Supporting Standards Development and Implementation

Carl McClary, MS

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is a multidisciplinary professional organization that provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. The entire membership of our organization has a vested interest in strengthening forensic science and promoting its more rigorous use in the justice system. We recognize that science only advances with transparency, openness, and a commitment to sound scientific practices. Improving the underlying science and validity of forensic work requires the support of ongoing standards development activities, and importantly, the implementation of those standards.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences founded the AAFS Standards Board (ASB), the first ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO) dedicated to the forensic sciences. The ASB is committed to providing accessible, high quality consensus-based standards. The Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science (OSAC) plays a critical role in ASB's and other SDO's work. While documents originating from the OSAC subcommittees are not themselves standards, these OSAC work products greatly accelerate the standards development process. Further, the OSAC maintains a registry of forensic standards that helps promote the adoption and implementation of these standards into the forensic community.

The American Academy of Forensic Sciences supports the critically important work being undertaken by the OSAC, and its commitment to facilitate the development of scientifically sound consensus based standards. Collectively, these efforts help safeguard justice, integrity, and fairness of the criminal justice system and forensic sciences.

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