Tag Archives: NIST

Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was created to coordinate development of a quality infrastructure for forensic science standards development.  There are about 20 people on the Standard Development Organization (SDO).  Some time later, NIST created a multi-level organization to conduct its assigned responsibilities.  This group is called the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science.  It consists of five Scientific Area Committees (SACs) which report to a Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB).  Each of the five SACs oversee discipline-specific subcommittees.  Three Resource Committees provide input to the FSSB, SACs, and SAC Subcommittees.

Only about 550 of the world’s greatest experts on these topics are on these committees.  We are very proud to say that Dr. Andrew Armstrong is on the Fire Debris & Explosives Subcommittee of the Chemistry/Instrumental Analysis SAC.  Currently, OSAC is working diligently to improve old American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standards, and to create new standards.  These changes and additions are voted on by ASTM E30, Committee of Forensic Science.  Any changes are sent back to OSAC to vote on whether they accept, or reject the proposed changes.  Additionally, they are working on improving Quality Assurance/Quality Control guidelines, and on improving specific report language.

For more information about OSAC, NIST, any of the five SACs and their subcommittees, you may visit https://www.nist.gov/forensics/organization-scientific-area-committees-forensic-science.  There you will find more details about the improvement of these standards and guidelines that are based on sound scientific principles.  Stay tuned for the latest in this developing area!

Questions?  Feel free to contact us at (800) 644-4165 or (817) 275-2691 DFW Metro, or simply fill out the ‘Ask An Expert’ form on our website.  Dr. Armstrong, and his entire staff at AFLab is more than happy to take your call!


Springer, Sabrina. “OSAC Home.” NIST. N.p., 21 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 May 2017. <https://www.nist.gov/topics/forensic-science/osac-home>.