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March 2022

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: 2
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 7
  • New SDO published standards: 2
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 21 
Download PDF (275.93 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 legal experts. 

Two New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

SDO Published Standard (added March 1, 2022):

OSAC Proposed Standard (added March 1, 2022):

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 April 4, 2022 on whether the following SDO published standard should be included on the Registry.

  • ASTM E3235-21 Standard Practice for Latent Print Evidence Imaging Resolution. Submit your comments here
note: In January 2022, OSAC’s Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) approved that the requirement for an OSAC-managed comment period for Registry approval of SDO published standards can be met during the SDO’s public comment period. The public will have an opportunity to comment on a standard during its development through the SDO’s public comment period. This change allows comments to be submitted during the SDO development process, prior to publication, enabling upgrades to be directly incorporated into the standard rather than receiving the comments after the standard is published. In cases where OSAC can document the SDO’s public comment opportunity, OSAC will not execute a second public comment period during its Registry Approval Process. See the SDO Updates below for information on the standards currently open for comment at SDOs.

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 OSAC draft 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 draft is 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 April 4, 2022.


Visit the OSAC website to see all the standards under consideration for the OSAC Registry, along with their status in the Registry approval process.

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.


New SDO Published Standards

The Academy Standards Board (ASB) published the following two standards in February 2022:

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:

  • 14 standards open for comment at ASB in anthropology (1), biology/DNA (7), forensic document examination (2), footwear & tire (1), and friction ridge (3).
  • 7 standards open for comment at ASTM in trace evidence (3), forensic science terminology (1), gunshot residue (2), and seized drugs (1). 


Cover page of OSAC's February 2021 Registry Implementation Survey

OSAC Registry Implementation Survey Report Now Available

A report providing a detailed look at the survey respondents and the implementation status of 46 standards represented in OSAC’s first annual Registry Implementation Survey is now available. OSAC released this survey in the summer of 2021 to better understand how the standards on the OSAC Registry are being used, the challenges around standards implementation, and what support is needed to improve it.

Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence

Upcoming CSAFE events:

  • WEBINAR: Modeling and iNventory of Tread Impression System (MANTIS): The Development, Deployment and Application of an Active Footwear Data Collection System | March 24 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CDT
  • WEBINAR: Shining a Light on Black Box Studies | April 22 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CDT 
  • WEBINAR: Extracting Case-specific Information from Validation Studies | May 10 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CDT
  • SHORT COURSE: Sampling for Forensic Practitioners. This three-part short course focuses on populations, sampling frames, sampling methods and geometric sampling. The course will meet on March 25, April 1 and April 8 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. central time. 

Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Upcoming FTCoE events:

National Institute of Justice

The National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) forensic list provides email alerts on the latest NIJ awards, solicitations, events, and publications. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology

NIST has published Results from a Black-Box Study for Digital Forensic Examiners. The goal of this study was to assess the performance of the digital forensic community as a whole. For the study, experts from the digital forensic community examined and reported on simulated digital evidence from casework-like scenarios. The newly published document describes the methodology used in the study and summarizes the results.