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OSAC Standards Bulletin - September 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: 7
  • Standards under consideration for the Registry and open for comment: 6
  • New SDO published standards: 5
  • Standards open for comment at SDOs: 3
Download PDF (349.76 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.


Seven New Standards Added to the Registry

SDO Published Standards (added September 7, 2021):

*criminal justice agencies can access the astm standards listed above by visiting osac's access to standards webpage.

OSAC Proposed Standards

To date, the OSAC Registry contains 72 standards (64 SDO published and 8 OSAC Proposed Standards), representing 17 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

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 October 4, 2021 on whether the following SDO published standards should be included on the Registry.

  • NFPA 921-21 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation. Submit your comments here
  • NFPA 1033-22 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigators. Submit your comments here

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 October 4, 2021.

note: OSAC Resource Task Group (RTG) members are encouraged to comment on these standards by downloading the RTG Comment Table and submitting it to forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov) in accordance with the registry approval process. 

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

The following standards have recently been published by the Academy Standards Board (ASB):

Standards Open for Comment at SDOs

ASB: For the ASB documents listed below, download the comment template and return it to asb [at] (asb[at]aafs[dot]org) by the comment deadline. 

*Comments on a re-circulation will only be accepted on revised sections of a document. Comments made to text not revised from the original comment period will not be accepted.

For a full list of forensic science standards that are currently open for comment at OSAC and SDOs, 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.

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 August 20, 2021, a 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 document:
    • BSR/ASB 148, Standard for Personal Identification in Forensic Anthropology. This standard provides approaches for establishing a personal identification in forensic anthropology using both scientific identification methods and contributory anthropological findings. This standard does not address identification of living individuals.

Other News

Register to Attend OSAC's Annual Public Update Meeting

OSAC logo

Want to know more about all the standards and other activities OSAC has been working on? Join us September 29, 2021 for OSAC’s Annual Public Update Meeting! This virtual event will feature presentations from the chairs of OSAC’s seven Scientific Area Committees and the Forensic Science Standards Board. Each presenter will describe their unit’s activities, including the standards they are working on, challenges being addressed, and priorities for the upcoming year. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions and share feedback. Learn more and register.

Other Forensic Science News, Events, & Training

AAFS Standards Board (ASB)

The ASB has published an updated Manual and Style Guide for ASB Standards, Guidelines, Best Practice Recommendations, and Technical Reports and also has an ASB Supplemental Style Guide as a companion document to this manual. There are some significant changes to this updated version, including more detailed descriptions of the ASB document types, standards and best practice recommendations, and the addition of an ASB Guideline document type. There are additional details on Normative References, Terminology, and Scope writing. The manual and supplemental style guide are available on the ASB website.

Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE)

CSAFE invites forensic science practitioners to participate in a survey on how they prefer to learn about new technologies, research studies, and statistics. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and will be open until September 30, 2021. Learn more and take the survey

CSAFE has announced the lineup for its fall 2021 webinar series, beginning September 22 and continuing through December 9. The following webinars are free and open to the public. Researchers and members of the forensics and statistics communities are encouraged to attend. Learn more and register.

  • A Survey of Fingerprint Examiners’ Attitudes Towards Probabilistic Reporting | September 22 |11:00 a.m. – noon CDT
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Black Box Study | October 14 | 11:00 a.m. – noon CDT
  • Using Mixture Models to Examine Group Differences: An Illustration Involving the Perceived Strength of Forensic Science Evidence | December 9 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CST

Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE)

NIJ’s FTCoE provides evidence-based resources about forensic technologies and emerging challenges. 

On September 30, Lesley Hammer, Vice Chair of OSAC’s Physics/Pattern Interpretation SAC, will be presenting at the upcoming FTCoE webinar, Footwear Evidence Conclusions: A Discussion of Standards, Recommendations, and Structure. This webinar will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the post-SWGTREAD considerations for articulating findings (interpretations, limitations, opinions, and results) as well as a platform to exchange thoughts, consider suggested conclusion structures, and observe examples related to articulating footwear evidence conclusions. Learn more and register

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Subscribe to NIJ’s forensic list ( to see the latest NIJ awards, solicitations, events, and publications.