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January 2024

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: 3
  • New SDO Published Standards: 3
  • New Work Proposals: 1
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 8
Download PDF (255.27 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.

Three New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry 

3 OSAC Proposed Standards (added January 3, 2024):

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.

  • There are no SDO Published Standards currently open for comment for Registry approval at this time.

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. 

  • There are no OSAC Proposed Standards currently open for comment for Registry approval at this time. 

    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:

  • ASTM E3115-17 (reapproved 2023), Standard Guide for Capturing Facial Images for Use With Facial Recognition Systems.
    • NOTE: The 2017 version of this document, ASTM E3115-17, is currently on the OSAC Registry.
  • ANSI/ASTM 3150-18 (reapproved 2023), Standard Guide for Forensic Audio Lab Setup and Maintenance.
    • NOTE: The 2018 version of this document, ASTM E3150-18, is currently on the OSAC Registry

​​​​SWGDE recently published the following standard:

  • 17-F-001-2.0, SWGDE Recommendations for Cell Site Analysis (2023-12-18).

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On December 15, 2023, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 2 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin SDO’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASB Standard 204-202x, Standard Procedures for the Decontamination of Canines following Potential Environmental Exposure (new standard). This standard provides the requirements and procedures for canine handlers performing the decontamination of working animals and training in conducting chemical-biological, toxic threats. This document also provides the means and methods to protect working dogs from exposure and how to identify exposure, types of necessary PPE and handler equipment.

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:

  • Six standards open for comment at ASB in: biology/DNA (2), bloodstain pattern analysis (1), crime scene investigation/reconstruction (1), friction ridge (1) and toxicology (1).
  • Two standards open for comment at ASTM in: fire and explosives (1), and seized drugs (1).

OSAC Program Office News

OSAC Registry Implementation Mentors and Subject Matter Experts Needed

The FSSB Implementer Cohort Task Group is looking for mentors to help Forensic Science Service Providers (FSSP)s 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.

The Implementer Cohort is also seeking Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for each forensic science discipline. Ideally, the candidate(s) must be established in their discipline, must have assisted with bringing their organization in compliance with OSAC Registry implementation, and should be capable of providing guidance to other FSSPs on their implementation journey. If you are interested in becoming a SME, or know someone who would be perfect for this role, please contact crystal.degrange [at] (crystal[dot]degrange[at]nist[dot]gov). The cohort is interested in candidates who are currently external to OSAC (Note- this can include non-Members, past Members, and/or current Affiliates).

Other Forensic Science News, Events, & Training

Upcoming Events

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 130+ 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 125+ 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.