Forensic Technology Center of Excellence


Footwear Evidence Conclusions: A Discussion of Standards, Recommendations, and Structure

Footwear Evidence Conclusions: A Discussion of Standards, Recommendations, and Structure

Thursday, September 30th, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Duration: 1 hour

It can be challenging to write reliable, accurate conclusions that meet the expectations of stakeholders that oversee and use footwear evidence reports. Some of the challenges associated with drafting these conclusions include 1) accurately conveying the evidence and limitations, 2) articulating discrimination values of an association in terms of the population of possible sources, and 3) qualifying associations appropriately. To overcome these challenges, footwear evidence conclusions must be written to fit each individual examination. This can be a difficult task for most examiners since footwear casework may be a second discipline and/or only encountered occasionally rather than routinely.

Writing a clear, concise, and complete conclusion is made easier by having a framework that covers the criteria that should be addressed in each case. Currently, the only published guidance document on this topic is the SWGTREAD conclusion scale, which was written by a committee that has not been operational for several years now. While this document serves as a ‘range’ of conclusions, it does not provide much guidance for writing a complete conclusion in the context of an examination report. Although no replacement conclusion standard has been published to date, research and standards development conversations are ongoing and continue to influence the way that examiners express their findings, conclusions, and opinions.

This webinar will provide an opportunity to discuss some of the post-SWGTREAD considerations for articulating findings (interpretations, limitations, opinions, and results) as well as a platform to exchange thoughts, consider suggested conclusion structures, and observe examples related to articulating footwear evidence conclusions.

Detailed Learning Objectives:

Attendees will:

1) Be able to locate the current published standards related to footwear evidence and the current status of standards under development by the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC).
2) Observe examples of conclusion writing in footwear evidence that are recommended/suggested to be addressed in a footwear evidence examination report.
3) Relate the conclusion recommendations to their own practices of report and conclusion writing.

Lesley Hammer, MA, MSc. | Forensic Examiner & Vice Chair of the Physics and Pattern Evidence Scientific Area Committee of OSAC

Register Here

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.-

Please contact us at for any questions.

Each of our webinars is archived within about two weeks of the live date and will be posted on our website. Please subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.

Related Content

HHRRC – Building Forensic Capacity Post-Conflict: Lessons from Uganda

This webinar originally occurred on March 28th, 2019Duration: 1.5 hours This presentation introduces research conducted in Uganda at the nexus of forensic science and transitional justice, highlighting a large-scale forensic investigation and human identification capacity-building workshop for Ugandan stakeholders. Detailed…
microphone and headphones

Just Skeletal Remains Identification

In episode two of the 2020 R&D Season, Just Science interviews Dr. Heather Garvin, Associate Professor of Anatomy at Des Moines University, about her work with OSTEOID, an online resource for species identification of skeletal remains.  Approximately 30-40% of cases involving skeletal remains received by forensic anthropologists end up being…

HHRRC – Stable Isotope Analysis in a Humanitarian Context

The webinar originally occurred on March 12th, 2019Duration: 1.5 hours This webinar will introduce stable isotope analysis and its validity as analytical tool in establishing the geographic origin and life history of unidentified individuals from forensic and humanitarian contexts. In…