APCO International

Standards

Standards to Download

Operational | Technical | Training


Operational Standards

icon Establishment of a Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Program for Public Safety Answering Points

Details

The duties and responsibilities of those who serve our communities by accepting and processing emergency calls from the public have grown exponentially over recent years. The industry, as a whole, is challenged by the type and nature of the calls received. Factors that affect the quality of service received are the heavy workload, constant changes within the PSAP, changes in technology, as well as customer expectations. Additionally, there is a lack of standardized methods to provide quality assurance and effective feedback to the telecommunicator. The heavy workload coupled in many cases with the constant change of the environment, technology and customer expectations and the lack of standardized methods to evaluate service delivery. Critical focus must be maintained to ensure a high standard of performance is delivered each and every time through phone calls and radio transmissions.

Description: 
This standard defines the recommended minimum components of a Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement (QA/QI) program within a public safety communications center. It recommends effective procedures for implementing the components of the QA/QI program to evaluate the performance of public safety communications personnel

end faq


icon Public Safety Communications Common Status Codes for Data Exchange

Details

As agencies strive to achieve public safety data interoperability among disparate CAD systems it was recognized that a common set of Status Codes was needed. This standard identifies a method to allow multiple agencies to share public safety unit status updates among disparate CAD systems while continuing to use their agency specific Status Codes mapped to the Common Status Codes. Each agency is responsible for identifying how to map, or translate their agency specific Status Codes to the Common Status codes to ensure a clear understanding of the data that is being passed.

Description: 
This standard provides a standardized list of status codes that can be used by emergency communications and public safety stakeholders when sharing incident related information. Creating a common status code does NOT mean that an agency must change the codes they use internally. The intent is to have each agency map their internal codes to the standardized list.

end faq


icon Best Practices for the Use of Social Media in Public Safety Communications

Details

Social media is a common form of communication used by agencies and agency employees. This standard provides guidance on the use of social media for developing specific local procedures (ex: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc).

Description: 
Different forms of social media can be an effective tool for agencies. Social Media also has the potential to be a significant risk to effective communications and data privacy. Because of the broad spectrum of applications, and the potential impact of the use of social media by agencies, it is necessary to thoroughly evaluate each use and document standards. Even if an agency elects not to use this form of communication, proper operational procedures need to be developed and appropriately communicated for both official and personal use of social media.

The purpose of this standard is to provide a consistent foundation for agencies to develop specific operational procedures and competencies. This standard recognizes the need for each agency to customize specific procedures to their local environment.

end faq


icon  Multi-Functional Multi-Discipline Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Minimum Functional Requirements

Details

A Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system is the principal application used by public safety agencies to manage law enforcement, fire, and EMS incidents from the initial time an incident is reported to the conclusion of the incident. CAD is also used to track the status and location of resources, and for post-incident analysis of the response. This standard provides a master list of Functions for a CAD system, identifying those functions that constitute the minimum set of requirements that shall be included for a CAD system, as well as others that a CAD system should include as optional features/functions. /p>

Brief Description: 
The Multi-Functional Multi-Discipline Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Minimum Functional Requirements standard identifies the minimum functional requirements that a CAD system shall include, broken down by public safety discipline. Also identified are the optional functional requirements that a CAD system should include. Attachment A: the Unified CAD Functional Requirements (UCADFR) provides a comprehensive list of functional requirements for Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems that may be used by public safety communications centers to assist with the Request for Proposal (RFP) process when a need exists to a conduct a solicitation for a new CAD system or an upgrade to an existing CAD system.

end faq


 Standard Channel Nomenclature for the Public Safety Interoperability Channels

Details

Standard revised by the NPSTC Interoperability Committee Channel Naming Working Group. Approved on November 3, 2016 by the APCO International Standard Development Operational Sub-committee. Approved on January 3, 2017 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Description: 
Standard nomenclature for FCC and NTIA-designated nationwide interoperability channels used for public safety voice communications. The public safety community uses spectrum allocated by the FCC and NTIA in multiple bands that is replete with interoperability channels. It is necessary to develop and employ a common set of channel names so that all responders to an incident know which channel to tune their radios to, as well as the band and primary use for the channel.

end faq


icon Standard for Public Safety Telecommunicators When Responding to Calls of Missing, Abducted, and Sexually Exploited Children

Details

Note: This version (3) replaces APCO ANS 1.101.2-2010

This standard was developed in conjunction with the membership of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) Missing Kids & 9-1-1 Readiness Project Executive Committee (formerly named the Joint Steering Committee on Call Center Best Practices in Cases of Missing, Abducted and Sexually Exploited Children).

Description: 
This standard is a reference designed for public safety telecommunications personnel. The standard attempts to present the missing, abducted and/or sexually exploited child response process in a logical progression from the first response (initial call intake and information entry) through ongoing incident and case support (data query, entry and management in support of field/investigative work).

end faq


icon Standard for Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) Deployment

Details

The National Joint TERT Initiative (NJTI), a partnership between APCO and NENA, developed the content of this American National Standard, along with the NENA Contingency Planning Committee.  The APCO Standards Development Committee facilitated it through the APCO ANS process and it was approved by ANSI on May 29, 2009.  For more information about NJTI, visit: www.njti-tert.org

Description: 
This standard includes information to provide guidance and helpful material regarding the development, maintenance and deployment of a TERT.

end faq


icon Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Service Capability Criteria Rating Scale

Details

Note: This version (2) replaces APCO/NENA ANS 1.102.1-2008

The APCO/NENA PSAP-Service Capability Criteria Rating Scale joint Work Group developed the content of this ANS. The APCO Standards Development Committee facilitated the standard through the APCO ANS process. The first versionwas approved by ANSI on November 3, 2008. The second version was approved by ANSI on July 28, 2010.

Description: 
This standard is intended to assist Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Managers and their governing authorities to identify their current level of service capability. An assessment tool is provided to objectively assess capabilities of the PSAP against models representing different levels of preparedness, survivability and sustainability amidst a wide range of natural and man-made events. The second version includes the addition of "Day-to-Day" operations service capability criteria items and updates to "Survivability" items based upon lessons learned in the field since the original publication.

end faq


icon Wireless 9-1-1 Deployment and Management Effective Practices Guide

Details

This standard was written by The APCO International Standards Development Committee – Wireless Effective Practices Workgroup and approved by the APCO Standards Development Committee on September 13, 2013. Final approval received from the American National Standards Institute on September 27, 2013.

Description: 
These revised Effective Practices (EPs) are designed to increase the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Managers’ understanding of the technology application and the ability to better manage wireless calls, as well as public and responder expectations.

end faq


icon Recommended Best Practices for PSAPs When Processing Vehicle Telematics Calls from Telematic Service Providers

Details

The 9-1-1 Emerging Technologies Committee, composed of PSAP personnel, commercial members and Telematics Service Providers, combined their expertise and experience to create a standard to guide the interactions between Telematics Call Center Operators and PSAP Telecommunicators.

Brief Description:

Telematics data provides an opportunity for public safety agencies to dispatch more efficiently, based on crash notification elements and specific crash data. Law enforcement agencies, working in correlation with Telematics Call Centers, are able to work together to assist in the location of missing people, recovery of stolen vehicles and vehicle slow down to stop vehicles involved in criminal activity. In emergency situations, effective communication between the Telematics Call Center and the local PSAP is critical.

end faq


icon Common Incident Disposition Codes for Data Exchange

Details

Disposition codes are used by PSAPs and public safety to identify the outcome of an event (incidents). These codes typically involve the use of numeric, alpha or alphanumeric characters that are only meaningful to a specific agency or region. This standard provides a list of Common Disposition Codes for use by PSAPs and public safety when sharing incident information with disparate agencies and authorized stakeholders.

end faq



Technical Standards

icon Alarm Monitoring Company to PSAP CAD Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP)

Details

In 2005, APCO International and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) partnered to develop an exchange that will be consistently used by CAD providers and central station alarm companies for PSAPs to increase efficiency and decrease errors. The first beta site for the initial test project was York County, Virginia, Dept. of Fire and Life Safety, Emergency Communications Division. Vector Security participated in the electronic alarm exchange. The second beta site was the city of Richmond, Virginia, Division of Emergency Communications.  The first data template was successfully completed October 2004.  An Alerts Working Team was formed in 2006 to begin the External Alert 2.0 IEPD Development. This team was formed by the IJIS Public Safety Technical Standards Committee (IPSTSC) to create external alerts and requests-for-service IEPD using the GJXDM standard. 

Following a two year development effort which included extensive testing, the Alarm Interface Alarm Exchange went live in July 2006. The City of Richmond's Police Division of Emergency Communications authorized a development partnership with York County. In July 2008, the data requirements for Alarm 3.0 IEPD were finalized and in August the IEPD was completed. Mappings were changed from GJXDM to NIEM 2.0. This effort to upgrade the IEPD was sponsored by the Public Safety Data Interoperability (PSDI) Program, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and co-managed by APCO International and IJIS Institute. The document was then submitted by the APCO Data Transfer Committee through the APCO ANS process and approved by ANSI January 15, 2009. The standard was known as APCO/CSAA ANS 2.101.1-2008 Alarm Monitoring Company to PSAP CAD External Alarm Interface Exchange.

In 2011, Nlets, the International Justice & Public Safety Network, recommended the development of a CSAA-managed Message Broker to operate the ASAP Message Broker web service. By the end of calendar year 2011, schema 3.3 was completed to facilitate additional data fields required for routing purposes through the Message Broker.  Schema 3.3 was piloted by Vector Security and the City of Richmond VA in April 2012. The project was rebranded the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol or “ASAP”. Today, all ASAP participating organizations must utilize schema 3.3 or greater due to the transport layer requirements.

The ANS was renewed on August 5, 2014 to include a re-designation and additional schema fields. The renewed standard is APCO/CSAA ANS 2.101.2-2014 Alarm Monitoring Company to PSAP CAD Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP).

As of September, 2014, in addition to York County VA and the city of Richmond VA, the project had expanded to 9-1-1 PSAPs at the City of Houston TX, James City County VA, Tempe AZ, Washington DC, and Morgan County AL. At least thirteen alarm monitoring companies were actively participating and thirty alarm monitoring companies had signed a contract with the CSAA to begin their participation, including eight of the largest eleven alarm monitoring central stations. The number of ASAP-related transactions has accumulated into the hundreds of thousands.

Description:
The purpose of the APCO/CSAA ANS 2.101.2 2014, also known as ASAP 3.3, documentation is to provide a standard data exchange for transmitting information using automation between an Alarm Monitoring Company and a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).  There are three primary uses for this IEPD:

  • Initial notification of an alarm event by an alarm monitoring company to a PSAP
  • Update of status by the PSAP’s Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to the alarm monitoring company
    • Alarm Notification Accepted, call-for-service created
    • Alarm Notification Rejected due to invalid alarm location address, invalid event type, alarm notification too old, or other reason(s)
  • Bi-directional update of other events between an alarm monitoring company and a PSAP 
    • Requests for cancellation by the alarm monitoring company
    • Updates concerning key-holder information by the alarm monitoring company
    • Notice by the PSAP that the primary response agency has been dispatched
    • Notice by the PSAP that the primary response agency has arrived on scene
    • Notice by the PSAP that the event has been closed (with a disposition if applicable)
    • Updates from the PSAP telecommunicator or field resource requesting additional information such as an estimated time of arrival for the key-holder

View frequently asked questions (FAQs) about this ANS.

Get a fact sheet about this ANS.

For further information on implementing this standard, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

end faq


icon NG 9-1-1 Emergency Incident Data Document

Details

Standard written by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International Standards Development Committee (SDC) –The Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD) Workgroup. Standard approved by the SDC on October 1, 2016 and received final approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on January 3, 2017.

Description:

The Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD) provides a standardized, industry-neutral National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) conformant (XML-based) specifications for exchanging emergency incident information to agencies and regions that implement NG9-1-1 and Internet Protocol (IP) based emergency communications systems. Emergency incident information exchanges supported by the EIDD include exchanges between disparate manufacturers’ systems located within one or more public safety agencies and with other incident stakeholders.

end faq

Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) FOR "NG 9-1-1 Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD)"(.zip)

Details

The EIDD IEPD is a NIEM-conformant package that describes the construction and content of the EIDD information exchange. It contains all of the schemas necessary to represent and validate the data content of the exchange. It also contains supplemental artifacts, such as documentation, business rules, search and discovery metadata, and sample instances.

end faq


icon Public Safety Communications Common Incident Types for Data Exchange

Details

APCO International's Data Transfer Committee developed the content of the Public Safety Communications Common Incident Type Codes for Data Exchange and submitted the standard through the APCO ANS Process. The standard was approved by the Standards Development Committee on September 10, 2012 and final approval was received by ANSI on November 2, 2012.

Brief Description:

This APCO ANS focuses on providing a standardized list of Common Incident Type Codes to facilitate effective incident exchange between Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) PSAPs and other authorized agencies, which is a critical component of public safety interoperability. If an agency is receiving information about an incident, a basic level of incident classification will be required to assure they understand the type of situation. The creation of this standardized incident type code list does not mean that the agency is required to change the codes they use internally. The intent is to have each agency map their internal codes to the standardized list.

end faq



Training Standards

icon Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Communications Training Officer (CTO)

Details

This standard was revised by The APCO International Communications Center Standards Committee (CCSC) and approved by the APCO International Standards Development Committee (SDC) on October 13, 2016. Final approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was received on September 12, 2017.

Description:
This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for Public Safety Communications Training Officers (CTO). This position is typically tasked with on-the-job training of agency employees on the essential duties and tasks of a Public Safety Telecommunicator.

 

end faq


iconCore Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Instructor

Details

This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for Public Safety Communications Center Instructor, herein referred to as Instructor. This position is typically tasked with the delivery of training within the communications agency.

end faq


icon Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Quality Assurance Evaluators (QAE)


Details

This standard was written by The APCO International Communications Center Standards Committee (CCSC) and approved by the APCO Standards Development Committee (SDC) on August 31, 2016. Final approval received by the American National Standards Institute on September 12, 2017.

Description:
This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for Public Safety Communications Quality Assurance Evaluators (QAE). The QAE administers the Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement (QA/QI) process by providing compliance oversight, reviewing, and documenting an evaluation of the level of compliance with Agency directives and standards in an ongoing effort to ensure the highest levels of service to the public and emergency responders.

 

end faq


icon Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Supervisor

Details

The previous standard (above) standard was written by The APCO International Communications Center Standards Committee (CCSC) and was approved by the APCO Standards Development Committee on August 15, 2012, and approval by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was received on September 12, 2017.

Description:
This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for Public Safety Communications Supervisors. This position is typically tasked with managing daily operations, performing administrative duties and maintaining employee relations. This position provides leadership and guidance to employees in order to achieve the Agency’s mission, while providing service to the public and emergency responders.

 

end faq

icon Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Manager / Director

Details

This standard written by The APCO International Communications Center Standards Committee (CCSC) and approved by the APCO International Standards Development Committee (SDC) on April 15, 2014.  Final approval by the American National Standards Institute was received on June 9, 2014. 

Description:
This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for The Public Safety Communications Manager/Director, herein referred to as Manager/Director. This position is typically tasked with managing and directing all aspects of a public safety communications center, while effectively utilizing leadership skills, resources, and partnerships in order to successfully provide emergency communications service.

end faq


icon Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Training Coordinator

Details

Standard written by the Communications Center Standards Committee.  Standard approved by the Standards Development Committee on August 7, 2015 and received final approval by the American National Standards Institute on September 19, 2017.

Description:
This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training for individuals performing the task of training coordination.  This position is typically tasked with the planning, development, coordination, implementation, and administration of training within an agency.

 

end faq


icon Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators

Details

This standard was revised by The APCO International Communications Center Standards Committee (CCSC) and approved by the APCO International Standards Development Committee on June 12, 2015. Final approval was received from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on July 14, 2015.

Description:
The standard identifies minimum training requirements for public safety calltakers, fire service dispatchers, law enforcement dispatchers, and emergency medical services (EMS) dispatchers. It is one of many public safety communications training standards that has been developed as a result of APCO's Project 33 initiated in 1995. This standard is based on research compiled from multiple occupational analysis workshops conducted throughout the nation. Over 100 high-performing public safety telecommunicators representing various agencies participated in these workshops. The draft standard was submitted through three different public review and comment periods before the final draft was completed.

Learn about APCO's Agency Training Program Certification.

end faq


icon Implementation Guide for "Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators"

Details

This Implementation Guide by itself is not a standard, rather it is an optional guide that accompanies APCO ANS 3.103.2.2015 Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators for centers to utilize when applying this particular Standard to their agency’s training program.

end faq


icon Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Technicians

Details

The focus of this publication is to provide minimum training standards and identify competencies for public safety communications professionals typically tasked with on-the-job training of agency employees on the essential duties and tasks of Public Safety Communications Technician of which the standard address two technician jobs: Public Safety Radio and Public Safety Communications Computer-Aided Dispatch technicians.

Description: 
This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum including radio and computer-aided dispatch. Technology is critical to the administration of public safety communications. There is a need to provide a consistent foundation for the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to fulfill this critical function.

end faq


icon Minimum Training Standard for TTY/TDD Use in the Public Safety Communications Center

Details

It is expected that every Telecommunicator that may be placed in the position of answering a TTY/TDD call be trained to answer these calls prior to being released to work independently on the dispatch floor.

Description: 
This standard addresses the minimum training requirements, in general, necessary to foster levels of consistency for all personnel in an emergency communications environment assigned to answering TTY/TDD calls for service specifically in the Public Safety environment. This standard responds to the valid needs of the rapidly expanding and ever-changing industry, providing competent training standards while defining training in certain knowledge, skills, and abilities, and recognizing the need to supplement basic competencies with agency-specific information and existing equipment-use parameters.

end faq

All material ©2018 APCO International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.