submit your comments here.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 099, Standard for Footwear/Tire Examination Proficiency Testing Program, First Edition, 2020 (Errata 1, 2022). Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 126, Best Practice Recommendation for Casting Footwear and Tire Impression Evidence at the Crime Scene, First Edition, 2020 (Errata 1, 2022). Submit your comments here
  • ASTM E3316-22, Standard Guide for Forensic Examination of Hair by Microscopy. 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] nist.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 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] nist.gov to let us know. Your organization will subsequently be awarded an OSAC Registry Implementer Certificate.

SDO UPDATES

New Published Standards

ASB recently published the following standards:

ASTM recently published the following standard: 

  • ANSI/ASTM E3175-2022, Practice for Training in the Forensic Examination of Hair by Microscopy.

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On December 23, 2022, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page two in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s work on the following standard:

  • ASB 185-202x, Standard for Proficiency Testing in Friction Ridge Examination. This standard sets minimum requirements for proficiency tests used to assess the personnel performance and the overall quality system of the Forensic Service Provider (FSP) related to friction ridge examination. Included are requirements for the selection, development, validation, administration, evaluation, and documentation of all proficiency tests regardless of source. This document does not address requirements related to the specific method(s) for conducting friction ridge examination, or for validation of novel methods prior to implementation. (NOTE: This is OSAC 2022-S-0012, 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:

  • 9 standards open for comment at ASB in friction ridge (5), forensic anthropology (2) and forensic toxicology (2). 
  • 2 standards open for comment at SWGDE. 

OSAC PROGRAM OFFICE NEWS

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] fiu.edu.

Access the survey here: https://go.fiu.edu/OSACSurvey

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!

OTHER FORENSIC SCIENCE NEWS, EVENTS & 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 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. 

Public Review of Revised Accredited Standards Developer Procedures

The AAFS – American Academy of Forensic Sciences, an ANSI Member and Accredited Standards Developer, has submitted revisions to its currently accredited operating procedures for documenting consensus on AAFS-sponsored American National Standards, under which it was last reaccredited in 2021. As the revisions appear to be substantive in nature, the reaccreditation process is initiated. 

To obtain a copy of the revised procedures or to offer comments, please contact: Teresa Ambrosius, American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) | 410 North 21st Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904 | tambrosius [at] aafs.org

To view/download a copy of the revisions during the public review period, click URL here. Please submit any public comments on the revised procedures to AAFS by January 17, 2023, with a copy to the Executive Standards Council (ExSC) Recording Secretary in ANSI’s New York Office (jthompso [at] ANSI.org).

Upcoming Events

WEBINAR: The State of Standard Development & Tools for Assessing and Implementing Standards | January 17, 2023
Attend this ASCLD & FTCoE webinar to learn about the status and development of forensic science standards, tools to implement them, and how you can participate in standards development.

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.