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September 2020

This Standards Bulletin from the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science provides an update on:

  • Standards moving through the OSAC Registry approval process.
  • Standards moving through the development process at standards developing organizations (SDOs).

New standards placed on the OSAC Registry: 1

OSAC Registry standards open for comment:

SDO published standards: 4

SDO documents open for comment: 8

Download PDF (362.55 KB)

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. OSAC elevates standards to the OSAC Registry as an endorsement of their high quality and to encourage their use by relevant stakeholders in the forensic science community.

New Documents on the OSAC Registry

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

The following SDO published standards are being considered for the OSAC Registry. Please submit your comments by the deadline on whether they should be included on the Registry:

Comment deadline - 11:59 p.m. ET on September 4, 2020:

  • ASTM E1388-17 Standard Practice for Static Headspace Sampling of Vapors from Fire Debris Samples. Submit your comments here
  • ASTM E1412-19 Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Passive Headspace Concentration with Activated Charcoal. Submit your comments here
  • ASTM E1413-19 Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Dynamic Headspace Concentration onto an Adsorbent Tube. Submit your comments here.
  • ASTM E3189-19 Standard Practice for Separation of Ignitable Liquid Residues from Fire Debris Samples by Static Headspace Concentration onto an Adsorbent Tube. Submit your comments here.

Comment deadline - 11:59 p.m. ET on October 1, 2020:

  • ANSI/ASB Standard 032, Standards for a Bloodstain Pattern Analyst’s Training Program, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 089, Best Practice Recommendation for Facial Approximation in Forensic Anthropology, First Edition, 2020. Submit your comments here
  • ANSI/NIST-ITL 1-2011 Updated 2015, NIST Special Publication 500-290, Data Format for the Interchange of Fingerprint, Facial & Other Biometric Information. Submit your comments here.

The following “OSAC Proposed Standards” are being considered for the OSAC Registry. Submit your comments/suggestions on the wording included in these draft standards and indicate whether they should be included on the OSAC Registry. To submit your feedback, complete the OSAC comment template and send it to forensics@nist.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on September 4, 2020

For a list of all standards currently under Registry 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@nist.gov to let us know. Share your implementation experience and be featured in a future OSAC news post. 

SDO Updates

Published

SDO published icon

The American Academy of Forensic Science Standards Board (ASB) has recently published four new documents:

  • ANSI/ASB Best Practice Recommendation 049, Best Practice Recommendation for Lifting of Footwear and Tire Impressions, First Edition, 2020. This document, initially developed by OSAC’s Footwear & Tire Subcommittee and finalized by the ASB Footwear and Tire Consensus Body, provides the best practice recommendations for personnel responsible for lifting footwear and tire impressions. The recommendations in this document optimize the recovery of impressions and the procedures included may not cover all aspects of lifting footwear or tire impressions. Deviations from this document may/may not preclude examination of recovered impressions. 
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 053, Standard for Report Content in Forensic Toxicology, First Edition, 2020. This document, initially developed by OSAC’s Toxicology Subcommittee and finalized by the ASB Toxicology Consensus Body, delineates the requirements for reporting results from forensic toxicology analyses. Specifically, it is intended for the subdisciplines of human performance toxicology (e.g., driving-under-the-influence of alcohol or drugs and drug-facilitated crimes), postmortem forensic toxicology, non-regulated employment drug testing, court-ordered toxicology (e.g., probation and parole, drug courts, child services), and general forensic toxicology (e.g., non-lethal poisonings or intoxications). The document does not apply to the reporting of breath alcohol testing results.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 095, Standard for Minimum Qualifications and Training for a Footwear/Tire Forensic Science Service Provider, First Edition, 2020. This standard, initially developed by OSAC’s Footwear & Tire Subcommittee and finalized by the ASB Footwear and Tire Consensus Body, describes the minimum qualifications and is an outline for training for a footwear/ tire forensic science service provider (FSSP) with little to no experience or previous training. This standard outlines what topics should be covered in a training program and is not intended to be the sole source of training material.
  • ANSI/ASB Standard 099, Standard for Footwear/Tire Examination Proficiency Testing Program, First Edition, 2020. This document, initially developed by OSAC’s Footwear & Tire Subcommittee and finalized by the ASB Footwear and Tire Consensus Body, outlines the requirements for proficiency test providers and footwear and tire examiners for creating appropriate proficiency tests. The standard also provides recommendations for testing frequency. The guidance provided is primarily concerned with the discipline-level content and the footwear and tire examiner’s ability to perform work and not organizational compliance.

Comment Period Open on Draft Documents

American Dental Association (ADA)

  • BSR/ADA Standard No. 1058-2010 (R202x), Forensic Dental Data Set (reaffirmation of ANSI/ADA Standard No. 1058-2010 (R2015)). The purpose of this standard is to develop uniform nomenclature for the description of forensic dental data and to define a standardized set of uniform terms to convey this information. The goal of the standard is not to define the extent of information collected, only to be certain that common terms are used in order to aid in identification of human remains or a living amnesiac. Comment deadline October 5, 2020.

For the ADA document listed above, obtain a free electronic copy from standards@ada.org or order from Paul Bralower (bralowerp@ada.org) and send your comments to psa@ansi.org by the comment deadline. 

ASB:

  • ASB Standard 096, Standard Method for the Examination and Documentation of Ammunition and Ammunition Components. This new standard provides procedures for the examination and documentation of ammunition and/or ammunition components by forensic firearm and toolmark examiners or technicians. Following these procedures, an examiner or technician will be able to document and report the examination of ammunition and/or ammunition components. This document does not cover the microscopic comparison of toolmarks on ammunition components. Comment deadline September 7, 2020.
  • Recirculation* – ASB Standard 119, Standard for the Analytical Scope and Sensitivity of Forensic Toxicological Testing of Blood in Medicolegal Death Investigations. This document delineates the minimum requirements for target analytes and analytical sensitivity for the forensic toxicological testing of blood specimens collected in medicolegal death investigations. This document does not cover the analysis of urine, tissues, or other specimens that are commonly analyzed in medicolegal death investigations. Comment deadline September 7, 2020.
  • Recirculation* – ASB Standard 120, Standard for the Analytical Scope and Sensitivity of Forensic Toxicological Testing of Blood in Impaired Driving Investigations. This document delineates the minimum requirements for target analytes and analytical sensitivity for the forensic toxicological testing of blood and urine specimens collected from drivers suspected of being impaired. This document does not cover the analysis of breath, oral fluid, urine, or other potential specimen types collected in impaired driving investigations. Comment deadline September 7, 2020.
  • Recirculation* – ASB Standard 121, Standard for the Analytical Scope and Sensitivity of Forensic Toxicological Testing of Urine in Drug-Facilitated Crime Investigations. This document delineates the minimum requirements for target analytes and analytical sensitivity for the forensic toxicological testing of urine specimens collected from alleged victims of drug-facilitated crimes (DFC). This document does not cover the analysis of blood and other evidence that may be collected in DFC cases. Comment deadline September 7, 2020.
  • ASB Standard 135, Anthropology Scene Detection and Processing. This document provides requirements and best practices for forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology practitioners in proper scene detection, processing, handling of evidence, and maintenance of a chain of custody, commensurate with jurisdictional requirements. These requirements and best practices use archaeological techniques and principles as a foundation for scientifically appropriate detection, processing, documentation, and collection of human remains and associated evidence at a scene. Comment deadline September 7, 2020.
  • ASB Standard 136, Forensic Laboratory Standards Prevention, Monitoring, and Mitigation of DNA Contamination. This standard provides requirements for limiting, detecting, assessing the source of, and mitigating DNA contamination as applied to PCR-based DNA analysis conducted within a forensic laboratory (i.e., casework and DNA database). Comment deadline September 28, 2020.
  • ASB Standard 054, Standard for a Quality Control Program in Forensic Toxicology Laboratories. This document establishes minimum requirements for quality control practices in forensic toxicology laboratories. The document explains the importance of a quality control program, how to select and care for materials used to prepare quality control samples, proper preparation and use of calibrator and control samples, and requirements for their use in different types of assays. The document also provides direction for the review and monitoring of quality control data in forensic toxicology laboratories. This standard applies to laboratories performing forensic toxicological analysis in the following sub-disciplines: postmortem forensic toxicology, human performance toxicology (e.g., drug-facilitated crimes and driving-under-the-influence of alcohol or drugs), non-regulated employment drug testing, court ordered toxicology (e.g., probation and parole, drug courts, child services), and general forensic toxicology (non-lethal poisonings or intoxications). It is not intended for the area of breath alcohol toxicology. Comment deadline October 5, 2020.

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 the ASB documents listed above, download the comment template and return it to asb@aafs.org by the comment deadline. 

Work Proposals for New or Revised Standards

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

ASB:

  • On August 21, 2020 a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) was published on page 2 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 documents:
    • BSR/ASB BPR 156-202x, Guidelines for Specimen Collection and Preservation for Forensic Toxicology. This document delineates guidelines for the collection of forensic toxicology specimens; their amounts, preservatives, and storage conditions. This guideline applies to specimens collected for laboratories performing forensic toxicological analysis in the following sub-disciplines: postmortem toxicology, human performance toxicology (e.g., drug-facilitated crimes and driving-under-the-influence of alcohol or drugs) and other forensic testing (e.g., court-ordered toxicology, general forensic toxicology). It is not intended for the area of breath alcohol toxicology.

    • BSR/ASB Std 157-202x, Standard for Proficiency Testing in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. This standard establishes the requirements for the design of a proficiency testing program in bloodstain pattern analysis. It includes the testing scheme, general test design, and the evaluation of test results. It does not dictate actual test content.

    • BSR/ASB Std 158-202x, Standard for Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. This standard establishes required components of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that are part of a quality assurance program for Bloodstain Pattern Analysis. The standard specifies the requirements contained in an SOP for equipment, materials, reagents, calculations, limitations, safety, and the generation of reports. The standard is applicable to scene, laboratory, and remote examinations.

Other News

Join Us for the OSAC Public Update Meeting

Please join us on September 30, 2020 for the OSAC Public Update Meeting. This virtual event will feature presentations from the chairs of OSAC’s Forensic Science Standards Board and five Scientific Area Committees. Each presenter will describe the standards their unit is working on and discuss research gaps, challenges, and priorities for the coming year. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. See the agenda and register.

OSAC, ASB and Promega Biology/DNA Standards and Best Practices Webinar

OSAC, ASB and Promega have developed a webinar series to provide information on new/emerging standards and best practice recommendations applicable to forensic biology and DNA testing laboratories.

The third webinar in this series, Training Standards Overview, will discuss several standards written to address various areas of training in serology and DNA testing. This webinar will be held Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Learn more and register here.

The other webinars in this series are available from the Promega website for on-demand viewing:
•    DNA Standards and Best Practices Developed by OSAC and ASB. Part 1: The Process
•    Mixture Interpretation Validation and Protocol Development and Verification

Get Involved with OSAC

OSAC offers a variety of ways for members, affiliates and other experts in the forensic science community to participate in the standards advancement process. Click here to learn how you can help make an impact on the forensic science community through standards.