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OSAC Releases Draft Implementation Plan and Draft Human Factors Technical Publication for Comment

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DRAFT Guidance on Testing the Performance of Forensic Examiners

The Human Factors Committee (HFC) of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) has prepared a Draft HFC Guidance Document that provides guidance on designing, conducting and reporting empirical studies of the performance of forensic examiners on routine analytical tasks, such as comparing items to determine whether they have a common source, or classifying items by category (e.g., determining the caliber of a bullet or the size of shoe that made a shoeprint).  Studies of examiner performance may be undertaken for a variety of purposes, including assessment of the validity of methods, identification of strengths and weaknesses of individual examiners, and assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of laboratory systems.  This document distills key points from the extensive scientific literature on assessing human performance that forensic scientists may need to know.

The guidelines in this document are non-mandatory.  This document does not require any individual or organization to study the performance of forensic examiners, nor does it require that such studies be conducted in any particular manner.

OSAC encourages stakeholders to read through the HFC Guidance Document and provide the HFC with any feedback via email to forensics [at] nist.gov by June 29, 2018 at 11:59pm EDT.

DRAFT OSAC Registry Implementation Plan

The Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) has prepared a Draft OSAC Registry Implementation Plan for our forensic science partners.  This Draft Implementation Plan describes various strategies that OSAC might adopt to encourage forensic service providers, associations, the criminal justice system, academia, government agencies, and other stakeholders to promote and implement the approved standards listed on the OSAC Registry. 

The FSSB has included many potential pathways for encouraging the adoption of OSAC-approved standards and seeks feedback on these pathways and suggestions for how to prioritize and improve them.  Through engagement with stakeholders, we can determine the best way to move forward with implementation.  Our ultimate goal is to have stakeholders in the forensic science and criminal justice communities embrace the approved standards listed on the OSAC Registry and implement them into everyday practice.

OSAC encourages stakeholders to read through the Implementation Plan and provide the FSSB with feedback via email to forensics [at] nist.gov by June 21, 2018 at 11:59pm EDT.

Released May 21, 2018, Updated February 26, 2019