Using ICC’s cdpACCESS

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Building And Fire Codes Open To All

The International Code Council® (ICC) code development process is a process that is open to everyone. Anyone who has an interest in public safety, health, and welfare (including economic vitality) in the built environment is encouraged to participate. The non-profit, U.S.-based ICC prides itself in an open and transparent process including an online, public-facing portal called cdpACCESS™ where anyone can submit code changes proposals, discuss them, comment on them, and even vote on the preliminary stages of the proposals.

The ICC codes have been in existence since 2000 after three legacy building code organizations merged into one. Building and fire codes are implemented when a state or local jurisdiction adopts them into law. While the ICC codes have been adopted in nearly the entire U.S., there remain some jurisdictions that have no codes at all. Fire marshals and building officials are administrative employees charged with enforcing the codes the legislators adopt.

The code adoption schedule is entirely at the discretion of the state or local jurisdiction depending upon its statutes or administrative procedures. There is no overall enforcing organization that requires a six-year adoption. The ICC and other organizations have created the Coalition for Current Safety Codes (www.coalition4safety.org) to advocate for the use of current codes based on rapidly changing technology and economic factors. Anyone is welcome to participate in the coalition.

ICC’s code development process is fully open to anyone who is interested. That is why ICC strongly encourages individual and organizational participation. cdpACCESS makes that easier for all.

User’s Guide To cdpACCESS
With the ICC’s open-access online cdpACCESS, submitting code change proposals is only a few computer clicks away. Anyone with an interest in improving the model codes is welcome to send their suggestions to this robust cloud-based tracking, collaboration, and voting tool found at www.cdpACCESS.com.

cdpACCESS saves time and money while providing a single portal for code officials and other interested persons to stay on top of proposed code changes, offer their commentary, and, for code officials, determine the outcome by their votes.

International Code Council Members and others with an interest in public safety in the built environment have begun to use the first version of cdpACCESS, the new cloud-based tool built exclusively for ICC’s code development process (cdp). Once referred to as remote voting, cdpACCESS is much more than that. With cdpACCESS you can create code change proposals and submit them online. According to professional engineer and certified plumbing designer Julius Ballanco, a regular columnist in PME Engineer magazine, “cdpACCESS maintains the high level of integrity ICC’s code development process is known for and is expected to increase participation.”

“The ultimate goal is to provide a superior way to develop codes and increase participation in code development,” says ICC CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “We are confident that code development participants and public safety will benefit from cdpACCESS.”

Robust And Modern Features
cdpACCESS is intended to make the entire code process open and transparent to all participants as well as any person or entity that may be affected by the codes. The portal includes features that allow users to share information and opinions as well as watch videos of comments made at the various the code development hearings. cdpACCESS allows anyone to participate in code development from a computer or tablet when you cannot attend in person. This capability alone will save thousands of dollars in travel and lodging expense for those who want to be active in the code hearings. Most important, it makes the entire code process more democratic.

Among the features offered on the cdpACCESS portal are:

  • The ability for online collaboration with one or many colleagues.
  • The capacity to view, download, and print the Code Change Agenda.
  • The opportunity for online users to submit floor modifications at the Committee Action Hearings.
  • The capability to vote online for assembly floor motions following the Committee Action Hearing. All ICC Members are eligible to vote online on assembly floor motions.
  • The capacity to view, download, and print the Report of the Committee Action Hearing.
  • The ability to create and submit online public comments to the Committee Action Hearing results.
  • The capability to view, download, and print the Public Comment Agenda.
  • The ability for ICC Governmental Member Voting Representatives and Honorary Members to vote online on proposed code changes/public comments following the Public Comment Hearing.

Prepping And Testing cdpACCESS
Since not everyone is an expert in a digital world, cdpACCESS developers have made the tool “user-friendly.” With a few simple steps, anyone with Internet access can submit code development proposals for consideration. ICC has tested cdpACCESS extensively on a wide variety of Windows and Apple computers and the iPad. cdpACCESS is designed for use on Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Internet Explorer version 7 and earlier versions are not supported. Analysis of ICC website traffic has shown this will affect a very small percentage of users.

Support for cdpACCESS includes help by phone and email to answer questions, receive comments and suggestions, and report any system errors. The toll-free cdpACCESS hotline is (855) ICC-CDP-1 or (855) 422-2371; email can be sent to cdpACCESS@iccsafe.org. Detailed cdpACCESS instructions and a schedule of upcoming webinars can be viewed at www.iccsafe.org/cdpaccess.

The International Code Council (ICC) has long been a leader in developing its codes and standards in a transparent and open process, exceeding even the strict “openness” criteria required by the American National Standards Institute. Going beyond the requirement to not impose “undue financial barriers” to participation, ICC has long allowed any individual with an interest to participate in public hearings on code change proposals, and even to vote on issues submitted to the assembly, without payment of any registration fee or participation charge. Providing this access, which is subsidized by the membership and the product sales of the Code Council, has long been a hallmark of the ICC process and has been a factor in the wide acceptance and adoption of its codes and standards by government entities at every level and around the world.

Rob Neale is the vice president of national fire service activities for the International Code Council.

Step-By-Step To cdpACCESS

Using cdpACCESS is easy, even for the first timer. Here are the steps to get you started in writing code change proposals:

  1. In your web browser, select www.iccsafe.org.
  2. Once the ICC home page loads, click on “cdpACCESS” in the black banner at the upper right hand side of the screen.
  3. You will be directed to the “Welcome to cdpACCESS” portal where, if you are not already registered, you will need to register a username and password at the hyperlink at the bottom of the page. It’s free.
  4. Once you are registered, select the green Log In button on the “Welcome to cdpACCESS” portal.

That’s all there is to it! You’re now in and able to participate in the ICC code development process. Welcome!

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