How to Establish a New Consensus Body in the AAFS Standards Board (ASB)


1) Who has the authority to establish a Consensus Body (CB)?
The governing board of the ASB.

2) How does one start the process?
A New Work Proposal may be submitted by anyone or any group to asb@aafs.org . The form is available on the website.

On the form itself, there are some very important sections to complete:

The submitter(s) name, affiliation, e-mail and phone is important so that we can contact you. The next area is ‘Consensus Body’ where the following should be entered New Consensus Body Requested.

The Document Scope is very important. It states what the coverage of the initially proposed document for this Consensus Body would be. It need not be a long explanation — three well-formed sentences should normally suffice.

It is important for the governing board to know that there are likely to be volunteers willing to work on this area, so please complete the question: Are volunteer experts available to participate in a working group to develop the document for action by the Consensus Body? with the names of people that could possibly be later contacted if the Consensus Body is approved.

Perhaps the most important part of the form is Please state what need will be met by this document. It is here that one could state such items as “There is no SDO active in this subject area and thus there are no standards published by consensus bodies available to practitioners in the field.” Or “Standards are needed in this field to ensure that …..”

3) What happens next?
After receipt of the New Work Proposal form, the Secretariat and staff conduct research to determine if there are any SDOs working on similar concepts in the US. They will also look at the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). The staff may contact you to ask follow up questions in preparing their analysis for the governing board.

The governing board will review the application and vote whether to establish the new Consensus Body. The analysis will include:

• Need for the CB
• Willingness of people to participate in the CB
• Applicability of the project(s) to forensic science and conformance to our mission
• Existing workload in the AAFS Standards Board
• Perceived likelihood of a standard / best practice recommendation / technical report being produced by the CB
• Other factors as determined relevant to the case under view

The Secretariat will inform the petitioner of the results of the vote by the governing board. If approved, the Secretariat and staff will start publicizing the formation of the new CB and solicit members in the various interest categories. After an open application period, the governing board will review the applications. If there are enough applicants distributed across the interest categories, that board will select members and the new CB will be established. Its first action will be to elect its officers. From that point on, the CB functions as any other CB.