NFPA to consolidate membership meetings

Published on March 19, 2004
Board of directors votes to simplify meetings process

March 19, 2004 — At its regular meeting earlier this month, the board of directors of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) voted to approve the consolidation of its Fall Education Conference into its World Safety Conference & Exposition® (WSCE), also known as the annual meeting.

The move, designed to ease member schedules and travel, will allow Association business to be carried out in one meeting starting in 2005, eliminating the need for attendance at two meetings. Meanwhile, NFPA's 2004 WSCE will take place May 23-26 in Salt Lake City. The 2004 Fall Education Conference will be held November 14-17 in Miami Beach.

The board also voted to change the annual meeting month from May to June, effective next year, in order for the Association to have more flexibility in selecting sites. Typically, fewer large conferences take place in the summer months, including June. By moving the conference to June, there would also be more review-time for the codes and standards-making process.

"We are extremely pleased to offer these changes to our members," said James M. Shannon, NFPA president. "Most recently, we have heard from members who have found attending two conferences very difficult, given demanding work and family schedules. This consolidation will provide needed relief without compromising our mission and important NFPA programs."

Special notice on NFPA regulations and procedures
During this transition a major concern has been how will this impact the processing of NFPA codes and standards. The solution is to maintain two distinct revision cycles, but utilize a single Technical Committee Report (TCR) Session that will be held annually at the World Safety Conference & Exposition®.

Revised regulations and procedures are now in effect for all NFPA documents being processed in the Fall 2005 and subsequent revision cycles, and these will help to eliminate unnecessary time expenditures during the TCR Sessions and will provide agenda control and management tools that will increase the efficiency of these sessions. The key timesaving device being implemented is a new procedure whereby persons wishing to make a motion at a TCR Session must file in advance of the session, a notice of "intent to make a motion." Among other benefits, this will allow identification of "consent documents," which are non-controversial documents with no motions that can bypass the TCR Session and go directly to the Standards Council for issuance. This applies to approximately 80 percent of all processed NFPA documents.

Beginning in the 2004 and continuing through 2005, this will include two sets of the Regulations Governing Committee Projects and two sets of Convention Rules. One set applies to all NFPA documents reporting up to and including the Annual 2005 Revision Cycle.  The second set applies to all NFPA documents reporting in the Fall 2005 and subsequent Revision Cycles. These regulations and procedures are clearly identified in this section with an appropriate heading and footer.

NFPA has held their Annual Association Membership Meetings in the spring of each year (May or June) since 1897. The Fall Conference was also added in 1948 (October or November), but it wasn't until 1974 that documents began to be processed through a Fall TCR Session. Thus, NFPA is effectively returning to a processing arrangement that it has used for the majority of its existence. Because two revision cycles will still be used (but with a single TCR Session and also recognizing consent documents), most NFPA committee projects will not notice a significant change with the handling of their assigned documents.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. NFPA headquarters is located in Quincy, MA, USA.