Following the completion of the Input and Comment stages, there is further opportunity for debate and discussion of issues through the NFPA Technical Meeting (Tech Session) that takes place at the NFPA Conference & Expo® each June.
Notice of Intent to Make a Motion (NITMAM). Where authorized, anyone who is not satisfied with the work of the Committee can submit a NITMAM. A NITMAM is an amending motion that will be heard by the NFPA Membership for consideration and debate at the NFPA Technical Meeting; these motions are attempts to change the resulting final Standard from what the Committee submitted for consideration as the Second Draft. Those Standards with no NITMAMs move directly to Standards Council for issuance (see Step 4). The NFPA Technical Meeting provides an opportunity for the NFPA membership to amend the Technical Committee Reports (i.e., the Committee’s or Panel’s work) on each proposed new or revised Standard.
Before making an authorized motion at an NFPA Technical Meeting, the intended maker of the motion must file, in advance of the session, and within the published deadline, a NITMAM. A Motions Committee appointed by the Standards Council then reviews all notices and certifies all proper amending motions. The Motions Committee can also, in consultation with the makers of the motions, clarify the intent of the motions and, in certain circumstances, combine motions that are dependent on each other so that they can be made in one single motion. A Motions Committee report is published in advance of the NFPA Technical Meeting listing all certified motions. Only Certified Amending Motions, together with certain allowable Follow-Up Motions (that is, motions that have become necessary as a result of previous successful amending motions) are permitted at the NFPA Technical Meeting.
The specific rules for the types of amending motions that can be made and who can make them are set forth in NFPA’s rules, which should always be consulted by those wishing to bring an issue before the membership at an NFPA Technical Meeting.
What Amending Motions are Allowed. The motions allowed by NFPA rules provide the opportunity to propose amendments to the text of a proposed Standard based on published Second Revisions, Public Comments, and Committee Comments. Allowable motions include motions to accept Public and Committee Comments in whole or in part, to reject a Second Revision (change accepted by the Committee) in whole or part and can include the related portions of First Revisions. In addition, under certain specified instances, motions can be made to return an entire NFPA Standard to the Committee. This means the Standard will not be issued at this time and will be returned to the Committee to continue its work.
Who Can Make Amending Motions. Those authorized to make motions are also regulated by NFPA rules. In the case of a motion to Accept a Public Comment or an Identifiable Part of a Public Comment, the maker of the motion is limited by NFPA rules to the original submitter of the Comment or his or her duly authorized representative. In all other cases, anyone can make these motions. For a complete explanation, NFPA rules should be consulted.
Action on Motions at the NFPA Technical Meeting. In order to actually make a Certified Amending Motion at the NFPA Technical Meeting, the maker of the motion or his or her designated representative must sign in at least one hour before the Technical Meeting begins. In this way a final list of motions can be set in advance of the Technical Meeting. The presiding officer in charge of the Technical Meeting opens the floor to motions on the Standard from the final list of Certified Amending Motions as sequenced by the Motions Committee followed by any permissible Follow-Up Motions. Debate and voting on each motion proceeds in accordance with NFPA rules. NFPA membership is not required in order to make or speak to a motion, but voting is limited to NFPA members who have joined at least 180 days prior to the session and have registered for the Technical Meeting. At the close of debate on each motion, voting takes place, and the motion requires a majority vote to carry. In order to amend a Technical Committee Report, successful amending motions must be confirmed by the responsible Technical Committee or Panel, which conducts a written ballot on all successful amending motions following the meeting and prior to the Standard being forwarded to the Standards Council for issuance.