The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has primary responsibility to coordinate development of a quality infrastructure for forensic science standards development. To carry out its assigned responsibilities, NIST devised a multi-level organization, the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science, consisting of five Scientific Area Committees (SACs) which report to a Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB). Each of the five SACs oversees discipline specific subcommittees. Three Resource Committees provide input to the FSSB, SACs, and SAC Subcommittees.
The purpose of the OSAC is to strengthen the nation's use of forensic science by providing technical leadership necessary to facilitate the development and promulgation of consensus-based documentary standards and guidelines for forensic science, promoting standards and guidelines that are fit-for-purpose and based on sound scientific principles, promoting the use of OSAC standards and guidelines by accreditation and certification bodies, and establishing and maintaining working relationships with other similar organizations.
The aims of the OSAC are to populate the OSAC Registry of Approved Standards and the OSAC Registry of Approved Guidelines, develop and maintain the Forensic Science Principles of Professional Practice, compile and update the forensic science catalog of standards and related documents, maintain Priority Action Plan documents on OSAC strategic objectives and associated goals and intended actions, promote and improve the communication, dissemination and use of forensic science standards, accreditation, and personnel competencies, encourage forensic science service providers in the United States to implement guidelines and standards (e.g., ISO/IEC 17025, etc.) for quality and competency, provide insight on each forensic science discipline's research and development needs, and to enlist stakeholder involvement from a broad community to provide public comment on OSAC outputs.