New DNA Standard Published by the ASB


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Source: Teresa Ambrosius, ASB Secretariat

The AAFS Standards Board (ASB) is pleased to announce the publication of ANSI/ASB Standard 022, Standard for Forensic DNA Analysis Training Programs, First Edition, 2019.

This standard was revised, prepared, and finalized as a standard by the DNA Consensus Body of the AAFS Standards Board (ASB). The initial draft document was developed by the Biological Methods Subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees.

This standard provides the general requirements for a forensic DNA laboratory’s training program in DNA analysis, including data interpretation.

A quality training program is critical for forensic DNA testing and databasing laboratories. The purpose of the training program is to ensure DNA testing procedures are correctly performed, the DNA data obtained are appropriately analyzed and interpreted, and statistics, reports, and testimony provided are accurate and properly communicated.

This standard is intended for all DNA laboratory personnel. It is a foundational training program standard upon which more specific standards will be based. Additional standards will provide more specific requirements for training in various stages of the DNA analysis and reporting process, such as training in DNA isolation and purification methods, data interpretation, statistical analysis, report writing, and courtroom testimony.

ASB documents are available for download in the Published Documents portion of the ASB website.

The ASB is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) -accredited Standards Developing Organization with the purpose of providing accessible, high-quality, science-based consensus forensic standards. The ASB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), established in 2015 and accredited by the ANSI in 2016. The ASB is partially funded by a grant through the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

The ASB consists of Consensus Bodies (CB), which are open to all materially interested and affected individuals, companies, and organizations; a Board of Directors; and Staff.

ANSI facilitates the development of American National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs). Accreditation by ANSI signifies that the procedures used by the standards body in connection with the development of ANS meet the Institute’s essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process.

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 (Public Law 104-113) and its implementation directive, Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119, direct federal agencies to utilize voluntary consensus standards where feasible and to participate as appropriate in voluntary consensus standards development activities. Standards developed in accordance with ANSI’s accreditation requirements satisfy obligations incumbent on federal agencies to use or adopt voluntary consensus standards.

In order to maintain ANSI accreditation, standards developers are required to consistently adhere to a set of requirements or procedures that govern the consensus development process. These requirements are set forth in a document known as the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards (www.ansi.org/essentialrequirements).

Due process is the key to ensuring that ANSs are developed in an environment that is equitable, accessible, and responsive to the requirements of various stakeholders. The open and fair ANS process ensures that all interested and affected parties have an opportunity to participate in a standard’s development. It also serves and protects the public interest since standards developers accredited by ANSI must meet the Institute’s essential requirements and other due process safeguards.