As noted in last month’s Advocacy Adviser column, reducing code conflicts allows health care facilities to optimize their physical environment and focus more of their resources on patient care. Over the next few months, we will share how you can become part of the team to help with the future unification of health care codes and standards. This month I will discuss the International Code Council (ICC) code-development cycle.

The ICC uses a three-year, code-development cycle and is currently in the 2021 cycle. Each cycle is divided into three groups — A, B and C — with each group taking a year to complete. During 2018, the Group A codes will be developed. While I will list the dates for Group A, these dates are typical for each group.

The cycle begins with the submission of proposed changes that were due in early January and posted on the ICC website the end of February. The next step is the committee action hearing (CAH) during which the various ICC technical committees hear testimony regarding the proposals. These hearings offer the public input on proposed code changes and are held in April with the results posted to the ICC website in May.

Following the CAH is the public comment process with a deadline this year of July 16. The comments then will be heard during the public comment hearing in October. This year’s hearings will be in Richmond, Va. For details on submitting public comments or to attend the hearings, visit the ICC website.

While the ICC Committee on Healthcare (CHC), which includes American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) participants, works to ensure that the proposed changes help to align the ICC codes with other health care codes, your participation in the code-development process is not only welcome but needed. 

To become more involved with these efforts, please contact me, Jonathan Flannery, ASHE senior associate director of advocacy, at; or John Williams, manager at Construction Review Services, Washington State Department of Health and ICC CHC chair, at