Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

October 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: 7
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 3
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 5
Download PDF (287.16 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. 

Seven New Standards Added to the OSAC Registry

Four SDO Published Standards (added October 4, 2022):

For access to the ASTM standards, visit OSAC's Access to Standards webpage. 

Three OSAC Proposed Standards (added October 4, 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 October 31, 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.


Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

On September 30, 2022, a Project Notification System (PINS) was published on page two in the ANSI Standards Action. This will begin ASB’s work on the following standard:

  • ASB 184-202x, Standard for a Mentorship Program in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. This document establishes required components of a mentorship program for Bloodstain Pattern Analysts. Components include mentoring and evaluation of casework, mock casework, and courtroom preparation and testimony. (NOTE: This is OSAC Proposed Standard, OSAC 2021-N-0039, currently on the 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:

  • 4 standards open for comment at ASB in forensic document examination (1), friction ridge (1), and wildlife forensics (2).
  •  1 standard open at NFPA (NFPA 1321, Standard for Fire Investigation Units).   

The Forensic Science Regulator (UK) is seeking views on a draft code of practice (‘the code’). This draft code sets quality standard requirements for forensic activities related to the investigation of crime and the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The draft code applies to England and Wales, but the Regulator welcomes views from stakeholders across the UK.


Standards Resources - Standards Checklists Now Available!

As part of NIST’s cooperative agreement with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), AAFS is developing training, tools, and resources to enhance implementation efforts and broaden awareness of forensic science standards. 

Standards Checklists are now available for 36 standards on the OSAC Registry! These checklists provide a tool to allow a forensic science service provider to evaluate the level of standard implementation and/or audit conformance to a standard. Checklists are available for standards in the disciplines of Biology/DNA, facial identification, fire & explosion investigation, firearms & toolmarks, footwear & tire, gunshot residue analysis, medicolegal death investigation, seized drugs, toxicology, and interdisciplinary topics, with more coming soon! 

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. There are currently 33 factsheets available for standards listed on the OSAC Registry in the following forensic science disciplines: biology/DNA, digital evidence, facial identification, fire debris & explosives, fire & explosion investigation, firearms & toolmarks, friction ridge, seized drugs, toxicology, trace evidence, and interdisciplinary topics. 

Upcoming Events

AAFS WEBINAR: ANSI/ASB Standard 036, Standard Practices for Method Validation in Forensic Toxicology | October 21, 2022 | 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET 

Validation is the process of performing a set of experiments that reliably estimates the efficacy, reliability, and reproducibility of an analytical method. The goal of conducting validation experiments is to establish evidence which demonstrates that a method is capable of successfully performing at the level of its intended use and to identify the method's limitations under normal operating conditions.

This AAFS webinar will describe the requirements of ANSI/ASB 036, how to select the right calibration model for your calibration method, a real-world laboratory application of this standard, and how ANSI/ASB 036 aligns with the requirements of accreditation programs in forensic toxicology. 

CSAFE SHORT COURSE: Statistical Thinking for Forensic Practitioners (all sessions are from 10:00 a.m. – noon CT)

  • Session 1: October 14
  • Session 2: October 21
  • Session 3: October 28
  • Session 4: November 4

FORENSICS@NIST 2022: Join NIST virtually on November 8 – 10, 2022 to learn how NIST scientists are using advanced methods in metrology, computer science and statistics to strengthen forensic science. 
Also, as part of this event, NIST will also be hosting several workshops November 14-15. Attendees must register to attend the main session on November 8 – 10 to register for a workshop. Workshop registrations will be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information and to register, visit the NIST website.