NFPA Standard Updates – How it Works
Ever wonder how NFPA creates and maintains the Standards Process? Here’s a quick synopsis of how it works, with notes on how you can engage in the process!
We’ll start with an existing standard. It will have a “Revision Cycle” generally every 3-5 years, some are longer intervals than others.
Step 1 in the process, this is where YOU come in: Public Input (PI) Stage. Anyone who would like to submit an input for a change, addition, or deletion to an NFPA Standard can do so at this point.
The NFPA Standard Technical Committee will meet and review each and every PI based on its merits and adherence to submission protocols. The TC will then be accepted, rejected, or held in a wait-but-see scenario. Changes to the current edition of the standard are released as “First Draft Revisions” to the next edition. This info will be published and we move on to step two of the process, the Public Comment phase.
Step 2. The original submitter and anyone (including you) can make a Public Comment on why they agree or disagree with the TC’s position on the PI. Once those are all collected, the TC will again meet to review the Public Comments and create a TC position, which is released as the “Second Draft Revisions” to the next edition.
These positions will again be published and the Submitter or any individual may submit a Notice of Intent to Create a Motion (NITMAM) to address the item in contention at Step 3 of the Process, the NFPA Technical Meeting.
Step 3. The NFPA Technical Meeting is held annually to address each standard that is in its Cycle for update. Current Registered NFPA Members may attend and vote in person on any outstanding items. Submitters of NITMAMS are invited to speak to their position, and the audience may speak in support of, or against the item in question.
A vote is held for members in attendance only, and this vote is “final.” These votes are then sent to Step 4 the NFPA’s Council Appeals and Issuance of the Standard.
Step 4. The Standards Council will review the votes from Step 3 and make a final resolution and subsequently, publish the newest edition of said Standard with all approved Public input and committee input through the steps and vote and final Standards Council approval.
There are more moving pieces to the puzzle of how a Standard is created and maintained and the NFPA welcomes participation in Standards Upkeep.