Standard Active Last Updated: Oct 17, 2023 Track Document
ASTM E3175-23

Standard Practice for Training in the Forensic Examination of Hair by Microscopy

Standard Practice for Training in the Forensic Examination of Hair by Microscopy E3175-23 ASTM|E3175-23|en-US Standard Practice for Training in the Forensic Examination of Hair by Microscopy Standard new BOS Vol. 14.02 Committee E30
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Significance and Use

4.1 A training program provides the theoretical foundation and practical skills necessary for a trainee to become a qualified forensic hair examiner.

4.2 A trainee is directly supervised by a qualified examiner throughout their training. At the end of the training program, a successful trainee is capable of forming opinions, presenting and explaining evidence, and understanding the limitations of analytical results and interpretations based upon sound scientific knowledge, validated procedures, and practical experience.

4.3 A trainee is required to meet the minimum training criteria in Practice E2917 and this practice. It is the laboratory management’s responsibility to ensure the selected trainee has the appropriate educational background. It is recommended that, at a minimum, the trainee possess a bachelor’s degree in a natural science.

4.4 This document outlines lessons, practical exercises, and criteria to monitor and evaluate trainee progress and is designed to be incorporated into an overall laboratory training program.

4.5 Additional training beyond that which is listed here should be made available to the trainee. Such training might include off-site courses, internships, and specialized training by experienced examiners. Continuing education and training will provide a forensic examiner the opportunity to remain current in the field.

4.6 Additional analyses can be performed on hairs that have been chemically altered (for example, dyed hair) or have trace materials on the surface (for example, glitter). Such techniques are beyond the scope of this document.

4.7 This practice addresses the benefit of following microscopical examinations with DNA analysis.


1.1 This practice covers training guidelines for use by forensic laboratory personnel responsible for training forensic examiners that will perform hair examinations, including microscopical comparisons of human hair.

1.2 Forensic hair examiners are trained in accordance with Practice E2917 and the discipline-specific guidelines (Guide E3316) and criteria within this practice.

1.3 This practice contains guidelines that include the tasks, goals, and objectives that allow the trainee to acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to independently perform casework in the microscopical examination of hair.

1.4 This practice addresses the correlation between the analytical results of microscopical examinations and the potential for DNA analysis.

1.5 This practice addresses training for the microscopical examination of hairs and not the examination of chemical alterations (for example, hair dye) or trace materials on the surface of hairs (for example, hair care products).

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 14.02
Developed by Subcommittee: E30.01
Pages: 15
DOI: 10.1520/E3175-23
ICS Code: 03.100.30; 07.140