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November 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: 4
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 2
  • New SDO published standards: 5
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 6 
Download PDF (237.41 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 science 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, quality, and legal experts. 

Four New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

Four OSAC Proposed Standards (added November 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. There are no SDO published standards currently open for comment for 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 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 December 5, 2022.

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 Published Standards

The Academy Standards Board (ASB) recently published the following five standards: 

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On October 28, 2022, a Project Notification System (PINS) was published on page three in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASTM’s work on the following standards:

  • ASTM WK83694-202x, Guide for Laboratory Photography. This standard describes specific photography and lighting techniques for documenting evidence in a laboratory or other controlled setting. Photography may be used in the laboratory to document evidence in various stages of analysis, and to show details that may not be discernible to the human eye. These photographs serve as a permanent record of the items of evidence, any developed evidence, or enhanced features (e.g., latent fingerprints, footwear impressions, tool marks, firearms, questioned documents). (NOTE: This is OSAC 2021-S-0027, currently on the OSAC Registry).
  • ASTM WK83695-202x, Guide for Post Mortem Examination Photography. This standard provides procedures describing specific photography and lighting techniques for documenting post-mortem examinations. These photographs serve as a permanent record of the examination, related evidence, and findings. (NOTE: This is OSAC 2021-S-0013, currently on the OSAC Registry).

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:

  • Four standards open for comment at ASB in forensic anthropology (1), forensic document examination (1), forensic toxicology (1), and friction ridge (1).
  • Two standards open for comment at NFPA. 


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 over 30 standards listed on the OSAC Registry and more are coming soon! 
  • 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 36 standards listed on the OSAC Registry and more are coming soon! 
  • Standards 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. 

NIST Seeks Public Comments on Draft Report of Forensic Bitemark Analysis

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published Bitemark Analysis: A NIST Scientific Review. The draft report is open for public comment through December 12, 2022. Visit the NIST website for more information about the draft report and how to submit comments.

Upcoming Events

FORENSICS@NIST | November 8-10, 2022
Join NIST virtually to learn how NIST scientists are using advanced methods in metrology, computer science and statistics to strengthen forensic science. 

WEBINAR: The ASCLD Forensic Research Committee and You: A Collaboration Worth Investigating | November 17, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – noon CT
The Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) invites researchers, collaborators, and members of the broader forensics and statistics communities to participate in this Fall 2022 webinar.