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November 2021

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 SDO published standards: 5
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 18
Download PDF (305.59 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.

Four Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

SDO Published Standards (added November 2, 2021):

OSAC Proposed Standard (added November 2, 2021):


To date, the OSAC Registry contains 76 standards (67 SDO published and 9 OSAC Proposed Standards), representing over 18 forensic science disciplines. 

Visit the OSAC Registry webpage to see the complete list and access these standards. 

Is your organization implementing standards on the OSAC Registry? Complete OSAC's Standards Implementation Declaration Form and send it to mark.stolorow [at] (mark[dot]stolorow[at]nist[dot]gov) to let us know.

Standards Open for Comment for OSAC Registry Approval

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 December 6, 2021.


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

SDO Updates

New SDO Published Standards

Academy Standards Board (ASB)

ASB published three firearms and toolmarks standards on October 15, 2021. These standards were initially drafted by OSAC’s Firearms & Toolmarks Subcommittee and finalized by ASB’s Firearms and Toolmarks Consensus Body.


Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

For a full list of forensic science standards that are currently open for comment at SDOs and how to submit your feedback, visit OSAC’s Standards Open for Comment webpage. This page consolidates and tracks comment deadlines for you and will be updated on a weekly basis.

ASB is currently soliciting comments on:

  • 2 interdisciplinary standards – comment deadline November 22, 2021
  • 2 toxicology standards – comment deadline November 22, 2021
  • 1 bloodstain pattern analysis standard – comment deadline November 29, 2021 
  • 1 firearms standard – comment deadline November 29, 2021
  • 1 footwear & tire standard – comment deadline November 29, 2021
  • 2 wildlife forensics standards – comment deadline December 13, 2021 

ASTM is currently soliciting comments until November 22, 2021 on:

  • 3 fire debris and explosive standards 
  • 1 gunshot residue analysis standard
  • 3 trace evidence standards

NFPA is currently soliciting comments on two fire and explosion investigation standards – comment deadlines November 10, 2021 and January 5, 2022.

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

The following documents are being initiated and are expected to result in new or revised standards.


On October 29, 2021, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page two 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 standards. Contact Teresa Ambrosius (tamambrosius [at] (tamambrosius[at]aafs[dot]org)) for more information or to submit comments

  • BSR/ASB BPR 177-202x, Canine Detection of Scent Identification Line-Ups. This new standard contains requirements for the training, certification, and documentation pertaining to canine teams (canine and handler) trained to conduct human scent lineups. Human scent lineups are canine examinations of human scent traces, in a comparative manner, to confirm the presence or absence of an association between objects or scent samples.
  • BSR/ASB BPR 178-202x, Canine Detection of Electronic Storage Media. This new standard contains requirements for the training, certification, and documentation pertaining to canine teams (canine and handler) trained to conduct detection of media storage devices that include hard drives, Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives, micro secure digital (SD) cards, and subscriber identification module (SIM) cards.
  • BSR/ASB BPR 179-202x, Canine Detection of Accelerants. This new standard contains requirements for the training, certification, and documentation pertaining to canine teams (canine and handler) trained to conduct the detection of accelerants. This standard covers accelerants to include: gasoline, light petroleum distillates, medium petroleum distillates, and high petroleum distillates.



On October 8, 2021, a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page five in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin a 30-day period for public comment on the initiation of NFPA’s work on:

  • BSR/NFPA 1321-202x, Standard for Fire Investigation Units. This new standard shall cover the minimum requirements relating to the establishment, structure, operation, and management of fire investigation units (FIUs). This standard shall not provide requirements relating to fire investigation methodology. This standard shall not provide requirements relating to professional qualifications of fire investigators. Contact Dawn Michele Bellis (dbellis [at] (dbellis[at]nfpa[dot]org)) for more information or to submit comments. 

Other News

Other Forensic Science News, Events & Training

AAFS 2022 Annual Scientific Conference

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) 74th Annual Scientific Conference will be held February 21-25 in Seattle, WA. AAFS 2022 will be a hybrid event, offering both in-person and virtual attendance options, and registration is now open. Visit the AAFS website for ongoing updates about the meeting. 

Call for Members for ASB Consensus Bodies

The ASB is currently accepting applications for the consensus bodies. Each CB consists of 7 to 25 members and creates and approves by consensus Forensic Standards, Best Practice Recommendations, Guidelines, and Technical Reports. The CBs also consider comments, views, and objections to ballots and resolve all comments received in connection with the development of documents. ASB CBs are open to all materially interested and affected individuals, companies, and organizations. If interested, please complete the application by November 19, 2021.


The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) is offering the following webinars. Learn more and register.

  • Using Mixture Models to Examine Group Differences: An Illustration Involving the Perceived Strength of Forensic Science Evidence | December 9, 2021 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CST
  • Improving Forensic Decision Making: A Human-Cognitive Perspective | February 17, 2022 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CST


NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) provides evidence-based resources about forensic technologies and emerging challenges.

Check out the first episode of FTCoE’s Workforce Resiliency podcast and hear from OSAC’s Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee Chair Kelly Keyes as she talks about workforce resiliency among medicolegal death investigators.


Subscribe to the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ) forensic list to see the latest NIJ awards, solicitations, events, and publications.