Michael Hazell

President Jim Shannon on protecting NFPA's independence as a codes and standards development organization

Blog Post created by Michael Hazell Employee on Jun 1, 2011

Jim Shannon From the May/June 2011 issue of NFPA Journal®

http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01538ed8daac970b-pi Protecting our independence as a codes and standards development organization is one of the most important issues we face at NFPA today. There are those who argue that all codes and standards should be classified as public domain material without access to copyright protections. If that argument prevails, it will destroy the independent source of revenue that organizations such as NFPA need to undertake the crucial safety standards development process. Private-sector code developers would be forced to rely more directly on affected interests for financial support, which would undermine their impartiality and independence.

One aspect of private-sector standards development that public officials should better understand is the measure of independence provided by the methods we use to finance our operations. We pay for our technical and administrative staffs, as well as our code-development costs and overhead, by selling codes, standards, and other related documents. We support and underwrite many programs, such as gratis code training for authorities having jurisdiction and our public education activities. We are not funded through charitable contributions or government grants, or by license fees paid by the jurisdictions that use our codes.

Read Jim's entire article in the online edition of NFPA Journal.

- Scott Sutherland