Every facilities manager, design engineer and code enforcement official knows by heart a particular line of code they want changed. Whether its fire-related, a security matter or an HVAC issue, every health care facilities leader has an idea of how to make codes and standards better. 

However, for many reasons — including a lack of time, a lack of understanding of the code development process or thinking someone else will step in and change it — few health care facilities professionals are actually proactive in the code and standard development process. 

Being proactive in the code development process doesn’t mean that an individual must sit on a technical committee, hold advanced knowledge about a particular subject or even be a member of the standard development organization (SDO); however, being a member is highly encouraged for other reasons. Being proactive simply means taking the time to follow a particular standard during its development cycle (typically three years) and having a voice. 

To get involved in code development, there are a few things that everyone can do. First, anyone can create a free profile on the SDO’s website and receive email alerts for a particular code or standard. As an example, if an individual is interested in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes, they can simply go to the code of concern by typing in “NFPA.org/xx,” replacing the “xx” with the code or standard number. 

Near the top of the screen next to the code or standard title is a button that reads “Receive Email Alerts.” Once the user clicks that button and adds their email, they will be added to the alert list and email notifications will be sent for the given code or standard. A few examples of the types of emails  include: committee meeting notices, agendas and notes, Temporary Interim Amendment postings and draft revisions for the upcoming edition.

ASHE also has developed a few videos to help encourage more proactive involvement in the code development process. Visit the link provided in this column to watch ASHE’s videos on how to submit proposed changes, make comments on proposed changes or submit other improvements to the code or standard. Remember, anyone can make a public input on a code or standard during the public input stage and can comment on proposed changes during the appropriate review stages.

Watch ASHE’s educational videos and become proactive in the code development process.