Interoperability Resources

Federal Resources

  • Emergency Communications Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials

    This guide provides public safety professionals, at all levels of government and disciplines, tools to establish and sustain effective emergency communications governance. It describes functional areas applicable to the state, local, tribal and territorial audience regarding interoperability coordination, and outlines governance challenges, best practices, and recommendations.

  • National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (NIFOG) Version 1.6

    The National Interoperability Field Operations Guide (N I F O G) is a technical reference for emergency communications planning and for radio technicians responsible for radios that will be used in disaster response. It includes rules and regulations for use of nationwide and other interoperability channels, tables of frequencies and standard channel names, and other […]

  • SAFECOM – National Interoperability Baseline Survey

    The goal of the National Interoperability Baseline Survey was to create a national and statistically valid snapshot of the capacity for and use of interoperability. This study was designed to assess the five critical elements — governance; policies, practices, and procedures; technology; training and exercises; and usage—that determine an organization’s capacity for interoperability.

  • Establishing Governance to Achieve Statewide Communications Interoperability – A Guide for SCIP Implementation

    This document presents information about the role, system, and operations of statewide governing bodies that are charged with improving communications interoperability across a state.

State and Regional Resources

A Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee, or SIEC, is a statewide governing body committed to managing and implementing the overarching statewide communications interoperability strategy.

SIEC links may change without notice as they are for third-party websites and are provided for informational purposes only. If the link for your state is not working, please let us know at [email protected]. You might also try searching the internet using your state name and SIEC.

Standards Review & Comment

Read, review and comment on candidate industry standards.

As an ANSI-Accredited Standards Development Organization, APCO maintains an openness in our standards development process that allows anyone to participate. The standards development that APCO adheres to uses due process through consensus-based, open and balanced procedures. There is a 45-day period when a draft candidate standard is open for public review and comment. Any person (e.g., organization, company, government agency, individual, etc.) with a direct and material interest has a right to participate by:

  • Expressing a position and its basis
  • Having that position considered, and
  • Having the right to appeal.

All comments will be addressed by the standards working group.

Standards Currently Available for Public Review & Comment

The following candidate standards are available for your review:

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

Public review and comment period: October 8 – November 22, 2021

This candidate standard is a reference specifically for public safety telecommunicators 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).

Candidate Standard for Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Technician

Public review and comment period: October 29 – December 13, 2021.

This is a revision of the standard identifying the core competencies and minimum training requirements for Public Safety Communications Technicians, sometimes referred to as Technician or Specialist. This position is typically tasked with planning, monitoring, maintaining, managing and/or installing technology systems, including radio systems, computer aid dispatch (CAD) systems, geographic information systems (GIS), and associated equipment, to ensure continuity of mission critical operation

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

Public review and comment period: November 5 – December 20, 2021

The revision of this standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for the public safety communications manager/director position, which is typically tasked with managing and directing all aspects of an emergency communications center (ECC).

How to Comment

When there are candidate standards, you may use this form to comment on them.

Standards Comment & Review Form

Standards Comment & Review Form

  • Page #SectionLine #CommentProposed Resolution 
    Add a new line by clicking on the plus sign at the right of your completed line.

You may also submit comments to [email protected]. Please ensure that you include the below information related to your comment(s) if submitting directly to the APCO Standards email address:

First and last name
Email address
Phone number
Name of candidate standard
Page number
Section number
Line number
Comment
Proposed resolution

Please continue to check this page for further updates. If you are aware of any current standards activities that may impact public safety communications, please email information to [email protected].

Questions and Suggestions?

If you have any questions, suggestions, or need for specific standards, please submit them for APCO’s review to [email protected] or call the Standards Program Manager at (469) 424-7599.

Assist With Standards Development

APCO International is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Standards Developer (ASD). As such, APCO ensures that public safety communications has a role in the development of standards that affect our industry. APCO’s standards development activities include developing standards as well representing public safety communications in other standards development areas. Learn more about the standards development process.

Contribute to Producing Public Safety Communications Standards

Take your professional game to the next level and contribute to producing standards for public safety communications.

It may seem intimidating but it is not. You will meet people from across the country who share common interests and goals in public safety communications. Not only will you be contributing your knowledge and experience to the standard but you will learn a lot from your peers during the process.

You do not need to be an expert to participate. You just need to be willing to contribute and use your skills to accomplish a common goal.

Join a Working Group

When APCO creates a new standard or revises an existing one, the working groups are the creative minds behind the standard. Groups include about 15 volunteers with training, operations or technical backgrounds who research and write a standard together. Working groups will generally meet twice a month for a 60-minute conference call and conduct some work offline. Before you join a working group, be sure you have time in your busy schedule to join the monthly meetings and to conduct some additional work offline. You do not need to be an APCO member to participate in APCO Standards Development activities. All parties with a direct and material interest are encouraged to participate.

APCO International is currently seeking working group members to participate in the creation of these ANSI standards:

Multi-Functional, Multi-Discipline Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Functional Requirements

The revision and redesignation of this standard provides public safety agencies with tools to assist them in planning and preparing the Request for Proposal (RFP) accurately meeting the needs of their emergency communications center (ECC).

All interested persons should complete the online application and indicate their preference for this working group at the Working Group sign-up page. The deadline is January 3, 2022.

Join a Standards Development Committee

Join one of the five committees involved in governing and managing the standards development process:

  • Standards Development Main Committee (SDC)
  • SDC Operational Subcommittee
  • SDC Technical Subcommittee
  • SDC Training Subcommittee
  • SDC Occupational Analysis Subcommittee

Recruitment for the standards development committee is continuous. At different times, we might need:

  • Users of public safety equipment and processes
  • Producers of public safety equipment and processes
  • Those with a general interest in public safety standards, such as academia, consultants, and other governmental agencies.


If you are interested in joining one of these committees, complete the survey now to be considered as needs arise. You do not need to be an APCO member to participate in APCO standards development activities. All parties with a direct and material interest are encouraged to participate.

APCO's Standards Development Process

As an ANSI-accredited Standards Developer (ASD), APCO International must adhere to ANSI’s essential requirements for due process. APCO has developed policies for the development and coordination of American National Standards (ANS). These procedures provide a method for:

  • Announcing standards development activities
  • Ensuring that qualified organizations develop them
  • Harmonizing duplicate or conflicting standards
  • Coordinating the approval of standards

ANSI further ensures that persons directly or materially affected by the activity under development has access to the standards process – including an appeals mechanism. It also requires periodic reviews to ensure the standard is a “living” document.

Adherence to these guidelines ensures that APCO’s standards development process provides due process, balance and lack of dominance. It provides opportunities to address all interests and work together toward a common solution.

Questions?

Email [email protected] or call the Standards Program Manager at (469) 424-7599.

Interoperability Standards

Standards & IEPDs

APCO has developed the following standards and documents intended to serve as tools for public safety to communicate in a common manner.

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

This standard identifies the minimum functional requirements that a computer aided dispatch (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 CAD systems that may be used by public safety communications centers to assist with the request for proposal (RFP) process when they need to conduct a solicitation for a new CAD system or an upgrade to an existing CAD system.

PSC Common Status Codes for Data Exchange

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. Rather than changing their codes internally, each agency should map their internal codes to the standardized list. The 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.

Common Incident Types for Data Exchange

This standard 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) ECCs 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. Rather than requiring an agency to change the codes they use internally, each agency should map their internal codes to the standardized list.

Common Incident Disposition Codes for Data Exchange

Disposition codes are used by ECCs 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.

Standard Channel Nomenclature for the Public Safety Interoperability Channels

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.

NG9-1-1 Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD)

The 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.

Download the EIDD IEPD (zip file), 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.

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

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.

Standards

As an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Standards Developer (ASD), APCO International is dedicated to ensuring public safety communications has a role in the development of standards that affect our industry. APCO’s standards development activities have a broad scope, ranging from the actual development of standards to the representation of public safety communications in other standards development areas.

APCO Seeks Comments on Candidate Standard for Public Safety Telecommunicators When Responding to Calls of Missing, Abducted and/or Sexually Exploited Children

This standard has been designed to serve as best practice guidelines and operational models in support of emergency communications center personnel when responding to incidents of missing, abducted and/or sexually exploited children. The standard will include procedures for effectively and efficiently processing these calls for service as well as resources available to telecommunicators and law enforcement.


APCO Announces Final Approval of Two National Standards

APCO International received final approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on April 8, 2021, for two American National Standards (ANS). Public Safety Telecommunicator Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) Program is a revision of a current standard and Alarm Monitoring Company to Emergency Communications Center (ECC) Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) is a newly created standard.

Find Standards

Locate training, technical and operational standards developed by APCO for the public safety communications profession.

Standards Review & Comment

During the time a standard is open for public review and comment, any person with a direct and material interest has a right to comment on the standard and have it considered by the standards working group.

Help With Standards Development

Take your professional game to the next level and contribute to producing standards for public safety communications.

APCO Standards Activities in Progress

The following standards are currently in development:

Operational Candidate ANS

  • Managing Operational Overload in the Public Safety Communications Center
  • Non 9-1-1 Call Processing and Dispatch
  • Supplemental Emergency Responder Recommendations
  • Career Progression Within the Public Safety ECC
  • Minimum Technical Requirements for Remote Support to Emergency Communication Center (ECC) Operations\

Technical Candidate ANS

  • Advanced Automatic Collision Notification (AACN) Data Set

Training Candidate ANS

  • Detecting Early Warning Symptoms of Stress in Public Safety Telecommunicators

Revisions to Current APCO ANS Standards

  • Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Manager/Director
  • Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Technician (CAD, Radio, GIS)
  • Wireless 9-1-1 Deployment and Management Effective Practices
  • Public Safety Communications Incident Handling Process
  • Standard for Public Safety Telecommunicators When Responding to Calls of Missing, Abducted and Sexually Exploited Children
  • Minimum Training Standard for TTY/TDD Use in the Public (Reaffirmation in progress)
  • Standard for Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT)

Questions and Suggestions

If you have any questions, suggestions, or need for specific standards, please submit them for APCO’s review to [email protected] or call the Standards Program Manager at (469) 424-7599.

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Showing 35 standards

Candidate Standard for Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Technician

Public review and comment period: October 29 – December 13, 2021.

This is a revision of the standard identifying the core competencies and minimum training requirements for Public Safety Communications Technicians, sometimes referred to as Technician or Specialist. This position is typically tasked with planning, monitoring, maintaining, managing and/or installing technology systems, including radio systems, computer aid dispatch (CAD) systems, geographic information systems (GIS), and associated equipment, to ensure continuity of mission critical operation

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

Public review and comment period: October 8 – November 22, 2021

This candidate standard is a reference specifically for public safety telecommunicators 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).

Crisis Intervention Techniques & Call Handling Procedures for PST

Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs) are typically the first layer of response to crisis-based calls and can serve as the initial layer of de-escalation attempts. PST’s must manage a wide range of emergency calls, often involving a variety of behavioral health disorders and conditions. Throughout Emergency Communications Centers there is a demand for skills associated with handling such calls in an appropriate, calming, and professional manner. To reflect the requests and needs for such improvement, APCO has published this standard, which provides a fundamental tool for PSTs. In practice, this standard is written to provide fundamental strategies and responsibilities for the agency, a brief understanding of behavioral health, PST responsibilities, and stress management for the PST. This standard provides procedures and techniques for improved responses for PSTs while handling a call involving a person in crisis.

Public Safety Telecommunicator Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Program

Over the past generation, our industry has seen myriad changes in the way it operates, is structured, and the way personnel are trained. We have evolved out of necessity to keep pace with our technology driven world as our informational highways and capabilities become larger and faster. This constant evolution has placed new and unforeseen stressors of many natures on our public safety telecommunications personnel, and will continue to do so especially with the advent of visual technology arriving at 9-1-1 consoles in real time every day. These changes, along with the critical need of ensuring the mental health and well-being of all our PST personnel, are the touchstone for the creation of this standard.

It is inherent in the document that from agency to agency there may be nuanced differences impacted by State, County, or Local Laws as well as agency specific policies and procedures. Those differences notwithstanding, from a conceptual standpoint the information contained within the document should give any end-user public safety agency a well-defined blueprint for establishing the critical operational need in protecting the overall mental, physical and emotional well-being of our Public Safety Telecommunicators.

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

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.

Cybersecurity Training for Public Safety Communications Personnel

This cybersecurity training standard addresses training for ECC staff, including public safety telecommunicators (PSTs), supervisors, ECC management and ECC administration. It also addresses training for personnel who are not in professional technical positions, but who are privileged users with administrative privileges allowing them to handle some technical tasks such as application installation, operating system updates, application administration, database management or system administration.

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

This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for the Public Safety Communications 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.

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

This standard identifies the core competencies and minimum training requirements for 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.

Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators©

The standard identifies minimum training requirements for public safety call takers, 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.

Also read Implementation Guide for APCO ANS Recommended Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators

Core Competencies and Minimum Training Standards for Public Safety Communications Supervisor

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.

Alarm Monitoring Company to Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) Automated Secure Alarm Protocol

The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) is a successfully proven data exchange that has demonstrated efficiency and effectiveness in streamlining alarm notifications between alarm monitoring companies and public safety Emergency Communications Centers since 2009. This standard is the product resulting from the joint effort by APCO and The Monitoring Association (TMA) formerly known as the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

Updates include the renaming the introduction of schema version 3.4 including new data fields and message types available to the users of this standard and critical to the mission of public safety. An emphasis on address verification/synchronization between the alarm companies and the ECCs is included. New alarm event types are also introduced as well as methods to indicate that an alarm has been verified positively as a real-life crime, fire, or emergency medical event.

Minimum Operational Standards for the Use ofTTY/TDD or Similar Device in the Public Safety Communications Center

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulation requires 9-1-1 and other telephone emergency service providers to provide TTY/TDD users with direct access and an opportunity to benefit from the emergency services that is equal to the opportunity afforded to others. Many of the citizens that are protected by ADA communicate via texting and expect to do the same with a PSCC or PSAP. State and local agencies are being legally directed to identify methods to accept these text messages and must keep up with the citizen’s expectations.

Responding to Calls of Missing, Abducted and Sexually Exploited Children

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).

Public Safety Grade Site Hardening Requirements

This standard is a comprehensive analysis of site hardening requirements, with the specific future intention to establish “hardening” standards, which create public safety grade sites. The requirements in this document have been developed by a subcommittee of the APCO Broadband Committee representing government communications system operators, communications systems vendors, representatives from commercial service provider LMR professionals, and broadband industry consultants.

NG9-1-1 Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD)

The 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.

Download the EIDD IEPD (zip file), 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.

Common Incident Types for Data Exchange

This standard 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) ECCs 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. Rather than requiring an agency to change the codes they use internally, each agency should map their internal codes to the standardized list.

Public Safety Communications Center Key Performance Indicators

The goal of this standard is to provide fundamental key performance indicators (KPIs) inherent in all ECC work, regardless of size, services, or location. It also provides a list of conditions that allow agencies to further refine performance analysis and management, if applicable to its needs. The standard approaches this topic by designating mandatory KPIs applicable to all ECC environments; documenting conditional measures that allow for more detailed root-cause analysis; and identifying data elements necessary to complete the KPI.

PSC Common Status Codes for Data Exchange

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. Rather than changing their codes internally, each agency should map their internal codes to the standardized list. The 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.

Standards Review & Comment

APCO’s standards development process allows anyone to participate and uses due process through consensus-based, open and balanced procedures. Each draft candidate standard is open for public review and comment for a 45-day period. Any person (e.g., organization, company, government agency, individual, etc.) with a direct and material interest has a right to participate by:

  • Expressing a position and its basis
  • Having that position considered
  • Having the right to appeal

All comments will be addressed by the standards working group.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or need for specific standards, please submit them for APCO’s review to [email protected] or call the Standards Program Manager at (469) 424-7599.