Rules for Requesting a Formal Interpretation of the Guidelines
Formal interpretations (FIs) are for the purpose of providing formal explanations of the meaning or intent of the Guidelines for Design and Construction documents (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 determination of the compliance of a design, installation, or product.
b. It involves 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 using the electronic form provided at www.fgiguidelines.org/request-formal-interpretation-of-the-guidelines.
1-2.1 Required Information
The request shall include the information specified in the “Form to Request a Formal Interpretation” noted in Section 1-2 above. The required information includes a statement referencing a single issue and identifying the section and edition of the Guidelines for which the FI is being requested.
1-2.2 Reference to AHJ
A request that involves an actual field situation shall be so identified and the authority having jurisdiction shall be mentioned.
1-3.1 Determination of Qualifications
The chair of the Health Guidelines Revision Committee or the FGI CEO 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 Interpretations Task Group
If the request is accepted for consideration, at least five HGRC members with expertise in the subject area will receive an e-mail requesting a response for consideration. This group 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. Task group members may change their vote after hearing/reading the comments of other task group members if they so desire.
c. When consensus cannot be achieved, 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 consensus is achieved, the requester shall be notified by the chairperson and the interpretations posted on the FGI website shall be updated.
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
During the proposal period of the next revision cycle, the HGRC shall prepare a committee proposal for all accepted FIs to clarify the text in the next edition of the Guidelines.