Information on NFPA Codes and Standards Development
I. Applicable Regulations. The primary rules governing the processing of NFPA documents (codes, standards, recommended practices, and guides) are the NFPA Regulations Governing Committee Projects (Regs). Other applicable rules include NFPA Bylaws, NFPA Technical Meeting Convention Rules, NFPA Guide for the Conduct of Participants in the NFPA Standards Development Process, and the NFPA Regulations Governing Petitions to the Board of Directors from Decisions of the Standards Council. Most of these rules and regulations are contained in the NFPA Directory. For copies of the Directory, contact Codes and Standards Administration at NFPA Headquarters; all these documents are also available on the NFPA website at “www.nfpa.org.” The following is general information on the NFPA process. All participants, however, should refer to the actual rules and regulations for a full understanding of this process and for the criteria that govern participation.
II. Technical Committee Report. The Technical Committee Report is defined as “the Report of the Technical Committee and Technical Correlating Committee (if any) on a document. A Technical Committee Report consists of the Report on Proposals (ROP), as modified by the Report on Comments (ROC), published by the Association.”
III. Step 1: Report on Proposals (ROP). The ROP is defined as “a report to the Association on the actions taken by Technical Committees and/or Technical Correlating Committees, accompanied by a ballot statement and one or more proposals on text for a new document or to amend an existing document.” Any objection to an action in the ROP must be raised through the filing of an appropriate Comment for consideration in the ROC or the objection will be considered resolved.
IV. Step 2: Report on Comments (ROC). The ROC is defined as “a report to the Association on the actions taken by Technical Committees and/or Technical Correlating Committees accompanied by a ballot statement and one or more comments resulting from public review of the Report on Proposals (ROP).” The ROP and the ROC together constitute the Technical Committee Report. Any outstanding objection following the ROC must be raised through an appropriate Amending Motion at the Association Technical Meeting or the objection will be considered resolved.
V. Step 3a: Action at Association Technical Meeting. Following the publication of the ROC, there is a period during which those wishing to make proper Amending Motions on the Technical Committee Reports must signal their intention by submitting a Notice of Intent to Make a Motion. Documents that receive notice of proper Amending Motions (Certified Amending Motions) will be presented for action at the annual June Association Technical Meeting. At the meeting, the NFPA membership can consider and act on these Certified Amending Motions as well as Follow-up Amending Motions, that is, motions that become necessary as a result of a previous successful Amending Motion. (See 4.6.2 through 4.6.9 of Regs for a summary of the available Amending Motions and who may make them.) Any outstanding objection following action at an Association Technical Meeting (and any further Technical Committee consideration following successful Amending Motions, see Regs at 4.7) must be raised through an appeal to the Standards Council or it will be considered to be resolved.
VI. Step 3b: Documents Forwarded Directly to the Council. Where no Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAM) is received and certified in accordance with the Technical Meeting Convention Rules, the document is forwarded directly to the Standards Council for action on issuance. Objections are deemed to be resolved for these documents.
VII. Step 4a: Council Appeals. Anyone can appeal to the Standards Council concerning procedural or substantive matters related to the development, content, or issuance of any document of the Association or on matters within the purview of the authority of the Council, as established by the Bylaws and as determined by the Board of Directors. Such appeals must be in written form and filed with the Secretary of the Standards Council (see 1.6 of Regs). Time constraints for filing an appeal must be in accordance with 1.6.2 of the Regs. Objections are deemed to be resolved if not pursued at this level.
VIII. Step 4b: Document Issuance. The Standards Council is the issuer of all documents (see Article 8 of Bylaws). The Council acts on the issuance of a document presented for action at an Association Technical Meeting within 75 days from the date of the recommendation from the Association Technical Meeting, unless this period is extended by the Council (see 4.8 of Regs). For documents forwarded directly to the Standards Council, the Council acts on the issuance of the document at its next scheduled meeting, or at such other meeting as the Council may determine (see 4.5.6 and 4.8 of Regs).
IX. Petitions to the Board of Directors. The Standards Council has been delegated the responsibility for the administration of the codes and standards development process and the issuance of documents. However, where extraordinary circumstances requiring the intervention of the Board of Directors exist, the Board of Directors may take any action necessary to fulfill its obligations to preserve the integrity of the codes and standards development process and to protect the interests of the Association. The rules for petitioning the Board of Directors can be found in the Regulations Governing Petitions to the Board of Directors from Decisions of the Standards Council and in 1.7 of the Regs. X. For More Information. The program for the Association Technical Meeting (as well as the NFPA website as information becomes available) should be consulted for the date on which each report scheduled for consideration at the meeting will be presented. For copies of the ROP and ROC as well as more information on NFPA rules and for up-to-date information on schedules and deadlines for processing NFPA documents, check the NFPA website (www.nfpa.org) or contact NFPA Codes & Standards Administration at (617) 984-7246.
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