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June 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 development organizations (SDOs). 

Bulletin Summary:

  • New standards added to the OSAC Registry: 3
  • Standards Open for Comment for Registry Approval: 7
  • New SDO Published Standards: 7
  • New Work Proposals: 4
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 36
Download PDF (298.9 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 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. 

Three New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry 

Two SDO Published Standards (added June 6, 2023):

One OSAC Proposed Standard (added June 6, 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 3, 2023, on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry:

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 090, Standard for Sex Estimation in Forensic Anthropology, 2019, 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. To be considered, comments must be placed in the OSAC Comment Form and sent to comments [at] (comments[at]nist[dot]gov) by 11:59 p.m. ET on  July 3, 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] (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 new Implementation Recognition Factsheet.

SDO Updates

New Published Standards

ANSI/ASB recently published the following standards:

ANSI/ASTM recently published the following standards:

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On May 5, 2023, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 6, in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin NFPA’s work on the following standard:

  • NFPA 1033-202x, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator (revision of ANSI/NFPA 1033-2022)

On May 19, 2023, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on pages 2-3, in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB and ASTM’s work on the following standards:

  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 190, Best Practice Recommendation for the Use of Digital Image Capture and File Storage Technology in Forensic Document Examination (new standard)
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 191, Standard for the Examination of Dry Seals and Dry Seal Impressions (new standard)
  • ASTM WK86273-202x, Guide for Interpretation and Reporting in Forensic Comparisons of Trace Materials (new standard)

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:

  • 7 standards open for comment at ASB in Biology/DNA (1), Dogs & Sensors (1), Forensic Anthropology (2), Friction Ridge (2), and Wildlife Forensics (1).
  • 13 standards open for comment at ASTM in Facial Identification (1), Fire Debris (3), Gunshot Residue (3), Interdisciplinary (1), Trace Evidence (4), and Video/Imaging Technology & Analysis SC (1).
  • 16 standards open for comment at SWGDE in Digital Evidence and Video/Imaging Technology & Analysis SC.

Other Forensic Science News, Events & Training

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 regulating bodies and the judicial systems) and Producers (defined as: manufacturers of kits, equipment of provider 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.

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 80+ 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 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. 

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