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July 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: 4
Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 3
New Work Proposals: 2
Standards open for comment at SDOs: 5

Download PDF (270.66 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 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 and legal experts. 

Four New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry 

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

Three OSAC Proposed Standards (added July 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 July 31, 2023, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 098, Standard for Mass Spectral Analysis in Forensic Toxicology, 2023, 1st Ed. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 113, Standard for Identification Criteria in Forensic Toxicology, 2023, 1st Ed. Submit your comments here. 
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 142, Best Practice Recommendations for the Resolution of Conflicts in Friction Ridge Examination, 2022, 1st Ed. 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. 

  • There are no OSAC proposed standards currently open for comment for placement on the OSAC Registry.

    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.

    Interested in learning more about implementation? Check out OSAC’s Implementation Recognition Factsheet.


Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On June 9, 2023, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 2 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASB Standard 197-202x, Standard for the Examination of Digitally Captured Signatures (new standard). This standard provides procedures for forensic document examiners to conduct examinations and comparisons of Digitally Captured Signatures (DCSs).

An ASTM work item is a proposed new standard or revision to an existing standard that is under development. On June 30, 2023, a Project Notification System (PINS) was published on page 3 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASTM’s work on the following standard:

  • BSR/ASTM WK86785-202x, New Guide for Forensic Analysis of Explosives by Polarized Light Microscopy (new standard). This standard addresses the use of polarized light microscopy (PLM) to identify explosive-related compounds from intact explosives and post-blast residues containing unconsumed explosive compounds or their solid reaction products, and to isolate them for further analysis. NOTE: This is OSAC Proposed Standard (OSAC 2022-S-0023), 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:

  • Five standards are open for comment at ASB in Biology/DNA (2), Forensic Anthropology (2), and Medicolegal Death Investigation (1).


AAFS Standard Board (ASB) Call for New Members

New membership opportunities for existing ASB consensus bodies: Application Deadline: July 21, 2023

New membership opportunities for existing consensus bodies: Anthropology, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, CSI, DNA, Dogs and Sensors, Firearms and Toolmarks, Footwear and Tire, Forensic Document Examination, Forensic Odontology, Friction Ridge, Mass Fatality Management and Disaster Victim Identification, Medicolegal Death Investigation, Toxicology, Wildlife Forensics.

The Academy Standards Board (ASB) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is an ANSI-accredited Standards Development Organization. It is announcing a call for new members for all existing consensus bodies. The consensus bodies have 7 to 25 members based on applications received. Members will be selected by the Board of Directors of the ASB. The ASB has six interest categories, applicants are encouraged to apply in their self-selected interest category. A person may apply to one or more Consensus Bodies and need not indicate the same interest category for each Consensus Body application. An on-line application form is available at The website also contains links to several relevant documents describing the ASB.

Applicants are requested to submit the online form to be considered for serving on the ASB consensus bodies by July 21, 2023. Please direct questions to: Teresa Ambrosius, tambrosius [at] (tambrosius[at]aafs[dot]org).

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 90+ 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, and document objective evidence of implementation or compliance with a standard. Checklists are available for 85+ 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.

Participate in ASTM E30 Forensic Science Committee

ASTM International’s E30 Forensic Science Committee is seeking participants from underrepresented interest categories of Consumer (defined as: consumers of forensic evidence and includes individuals working in regulatory bodies and the judicial system) and Producers (defined as: manufacturers of kits or equipment used by, or providers of services to forensics science service providers.) Visit the E30 webpage to learn more.

Individuals who are interested in becoming an E30 member are invited to contact bmilewski [at] (bmilewski[at]astm[dot]org), ASTM’s E30 staff manager or join via the ASTM website.

The Scope of E30 is: The promotion of knowledge and development of standards (test methods, guides, practices, classifications, and terminology) for, but not limited to, definitions, methods and standard reference materials for the collection, preservation, scientific examination, preparation and reports relating to physical evidence for forensic purposes; and the general practice of forensic science; and other areas as determined by the scope.

Upcoming Events

WEBINAR: Implementation of ANSI/ASB 032 in An Accredited Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Section | July 19, 2023, 1:00 PM ET | A bloodstain pattern analyst training program is necessary to ensure the competency and quality of the work product. This standard was drafted to provide guidance to forensic service providers providing bloodstain pattern analysis services for the establishment and maintenance of such a program.

The goal of this program is to assist in the development or enhancement of a bloodstain training program that will enrich the skillset, knowledge and abilities of the bloodstain pattern analyst and their abilities to analyze bloodstains and bloodstain patterns at crime scenes and on physical evidence.

International Association for Identification (IAI) 107th Annual Education Conference | August 20 – 26, 2023 | National Harbor, MD | There will be many OSAC and standards-related presentations at this year’s IAI Conference! Check the agenda and mark your calendar.