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

No standards currently available for review & comment.

How to Comment

When there are candidate standards, you will see a form below that you can use 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:

APCO/NENA Joint Working Group Candidate ANS Revision and Redesignation for a Standard for the Establishment of a Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Program for Emergency Communication Centers

The revision and redesignation of this standard identified the recommended minimum components of a Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement (QA/QI) Program within an Emergency Communication Center (ECC). It recommends effective procedures for implementing a QA/QI Program to evaluate the performance of ECC Personnel. 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 is challenged by the type and nature of the calls received, the heavy workload coupled in may cases with the constant change of the environment, technology and community expectations. The revision of this standard provides uniformed methods to evaluate the service delivery of personnel ensuring high standards of performance.

APCO International is looking for a well-balanced group that will include contributions from training, technical and operational subject matter experts from the public safety communications realm. 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 August 15, 2022.

APCO Working Group Candidate ANS Common Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Public Safety GIS Identifiers

This standard focuses on the Geofile aspect of database updating and identifies a minimum set of CAD oriented geographic import/export database file requirements necessary to allow multiple agencies to share public safety geographic data and databases updates, utilizing 9-1-1 infrastructure and data, among disparate CAD systems.

APCO International is looking for a well-balanced group that will include contributions from training, technical and operational subject matter experts from the public safety communications realm. 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 August 15, 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.

Download the Zip file

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

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International received final approval from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on June 17, 2022, for a new American National Standard (ANS).

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

  • 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

  • Common Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) GIS Identifiers

Training Candidate ANS

  • Detecting Early Warning Symptoms of Stress in Public Safety Telecommunicators
  • Core Competencies and Minimum Training Requirements for Peer Critical Incident (or Crisis) Support Team

Revisions to Current APCO ANS Standards

  • Multi-Functional Multi-Discipline CAD Minimum Functional Requirements
  • Wireless 9-1-1 Deployment and Management Effective Practices
  • Public Safety Communications Incident Handling Process
  • 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.

Find Standards

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Showing 10 standards

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.

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.