Rules for Requesting a Formal Interpretation of the Guidelines

1-1 General

Formal Interpretations (FIs) are for the purpose of providing formal explanations of the meaning or intent of the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities (the Guidelines).

1-1 .1 Limitations

A statement, written or oral, that is not processed in accordance with these rules shall not be considered the official position of the Health Guidelines Revision Committee (HGRC) and shall not be considered to be, nor be relied upon as, an FI.

1-1.2 Nature of Formal Interpretations

Requests for FIs shall be clearly worded so as to solicit a pertinent answer from the Interpretations Task Group of the HGRC.

1-1.3 Editions to be Interpreted

FIs shall be rendered on the text of the requested edition of the Guidelines. However, any FI issued shall apply not only to the requested edition of the Guidelines but also to any other edition of the Guidelines in which the text is identical, except when deemed inappropriate by the HGRC.

1-1.4 Reason for Not Processing

A request for an FI shall not be processed if any of the following apply:

a. It involves a determination of compliance of a design, installation, or product.

b. It involves a review of plans or specifications or requires judgment or knowledge that can only be acquired as a result of on-site inspection.

c. It asks about Guidelines text that clearly and decisively provides the requested information.

d. It involves subjects that were not previously considered by the HGRC or that are not addressed in the Guidelines.

1-2 Method of Requesting Formal Interpretations

Requests for FIs shall be submitted to the Facility Guidelines Institute by e-mail to:

1-2.1 Required Information

The request shall include the information specified in the “Form for Requests for Formal Interpretation� that appears at and in the back of the Guidelines. This required information includes a statement making specific reference to a single problem and identifying the section and edition of the Guidelines on which the FI is being requested.

1-2.2 Reference to AHJ

A request involving an actual field situation shall be so stated and the authority having jurisdiction’s name shall be included in the request.

1-3 Processing

1-3.1 Determination of Qualifications

The chairperson of the Interpretations Task Group shall determine if the request for FI shall be processed in accordance with this policy.

1-3.2 Editing of Interpretation Request

A request for an FI may be rephrased to assist the Interpretations Task Group in rendering a decision.

1-3.3 Makeup of the Interpretatinos Task Group

If the request is accepted for consideration, the chairperson shall select at least 5 HGRC members with expertise in the subject area and submit a ballot for consideration. This group of 5 shall be considered the Interpretations Task Group.

1-3.4 Voting on Formal Interpretations

a. An FI requires a two-thirds majority agreement of the Interpretations Task Group.

b. Where ballots contain comments with regard to a position set forth in a FI request, such comments shall be transmitted to each Interpretations Task Group member who may change his or her ballot at that time.

c. Where the necessary agreement is not received, the item shall be placed on the docket for processing and resolution by the HGRC in the next revision cycle.

1-4 Issuance of Interpretation

If the required agreement is secured, the requester and the HGRC shall be notified by the chairperson.

1-4.1 Application

Any FI issued shall apply to the edition of the Document for which the FI is made and to any other edition of the Document where the text is identical to the text of the edition on which the FI was rendered unless deemed inappropriate by the HGRC.

1-5 Action Following Issuance of Formal Interpretation

The HGRC shall prepare a committee proposal for all accepted FIs to clarify the text in the next edition of the Guidelines.

Digital Copy Sign-In

So we can maintain a free read-only version of the Guidelines accessible to all users, we ask you to register for a free viewing account and subsequently to sign in with your member credentials.

Digital Copy Sign Up

Before you can access the Guidelines online, please take a moment to tell us about yourself. collects information for internal use only, your information will never be shared or sold.

A password will be e-mailed to you.