About the Academy Standards Board


The AAFS has established an organization dedicated to developing documentary standards for forensics, the Academy Standards Board (ASB). This organization will work closely with the Forensic Science Standards Board and its subcommittees, which are dedicated to creating a national registry of forensic standards.

The 2009 National Research Council (NRC) Report, Strengthening Forensic Science: A Path Forward was critical of the forensic science community and emphasized the need for improving quality assurances, including continued standards-setting and enforcement. They wrote:

…Standards and best practices create a professional environment that allows organizations and professions to create quality systems, policies, and procedures and maintain autonomy from vested interest groups. Standards ensure desirable characteristics of services and techniques such as quality, reliability, efficiency, and consistency among practitioners. Typically standards are enforced through systems of accreditation and certification, wherein independent examiners and auditors test and audit the performance, policies, and procedures of both laboratories and service providers.

In the first quarter of the 21st century, we will witness the widespread promulgation, adoption, and enforcement of recognized standards and, also likely, the true regulation of our profession. To date in the United States, forensic standards development has culminated in the currently on-going National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) effort which began in 2014. NIST has ensured the significant involvement of the forensic science community in this process.