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May 2020

The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science Standards Bulletin provides an update on forensic science standards that are moving through the Registry Approval Process at OSAC and those moving through the development process at standards developing organizations (SDOs).

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Bulletin Summary

The OSAC Standards Bulletin is organized to capture the following standard development phases in the OSAC Registry Approval and SDO processes:

  • After being published by an SDO, selected standards and guidelines may proceed to the OSAC Registry Approval Process where they are evaluated further for technical merit and impact on the forensic science community.
  • In the SDO process, OSAC committees or task groups submit an idea (i.e., work item), a partially drafted document, or a fully drafted document to an SDO for further development, commenting, and publishing. 

Number of New Standards Placed on the OSAC Registry: Two (2)

Number of OSAC Registry Documents Open for Comment: Six (6) 

Number of SDO Documents Open for Comment: Seventeen (17)

OSAC Registry Updates

OSAC Registry Ribbon

The OSAC Registry serves as a repository of scientifically sound forensic science standards that address discipline-specific forensic science needs. A document included on the Registry has progressed through the formal SDO process and has been published as a standard. OSAC elevates standards to the OSAC Registry as an endorsement of the document’s high quality and to encourage its use by relevant stakeholders in the forensic science community.

New Documents on the OSAC Registry

OSAC has added the following standards to the Registry:

Intent to Add to the OSAC Registry - Items Open for Comment

Please submit your comments by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 13, 2020 on whether the following standards should be included on the OSAC Registry.

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 106, Wildlife Forensics – Protein Serology Method for Taxonomic Identification, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here
  • ASTM E2916-19e1 Standards Terminology for Digital and Multimedia Evidence Examination. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3016-18 Standard Guide for Establishing Confidence in Digital and Multimedia Evidence Forensic Results by Error Mitigation Analysis. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3017-19 Standard Practice for Examining Magnetic Card Readers. Submit your comments here.  
  • ASTM E3046-15 Standard Guide for Core Competencies for Mobile Phone Forensics. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3150-18 Standard Guide for Forensic Audio Laboratory Setup and Maintenance. Submit your comments here.

In the Comment Adjudication Phase

In the Appeals Phase

  • None currently.

For a list of all standards currently under consideration, please visit the OSAC website.

Has your organization already started implementing OSAC Registry Approved standards? Complete OSAC's Laboratory Implementation Declaration Form and send it to mark.stolorow [at] (mark[dot]stolorow[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know. Share your implementation experience and be featured in a future OSAC news post.


SDO Updates

Comment Period Open on Draft Documents

ASTM International:

For access to the ASTM documents listed above, contact Brian Milewski (bmilewski [at] (bmilewski[at]astm[dot]org)) to become a member of Committee E30 on Forensic Science. 

New Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

The following document is being initiated and is expected to result in a new or revised standard.


  • On April 17, 2020 a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 18 in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin a 30-day period for public comment on the initiation of ASB’s work on the following document:
    • BSR/ASB Std 140-202x, Standard for Training in Forensic Human Mitochondrial DNA Analysis, Interpretation, Statistical Evaluation, and Reporting. This document provides the requirements for a forensic DNA laboratory’s training program in forensic human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, interpretation, statistical evaluation, and reporting.


Other News

Help Evaluate OSAC's Materials (Trace) Draft Document, Standard Practice for Interpretation and Report Writing in Forensic Comparison of Trace Materials

In preparation for submitting a document to ASTM for formal standards development, OSAC’s Materials (Trace) Subcommittee will be conducting an interlaboratory data collection exercise to evaluate the draft of its Standard Practice for Interpretation and Report Writing in Forensic Comparison of Trace Materials.

The focus of the first round of this study will be on forensic paint analysis. Please be on the lookout for an announcement regarding a web-based training session introducing participants to the draft document and exercise, which is expected to begin this summer. We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues and visit the Materials (Trace) Subcommittee webpage to start reviewing the document now, with particular attention to Sections 1-5 and 9.

If you have questions or would like to participate in the exercise, please contact Andria Mehltretter at ahmehltretter [at] (ahmehltretter[at]fbi[dot]gov).

Call for Members: New ASB Crime Scene Investigation Consensus Body

ASB is forming a new Crime Scene Investigation Consensus Body. If you’re interested in participating, please apply by May 29, 2020 using the on-line application form. Members will be selected by the Board of Directors of the ASB. Please send any additional questions to tambrosius [at]

Funding Available for Standards Curricula Development

OSAC encourages stakeholders to apply to NIST’s FY2020 Standards Services Curricula Development Cooperative Agreement Program. This program awards funding to eligible applicants to develop undergraduate or graduate level curricula to incorporate documentary standards, standards development, and standardization information and content into seminars, modules, courses, and learning resources. Applications must be submitted through no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on June 15, 2020.