Forensic document examiners must follow generally accepted practices in their industry. This is a requirement of the courts. Industry standards are defined by SAFE, ASTM International, and the Scientific Working Group for Document Examination (SWGDOC).
In January, 2017 many of the ASTM standards were retired as a result of the Committee E30.02 being dissolved in 2012. Both the SAFE standards and the SWGDOC standards have been included in the (National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) catalogue of recognized standards.
New standards are being developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the United States department of Justice under the Organization of Scientific Area Committees, OSAC. These committees supersede the SWGDOC organization which lost its funding in 2013. The purpose of OSAC is to bring a uniform science-based approach to all forensic disciplines.