AAFS Standards Board (ASB) Update

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Source: Brad Wing, MS, Secretariat, AAFS Standards Board

As you may know, in 2015 the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) agreed to establish the Academy Standards Board (ASB) for the development of forensic standards when approached by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC). The ASB has been up and operational since the beginning of 2016. It is now an accredited Standards Developing Organization (SDO) and is actually in the process of generating its first standards, technical reports, and best practice recommendations. There are 13 focus areas: Anthropology, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Disaster Victim Identification, DNA, Dogs and Sensors, Firearms and Toolmarks, Footwear and Tire Tracks, Forensic Document Examination, Friction Ridge, Medicolegal Death Investigation, Patterned Injury, Toxicology, and Wildlife Forensics. As a reminder, you will have an opportunity to comment on all of the documents these consensus bodies prepare before they are finalized. We will publish how to do so as each document reaches the public review stage. You may also participate in the consensus bodies meetings. A schedule of the meetings is available at https://asb.aafs.org/consensus-bodies/.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation stepped up to the plate in 2015, providing a four-year grant to the AAFS in order to establish the ASB and get it on a solid foundation. This has been of great benefit; however, we must start planning how we will financially operate in 2019 and beyond. The AAFS Board of Directors has authorized that voluntary donations may be solicited from AAFS members in order to ensure a smooth and continuous ASB operation. While these funds will not be used until 2019, by beginning now we can build up a sufficient reserve so the transition to a future funding mechanism after the Arnold Foundation grant expires will be seamless. This is the reason there is a request for contributions appearing on your membership renewal form. In addition, there is a “Contribute”┬ápage on the ASB website that you may use to submit donations for the ASB operation (https://asb.aafs.org/contribute/).

I thank you in advance for your support.