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.

OSAC Registry Implementation: Plan

Once a forensic science service provider (FSSP) is familiar with the standards it will be implementing, the next step is to develop a plan for how to incorporate them into your management system.

It is not necessary for FSSPs to implement all the standards listed on the OSAC Registry. There are several ways to add standards on the OSAC Registry to your quality management system documents. One way is to include a simple statement in the Quality Manual that states your organization has implemented all applicable standards on the OSAC Registry. Alternatively, FSSPs are free to list individual standards or applicable portions of standards on the OSAC Registry in their quality system documents (e.g., referencing specific standards in standard operating procedures). Sample language is available online in a detailed “How-to Guide” for OSAC Registry implementation prepared by OSAC’s FSSB Quality Task Group to help FSSPs with implementation of standards on the OSAC Registry. These guidelines include instructions on how to manage implementation of applicable portions, as well as entire standards.

Tips for Success:

  • The FSSPs that have implemented standards all have one thing in common – they have at least one champion advocating for the initiative! Good leadership is a requirement for success. 

  • Identify the person or persons who will be given both the authority and the responsibility to administer the standards implementation process. Most often, the QA manager is that individual. 

  • Identify a group who will be responsible for executing the program plan. Typically, this group consists of the QA manager and the technical leaders in each of the laboratory’s disciplines. The technical leaders must be responsible for meeting with the scientists in their respective sections and executing a gap analysis for those standards which apply to their section. 

  • Perform a gap analysis to determine the requirements that your organization may already be meeting. This will require adequate time and resources to complete effectively. Depending on the size of the section and the number of standards applicable to the section, the technical leader must allocate a realistic timetable to complete the gap analysis and report back to the task group and the QA manager. 

  • Divide tasks into smaller workable segments and provide adequate time and resources to succeed. Establishing a realistic timeline for implementation is important! For example, your organization may review the Registry each month for newly added standards and decide that if they’re applicable, you’ll work towards implementing them in one year. 

  • Enlist the help of OSAC’s Implementer Cohort Task Group. Members consist of FSSPs who have experience implementing the accreditation standards (ISO/IEC 17025/17020) or discipline-specific standards on the OSAC Registry.


  • As part of NIST’s cooperative agreement with AAFS, standards factsheets and checklists are available to support standards implementation.
    • Factsheets provide a concise summary of standards on the OSAC Registry and are intended to facilitate broader understanding. They highlight the purpose of a standard, why it is needed, and the benefits of implementation.
    • Checklists are a tool that can be used to perform a gap analysis and provide FSSPs with a way to evaluate the level of implementation and/or audit conformance.  
  • Have questions about the difference between “full” and “partial” standards implementation? Hear from six FSSPs as they share their definitions of full versus partial implementation
  • The OSAC Standards Bulletin is a resource for staying informed about the latest additions to the Registry. To receive the OSAC Standards Bulletin each month, join our mailing list.
Created March 14, 2023, Updated May 22, 2023