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NFPA Impact: Consolidating NFPA standards

February 28, 2023 
By Laura King


Three years ago, NFPA’s Standards Council undertook the facilitation of a process to streamline standards that apply to emergency response and responder safety (ERRS).

Details of the consolidation process have been available since early 2020, on the individual web pages for each affected standard, in blogs, NFPA newsletters and other correspondence, and on NFPA’s social media platforms. The consolidation process was recommended by the technical committees that develop and revise the standards, and approved by the Standards Council in April 2019.

The process began in 2020 and was to be complete by 2025 but is ahead of schedule. 

Now that many of the consolidated standards are available on the NFPA website, through the National Fire Code Subscription Service (NFCSS), and at NFPA LiNK, there are questions about the impact of the changes on those who use the standards.

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The short answer: the “old” standards exist under the same names/numbers within the new, consolidated standards, and there is no impact on fire department operations. 

For training providers, there are some administrative changes: curriculums and job performance requirements will need to be updated to ensure they align with chapter numbers in the new standards, but there are no changes to the JPRs themselves. (Note that on Jan. 1, Pro Board issued agency compliance dates for the consolidated standards. Pro Board is separate from NFPA and sets its own policies.) 

Nothing changes for fire department personnel certified to an NFPA professional-qualification standard. For example, NFPA 1035 Fire and Life Safety Educator, is still NFPA 1035, but it now exists as chapters nine through 14 in the new NFPA 1030, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Prevention Program Positions. Fire and life safety educators will continue to take the 1035 course (Levels I, II and III) and attain certification through Pro Board to NFPA 1035. There are no changes to the job performance requirements. Public information officer is a separate chapter in the 1030 standard, as is juvenile fire setter – but both are still part of NFPA 1035. Instructors will need to update course/curriculum outlines and JPRs to match the new chapter numbers.

The new 1030 standard also includes separate chapters for NFPA 1037 (fire marshal – the U.S. definition, not the Canadian one), and NFPA 1031 (inspector / plans examiner). 

NFPA 1010, Standard for Firefighter, Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator, Airport Firefighter, and Marine Firefighting for Land-Based Firefighters Professional Qualifications, consolidates NFPA 1001, 1002, 1003 and 1005. The process is exactly as outlined above for NFPA 1035: separate chapters within the consolidated standard and no changes to the JPRs other than chapter numbers.

Public comment on the second draft of NFPA 1010 closed Jan. 4, and the second draft will be posted Oct. 4. Anyone can view the proposed new standard and public input on the second draft by going to www.nfpa.org/1010, clicking Next Edition and then View Public Comment. The standard is more than halfway through the revision cycle but there’s still opportunity for input; anyone who disagrees with any part of the proposed standard, or wants to suggest a change or improvement, can submit a NITMAM – notice of intention to make a motion – after the second draft is posted.

It’s worth noting that the 1010 firefighter professional qualifications committee is chaired by John Cunningham, executive director of the Nova Scotia Firefighters School. Cunningham is well versed in the professional qualifications process and has long represented Canadian interests and concerns on NFPA standards committees. 

The rationale for the consolidation process is to better serve stakeholders and create efficiencies for the more than 2,000 volunteer members of the technical committee. 

Custom revision cycles are being developed for the ERRS standards. Check the document information page for the standard(s) by going to www.nfpa.org/ and putting the number of the standard after the slash (/), for example, www.nfpa.org/1010.

For more about consolidation, visit www.nfpa.org/Codes-and-Standards/Resources/Standards-in-action/Emergency-Response-and-Responder-Safety-Project or listen to the NFPA Podcast from November 2021, titled One standard. 


Laura King is the regional director for NFPA in Canada. Contact her at lking@nfpa.org and follow her on Twitter @LauraKingNFPA.


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