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Scientific & Technical Review Panels

OSAC Scientific & Technical Review Panels (STRPs) provide an independent technical review of drafted standards going through the OSAC Registry approval process. To be placed on the OSAC Registry, standards that cover the following topics must first be reviewed by an STRP:

  • Method development
  • Method validation
  • Methods, practices and procedures
  • Quality assurance
  • Reporting and testimony

The goal of an STRP is to provide a critical and knowledgeable review of draft standards and provide comments and recommendations to strengthen the document. The STRP accomplishes this by executing the following activities in three phases:

  • Phase 1 (kickoff – day 30): The STRP convenes to review the STRP instructions, discuss the draft standard and clarify any high-level questions about the purpose of the draft standard. Individual STRP members then submit their initial comments on the draft standard to the STRP chair. The STRP chair consolidates the comments and generates an interim report that is provided to the subcommittee. This initial feedback includes comment/recommendations on the technical merit and current wording in the document with recommendations to strengthen the document.
  • Phase 2 (day 31 – day 60): The subcommittee reviews the initial STRP feedback and considers making upgrades to the draft standard. The subcommittee may also interface with the STRP or individual members of the STRP to seek clarity on the submitted comments to ensure the intent is understood. The subcommittee submits a revised draft standard to the STRP and a general summary of how the subcommittee addressed the STRP comments. The subcommittee can make other changes to the standard that may be identified in its review, and these should be noted for the STRP.
  • Phase 3 (Day 61 – Day 90):  The STRP reviews the updated draft standard and the subcommittee responses to the STRP comments, and then drafts the STRP final report. The STRP final report will discuss the STRP’s consensus view on the technical merit of the standard and any issues it believes still need to be addressed. This STRP final report, along with a list of the STRP members, will be shared publicly. No attribution will be given to specific comments, including dissenting views.

STRP members will consist of forensic science practitioners and discipline-specific subject matter experts, academic and scientific researchers, statisticians, human factors, legal and quality experts, depending on the topic of the standard. STRP members may be recommended by subcommittees, scientific area committees, the Forensic Science Standards Board, and NIST staff. NIST will review these recommendations and consider applicants in the OSAC applicant database when finalizing the STRP membership. STRP members will be appointed to a panel for a finite period to complete their task and are not given a “term” as an OSAC member.

It is anticipated that most STRPs will be able to complete all three phases of the STRP review  within 90 days of launch, including generating initial comments on the draft standard, reviewing the subcommittee’s subsequent revisions to the draft standard, and generating a final consensus report. 

If you are interested in volunteering as an STRP member, please complete the OSAC application form.

See also:

Created October 29, 2020, Updated October 30, 2020