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Registry Approval Process

OSAC works to ensure the highest-quality standards are available to the forensic science community. To do this, we evaluate published and proposed standards using two processes:

  • Registry Approval Process for OSAC Proposed Standards. This process is used to review OSAC drafted standards (i.e., OSAC proposed standards) for technical quality and placement on the Registry before they are sent to a standards developing organization (SDO) for further development and publication (effective October 1, 2020). 
  • Registry Approval Process for Published Standards (legacy process). This process is used to review existing, SDO published standards for technical quality and placement on the Registry (effective February 2020 - present).

Registry Approval Process for OSAC Proposed Standards

This process starts when OSAC drafts a new standard or revises an existing one. After the draft OSAC Proposed Standard has been completed, OSAC will open a 30-day open comment period where stakeholders from the forensic science community will be invited to submit technical and editorial comments. Also, during this time Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) Resource Task Groups (RTGs) will be encouraged to review the draft and submit comments. Additionally, and if applicable, a Scientific & Technical Review Panel (STRP) will review the draft OSAC Proposed Standard according to set criteria and provide their evaluation to the drafting subcommittee. See the Scientific & Technical Review Panels webpage for more information on the STRP process.

Graphic showing the steps in OSAC's Registry approval process for OSAC Proposed Standards
Steps of the OSAC Registry approval process for OSAC Proposed Standards.

After the 30-day comment period closes, the subcommittee will review the comments received from the public, RTGs, and STRP and consider revising the draft OSAC Proposed Standard based on this feedback. The subcommittee will formally adjudicate any public comments and vote to move the OSAC Proposed Standard forward in the process.

After the subcommittee has voted to move the OSAC Proposed Standard forward, the FSSB will be provided with the OSAC Proposed Standard, the adjudicated public comments, and the final STRP report and given an opportunity to petition for a discretionary FSSB review.

  • If there is no petition for discretionary FSSB review, the OSAC Proposed Standard will be listed on the Registry and the subcommittee will send it to an SDO for further development and publication.
  • If a petition for FSSB review is granted, then the FSSB will vote to place the OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry.

After the OSAC Proposed Standard placed on the Registry, the adjudicated public comments, and if applicable, the final STRP Report will be shared publicly. OSAC encourages the forensic science community to implement the OSAC Proposed Standards in anticipation of their future SDO publication, which may take from one to several years. Stakeholders from the forensic science community are also encouraged to provide comments on OSAC Proposed Standards during the SDO’s open comment period. Visit the OSAC website to see the current list of standards open for comment.    

After the standard is published by the SDO, the OSAC subcommittee can approve to add it to the Registry. The FSSB will have one final opportunity to petition for a discretionary FSSB review before the SDO published standard is added to the Registry.

  • If there is no petition for discretionary FSSB review, the SDO published standard will replace the OSAC Proposed Standard on the Registry.
  • If a petition for FSSB review is granted, then the FSSB will vote to place the SDO published standard on the Registry. 
Created October 1, 2020, Updated September 10, 2021