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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:

  • OSAC Registry Approval Process (effective October 1, 2020). 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. 
  • OSAC Legacy Process for Registry Approval (effective February 2020 - present). This process is used to review existing, SDO published standards for technical quality and placement on the Registry.

OSAC Registry Approval Process

steps of OSAC's Registry approval process (effective Oct 1, 2020)
Overview of OSAC's Registry approval process.

The Registry approval process starts when there is a need to draft a new forensic science standard or revise an existing one. After a standard has been drafted or revised, and if applicable, a Scientific & Technical Review Panel (STRP) will review it according to set criteria and provide their comments to the drafting subcommittee in the form of an interim report. The subcommittee (SC) will then have an opportunity to revise the standard based on the feedback from the STRP. The STRP will review the revised standard, if applicable, and develop a final report.

Stakeholders from the forensic science community will be invited to submit additional technical and editorial comments on the standard during a 30-day open comment period. After the open comment period closes, the SC will review and adjudicate any comments that were received. At this time, the FSSB has an opportunity to appeal adding the standard to the Registry. If there is no opposition, the standard will be listed on the Registry as an "OSAC Proposed Standard" and then sent to an SDO for further development and publication. OSAC encourages the forensic science community to implement proposed standards in anticipation of their being published.

After the standard has been published by an SDO, the subcommittee can approve to add the SDO published standard to the Registry. The FSSB will have one final opportunity to appeal, and if there is no opposition, the SDO published standard will be replaced the "OSAC Proposed Standard" on the Registry. OSAC shares any public documents  that were associated with the standard from the STRP and open comment period. 

OSAC subcommittees looking to start the Registry approval process should complete and submit the Proposed Standard Request Form (OSAC Form-01) found on our internal site.

OSAC Legacy Process for Registry Approval

Steps of OSAC's legacy Registry approval process
Overview of OSAC's legacy Registry approval process.

The legacy process is used to evaluate published SDO standards that were previously drafted within OSAC and submitted to an SDO before October 1, 2020. If a subcommittee approves moving an SDO published standard through the Registry approval process, it will first be evaluated by forensic science practitioners, academic researchers, statisticians, and legal representatives on their subcommittee to assess its technical merit. Once this assessment is complete and the standard is determined to be technically sound, OSAC will open a comment period to solicit feedback from forensic science stakeholders on whether it should be included on the Registry as a published standard. After the comment period closes, the subcommittee will address any feedback received from the community. Finally, the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) will review the standard and the adjudicated comments and vote to approve the standard for placement on the Registry. OSAC shares any public documents that were associated with the standard from the open comment period.

OSAC subcommittees looking to start the legacy Registry process should complete and submit the following documents found on our internal site:

  • OSAC Technical Merit Form (QIC Form-01)
  • OSAC Registry Request Form (QIC Form-03)
  • the standard under consideration
Created October 1, 2020