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July 2024

This Standards Bulletin from the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science provides a monthly update on forensic science standards moving through the OSAC Registry and standards development process, along with other OSAC news and standards-related information.


Be sure to check out the "Implementation Impacts & Resources" section below for more information.  

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OSAC Registry Updates 

OSAC Registry Ribbon

As of July 2, 2024, the OSAC Registry contains 199 standards (137 published and 62 OSAC Proposed) representing over 20 forensic science disciplines.    

The following 11 standards have been added to the OSAC Registry, effective July 2, 2024.  

Standards Open for Comment 

SDO Published Standards Under Consideration for the OSAC Registry

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 August 5, 2024, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:

  • ASTM E1386-23, Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Solvent Extraction. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3391-24, Standard Terminology Relating to Gunshot Residue AnalysisSubmit your comments here.

OSAC Proposed Standards Under Consideration for the OSAC Registry

  • There are no OSAC Proposed Standards currently being considered for the OSAC Registry at this time. 

Standards Open for Comment at Standards Development Organizations (SDOs)

There are five forensic science standards currently open for public comment at:

  • Academy Standards Board (ASB):
    • One firearms & toolmarks and one friction ridge  standard with a public comment deadline of July 8th
    • One footwear & tire standard with a public comment deadline of July 22nd. 
  • ASTM:
    • One facial identification and one fire debris & explosives standard with a public comment deadline of July 22nd

Visit OSAC’s Standards Open for Comment webpage to access these documents and for the instructions on how to submit your comments.

SDO Updates 

New Published Standards

From the ASB:

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On June 7, 2024, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on pages 2-3  in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASTM’s  work on the following standards:

  • BSR/ASTM E3149-202x, Guide for Facial Image Comparison Feature List for Morphological Analysis. Morphological analysis used for facial comparison should utilize consistent terminology and methodology. This guide provides a standard set of facial components, characteristics, and descriptors to be used as a framework in conjunction with a systematic method of analysis for facial image comparison. 
    • NOTE: This is a revision to E3149-18 Standard Guide for Facial Image Comparison Feature List for Morphological Analysis, which is currently on the OSAC Registry.
  • BSR/ASTM WK90918-202x, New Guide for Facial Image Comparison Documentation (new standard). This guide provides minimum guidelines for facial image comparison documentation and reporting. 
    • NOTE: This is OSAC 2022-S-0008, Standard Guide for Minimum Facial Image Comparison Documentation, currently on the OSAC Registry.  

On June 14, 2024, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 11  in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin NFPA’s  work on the following standards:

  • BSR/NFPA 921-202x, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (revision of ANSI/NFPA 921-2024). This document is designed to assist individuals who are charged with the responsibility of investigating and analyzing fire and explosion incidents and rendering opinions as to the origin, cause, fire spread, responsibility, or prevention of such incidents and the damage and injuries that arise from such incidents. 


“It's Timeeee”…. to Submit Your OSAC Registry Implementation Survey

Keep pace with more than 155+ other leading forensic science service providers who have publicly embraced nationally recognized forensic science standards! 

Mariah Carey Its Time

OSAC’s Registry Implementation Open Enrollment Season begins next week! Is your organization ready? 

The 2024 Open Enrollment Season will be held from July 8 through September 2, concluding just before National Forensic Science Week (September 14-21).

In the spirit of gift giving, OSAC has made implementation much easier! Forensic science service providers can now submit their OSAC Registry Implementation Survey ELECTRONICALLY! That’s right. ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS. 

Visit OSAC’s Open Enrollment webpage to learn more.

Has your organization previously submitted implementation information? This is a great opportunity for current OSAC Registry implementers to update your information!

How does open enrollment benefit your organization?

Implementing standards on the OSAC Registry and submitting a new or updated form has many significant benefits! Here are just a few:


Keep pace with more than 155+ other leading forensic science service providers who have publicly embraced nationally recognized forensic science standards!


Celebrate the benefits of improved communication among your staff and demonstrate to stakeholders another reason why they can depend on your agency for the highest quality service.


Capitalize on your quality assurance achievements by joining a national cohort of standards implementers who regularly share updates on new tools and training on how to meet challenges of implementation and increase transparency of efforts toward compliance with new and existing standards.

In addition to acquiring new implementer data, updated information from the existing cohort of implementers will enable OSAC to:

  • Report more accurate information with respect to the numbers and types of standards that are being implemented.

  • Enable better communication with and among implementers who are using specific standards in their protocols.

  • Better demonstrate the full extent of implementation to the entire criminal justice community and legislative bodies across the nation.


Call for Nominations: 2024 Sharon B. Nakich Award

Photo of Sharon Nakich
Sharon B. Nakich

OSAC is seeking nominations for the 2024 Sharon B. Nakich Award. As of the date of this publishing, OPO has not received any nominations for this award. 

In honor of our colleague, Sharon Nakich, this OSAC peer-to-peer award acknowledges a helpful attitude, kindness, teamwork, or behind-the-scenes contributions to support the goals of OSAC. It recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to promote OSAC’s mission through their support of OSAC. This nominee works diligently and tirelessly as a champion for OSAC, at times without recognition.


  •  All OSAC members and affiliates
  •  Any non-OSAC member who has contributed significantly to furthering the mission of OSAC

To submit your nomination, please provide two or more narrative statements from two or more different individuals addressing the criteria mentioned above. Nomination justifications should include, but are not limited to, a description of:

  • Specific activities the nominee was involved in that had a positive effect in supporting OSAC’s mission,
  • How the individual’s action helped the organization further its goals
  • Describe the nominee’s willingness to go the extra mile.

Please send your nomination and supporting documentation to crystal.degrange [at] (Crystal DeGrange) by Friday, August 24, 2024.


Andrew Smith, FSSB Chair
Andy Smith, FSSB Chair and AFTE representative

Association of Firearm and ToolMark Examiners (AFTE) Annual Training Seminar. The 2024 Association of Firearm and ToolMark Examiners (AFTE) Annual Training Seminar was held May 26-31 in Anchorage, AK. OSAC’s Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) Chair and AFTE representative, Andy Smith, provided an update to over 400+ attendees regarding the OSAC program and its role in the development of forensic science standards. He also shared information about the importance of standards implementation and the various resources that are available to help FSSPs with implementation within their organization.  

Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Sciences (MAAFS) Conference. The Annual MAAFS Conference was held May 6-10 in Pittsburg, PA. OSAC’s Human Forensic Biology’s Subcommittee Vice Chair, Charlotte Word, was a very busy OSAC bee and delivered the following workshop and presentations during this year’s conference: 

  • Understanding and Implementation of the Standard for Interpreting, Comparing and Reporting DNA Test Results Associated with Failed Controls and Contamination Events Workshop. During this workshop, Charlotte and Tabitha Bandy (Bode Technology; ASB working group member) shared the specific requirements in the soon-to-be published ANSI/ASB Standard 175, Standard for Interpreting, Comparing and Reporting DNA Test Results Associated with Failed Controls and Contamination Events which was slightly modified from OSAC 2020-S-0004, Standard for Forensic DNA Interpretation and Comparison Protocols (currently on the OSAC Registry). There were interactive discussions regarding the implementation of this standard, approaches to consider for evaluating, decision-making and reporting data without re-testing, and the relationship of this standard to other relevant ANSI/ASB and mandatory standards for forensic DNA.
Charlotte Word and Tabitha Bandy at MAAFS 2024
Charlotte Word (left) and Tabitha Bandy (right) presenting at the 2024 MAAFS Conference
  • Charlotte also gave a  presentationNew Standards and Best Practices in Biology/DNA,” which provided an overview of the following new Biology/DNA  standards and best practices:
    • ANSI/ASB Standard 123, Standard for Routine Internal Evaluation of a Laboratory’s DNA Interpretation and Comparison Protocol. 2024. 1st. Ed. (currently in the OSAC Registry approval process)
    • ANSI/ASB Standard 139, Reporting DNA Conclusions. 2024. 1st. Ed. (currently in the OSAC Registry approval process)
    • ANSI/ASB Standard 154, Standard for Training on Testimony for Forensic Biology. 2024. 1st. Ed. (currently in the OSAC Registry approval process)
    • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 171, Best Practice Recommendations for the Management and Use of Quality Assurance DNA Elimination Databases in Forensic DNA Analysis. 2024. 1st. Ed.
    • ANSI/ASB Standard 175, Standard for Interpreting, Comparing and Reporting DNA Test Results Associated with Failed Controls and Contamination Events, 2024. 1st. Ed. DRAFT (soon-to-be published by ASB)
Steve Johnson at the Pacific Northwest Division of the IAI Conference
OSAC Standards Ambassador, Steve Johnson, at the PNWDIAI Conference

Pacific Northwest Division of the International Association for Identification (PNWDIAI) Annual Educational Conference. On June 3-6, Steve Johnson, one of OSAC’s Standards Ambassadors,  attended the 2024  PNWDIAI Annual Educational Conference in Missoula, Montana.  While the PNWDIAI Division may not be one of the largest divisions membership-wise, covering five northwestern U.S. states (Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Alaska) as well as two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia), it is definitely the largest geographically. Located in the northern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Missoula was an amazing location for this year's conference, and those in attendance appreciated OSAC sharing information about the on-going standards implementation effort and our expanded outreach to the "crime scene" centric forensic disciplines that represent IAI practitioners. While there, Steve was able to set up future virtual and in-person meetings with lab leaders to continue the conversation about the OSAC mission.

Opening slide of OSAC's presentation at the 2024 FIU Symposium

2024 Florida International University (FIU) International Symposium. On June 6, OSAC Program Office staff members, Vinny Desiderio and Allison Getz, participated virtually in FIU’s Global Forensic Science Symposium. During their presentation, Forensic Science Standards Development and Implementation: How Thinking Globally and Acting Locally Can Improve the Forensic Landscape, they provided a brief history of forensic science standards development, and discussed the benefit of standardization in the forensic laboratory environment, the important role research plays in standards development and the benefits of implementing standards in the educational environment.

OSAC Ignitable Liquids, Explosives & GSR SC icon only

4th Annual International Microscopy (Inter/Micro) Conference. William Randle, affiliate member of OSAC’s Ignitable Liquid, Explosives and Gunshot Residue Subcommittee (ILE&GSR), recently presented at the Inter/Micro Conference held June 11 - 14 in Chicago, IL. Inter/Micro is an international conference hosted by the McCrone Research Institute (McRI) and attended by professional microscopists specializing in light and electron microscopy with an emphasis in forensic and chemical microscopy. Mr. Randle provided a review of OSAC 2022-S-0023, Standard Guide for the Forensic Analysis of Explosives by Polarized Light Microscopy. Additionally, the McRI has nearly completed their National Institute of Justice (NIJ) supported research project entitled Development of Microscopical Methods for the Systematic Analysis of Chemically Reacted, Improvised Low Explosives. The information and data compiled by the McRI as part of their research will be a valuable resource for analysts using OSAC 2022-S-0023, Standard Guide for the Analysis of Explosives by Polarized Light Microscopy.    

fire scene
Credit: Pixabay

2024 Forensic International Network for Explosives Investigation (FINEX) Conference. Another OSAC (ILE&GSR) Subcommittee member, Christine Marsh, presented “The OSAC Experience – Ignitable Liquids, Explosives, and Gunshot Residue (ILEGSR)” at the 2024 Forensic International Network for Explosives Investigation (FINEX) Conference on Tuesday June 18 in Zurich, Switzerland for approximately 60 attendees. This conference is internationally recognized as the primary professional meeting for all aspects of forensic explosives investigation. Ms. Marsh presented an overview of the OSAC program and shared her experiences as an ILE&GSR subcommittee member including the standards developing process, previously published standards, and future work with forensic science standards in the ILE&GSR discipline.  

Midwest Crime Laboratory Directors Meeting. On June 12, Vinny Desiderio, OSAC Program Office staff member, had the opportunity to present to the Midwest Crime Laboratory Directors during their annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN. The approximately 60 attendees were thanked for their support of OSAC efforts and learned more about OSAC’s various initiatives to support the implementation of standards on the OSAC Registry. Special emphasis was placed on the upcoming open enrollment period and the importance of the data that this survey plays with respect to strengthening and unifying the national system of forensic science standards.

Arizona Public Defenders Association (ADPA) 2024 Annual Conference and Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council (APAAC)’s 2024 Annual Prosecutors’ Conference. On June 19 and June 21, the OSAC team visited sunny Arizona and delivered 1.5 hour lectures titled "Forensic Science Standards in the Legal Process" during the annual conferences of both the Arizona Public Defenders Association (APDA) (June 19th in Tempe, AZ) and the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council (APAAC) (June 21st in Chandler, AZ). During these conferences, approximately 20 public defenders and 50 prosecutors were introduced to forensic science standards and the roles that OSAC and Standards Developing Organizations, like the Academy Standards Board (ASB) and ASTM International play in the development of forensic science standards and implementation efforts for forensic science service providers in the nation.

Dana Delger and JP Jones in Arizona presenting at two forensic legal conferences
OSAC in Arizona speaking to the legal community about standards.


  • July 16: Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) | Arlington, VA
  • August 12-16: International Association for Identification Annual Conference (IAI) | Reno, NV
  • August 27-29: 2024 International Conference on Forensic Nursing Science and Practice | Denver, CO
  • September 4: OSAC Leadership Strategy Session | Virtual
  • September 9-10: FSSB quarterly meeting | Research Triangle Park, NC
  • September 16-19: Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE) Meeting |Houston, TX
  • September 19-23: National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) Annual Meeting |Denver, CO
  • September 23-26: International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) Meeting |San Antonio, TX


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 135+ 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 130+ 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. 


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Contact Us. If you have feedback, questions, or want to learn more about how you can help strengthen forensic science through standards, contact us at forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov)