NENA Development Group Guide

From NENA Knowledge Base

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This page provides guidelines to NENA working group chairs to help them lead their groups in fulfilling the charter that was developed when the group was formed. Our volunteer working group chairs assume considerable responsibilities when they agree to lead a working group. The information presented here is intended to help guide them through the tasks that are often appear to be more complicated than necessary but are required to satisfy the requirements of a Standards Development Organization (SDO) seeking standards accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). ANSI has approved the Document Development and Approval Process described in NENA-ADM-001. Since our working groups play a critical role in document development and approval, it is important that they conform to those provisions when developing documents, and that the processes can be verified. Only then can NENA standards qualify to be classified as ANSI-accredited.

Roles and Responsibilities of Working Group Chairs

The roles and responsibilities of Subcommittee and Working Group Chairs are described in NENA Development Group Organizational Structure (NENA-ADM-001), Section 7.3:

Subcommittee and Working Group Chairs/Co-Chairs preside over their Subcommittee/Working Group, and shall coordinate their team efforts to include:

  • Ensuring that procedures are followed and meetings are conducted in a fair and efficient manner.
  • Understanding and following the NENA Document Development and Approval process document (NENA-ADM-001).
  • Utilizing the conference bridge, web and other resources as provided, to collaborate with team members in the development of documents and resolution of Issues assigned by the Development Committee Chair.
  • Upon direction from the Development Committee Co-Chairs, review NENA documents to ensure they are still applicable, in accordance with the Document Development and Approval Process document (NENA-ADM-001).
  • Directing any conflicts/problems to the Development Committee Co-Chairs for resolution.
  • Fulfilling the minimum requirements and direction for any task that could result in an Information, Requirement or Standard Document as established by the Development Committee Co-Chairs.
  • Providing periodic updates to their Development Committee Co-Chairs and, if necessary, discuss the activities of their Subcommittee/WG in conference calls with their Development Committee leads, or with the DSC.
  • Participating in all Development Committee leadership calls and activities, and participating in DSC calls when necessary as a substitute for a Committee Co-Chair. Subcommittee and Working Group Chairs/Co-Chairs may be invited to participate in DSC meetings as a visitor.
  • Working closely with other standards-setting bodies and related organizations as required.
  • Responding to questions from the DSC.
  • Providing leadership for and assisting in establishing the NENA Standards and Best Practices conference (SBP), JCM (Joint Committee Meeting), Critical Issues Forums (CIFs), and in developing educational sessions and recruiting speakers for the NENA Annual Conference.
  • Submitting Subcommittee/Working Group Scopes & Goals status reports on a monthly basis (NENA-ADM-006).
  • Upon direction from the Development Committee Co-Chairs, provide answers to questions received on in support of FAQ feature.
  • To ensure compatibility among NENA documents, the WG Chairs should encourage their members to alert the group of known inconsistencies with work being done in other groups. When any inconsistencies are identified, the WG Chair should engage the Chair of the other group or coordinate solutions with their committee leadership or Development Steering Council.

How Working Group Chairs are Selected

Working Group chairs are selected by Development Committee co-chairs after an Issue is assigned to the committee. Thereafter, the working group chair position is reviewed by the Development Committee co-chairs annually.

NENA members who are interested in serving in a leadership position are encouraged to download and submit this form: NENA Development Group Committee Leadership Application (NENA-ADM-009).

Roles and Responsibilities of Other Working Group Positions

Working group members may volunteer for important roles. These roles are best filled by persons who can commit to devoting their time and skills to attending calls and working behind the scenes on editing and administrative tasks in NENA Workspace. Document Editors and Note Takers are considered part of the leadership team for the working group and parent development committee. They are often included in the committee's leadership group and should have access to the working group's Zoom meeting access codes.

In some cases, the responsibilities listed below for the positions may be assigned by a working group chair to one person or to a substitute if the normally assigned individual is not available.

Document Editor

In addition to the commitment of their time and efforts to the responsibilities below, Document Editors should have the background and skills to operate the tools critical to the document management processes. Those tools should include current versions Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, NENA Workspace, and any related applications and browsers required to manage related material such as graphics and presentations.

The roles and responsibilities of Document Editor include:

  • Organizing contributions provided by members for presentation and review on working group calls.
  • Editing contributed material during calls based on consensus achieved through discussions, correcting spelling and grammar mistakes, and adding appropriate links and references.
  • Editing and managing draft documents, starting with the appropriate template.
  • Incorporating approved contributions into the master draft document.
  • Coordinating the presentation and processing of comments during the document review process.
  • Substituting for the working group chair on calls or meetings when the chair is not available.

Note Taker

The roles and responsibilities of the Note Taker include:

  • Monitor the Zoom Participants panel during calls to verify the identity of callers, correct their names if necessary, watch for raised hands, and mute noisy lines when necessary.
  • Take the roll of attendees for calls and meetings and enter the attendance into NENA Workspace.
  • Take notes of call and meeting events and add them to the ADM-008 Agenda / Notes document for the meeting.
  • If polls are conducted using the Zoom Chat box or the Zoom Polls function, capture the poll question and responses in the notes.
  • Substitute for the working group chair on calls or meetings when the chair is not available.

How to Use NENA Resources to Manage a Working Group

NENA processes and procedures that govern working group functions are described in NENA-ADM-001. In this section, we’ll describe the details of the working group processes and how they are accomplished using the various NENA resources and tools. Following these guidelines will help working group chairs manage their groups fairly and efficiently.

The NENA Development Group has established a collaboration web site called NENA Workspace (NWS). The NENA Workspace provider Higher Logic has a Help/FAQs page for their platform.

Each working group has a dedicated NENA Workspace account that includes an Email list, Roster, Document Library, Calendar, and other resources.

Note: In addition to a Committee's working group accounts on NENA Workspace, it is recommended that each Committee host a "Leadership" group with all of the Committee's chairs, working group leaders, document editors and note takers. This resource provides a centralized presence for all Committee leaders to coordinate their activities.

Using NENA Workspace Email

Each Working Group is assigned an Email account as part of their NENA Workspace resource. The Email account has a unique address and is available to all members of the working group as well as authorized observers. Emails sent to the working group's address are distributed to everyone on the working group's roster and also saved to the group's archive.

Managing NENA Workspace Rosters

NENA working groups are the hallmark of the NENA document development process. Participation from a broad industry perspective is essential, therefore, NENA does not require a NENA membership to participate in a working group or restrict working group membership.

Request to Join

A request to join a working group through website initiates a Site Alert that is sent to the Working Group Co-Chairs and the NENA CRM. Upon receipt, the Working Group Co-Chairs add the requestor to working group in NENA Workspace. If the requestor is not a current member of NENA Workspace, the Working Group Co-Chair can request that the NENA CRM create a NENA Workspace account for the requestor. Information on how to add a requestor to the working group can be found in the NENA Knowledge Base, NENA Development Group Guide, Section 2.2 Managing NENA Workspace Rosters.

Working Group Member Roles

The addition of a working group member requires the assignment of roles. An inquiry of the requestor as to what role best defines the level of participation is necessary. Community Roles are defined as the following.

·        Alternate Voter – An alternate voter for an entity or organization.

·        Primary Voter – The primary voter for an entity or organization. If the working group member is the only representative of an entity, they will be the primary voter by default.

·        Group Leader – This role is generally limited to the Working Group Co-Chairs.

·        DSC Leadership – A member of the DSC Leadership.

·        WG Member – A member of the working group. A secondary role of Primary Voter, Alternate Voter or Authorized Observer is needed.

·        Authorized Observer – A working group member who does not have voting rights or an attendance requirement. In general, an Authorized Observer is a working group member who wants to observe the working group activities. Authorized Observers may participate in WG discussions and can provide contributions to the WG effort.

As stated in the NENA Development Group Operational Procedures, NENA-ADM-001.5b, Section Working Group Participation Expectations, a participating entity is allowed only one vote.

Timeliness of Request and the Working Group Role

A request to join a working group can be received at any time the working group is still active. The assignment of the working group role may be dependent on the timeliness of the request to join a working group and the status of the working group document in the document development process. A request to join a working group after the working group document has entered the approval phase of the document development process requires that the working group member role be assigned as an Authorized Observer. In general, the approval phase starts at the WG Approval Ballot. The WG Approval Ballot phase is when all work on the initial document has been completed and the document enters the public comment of the approval process. Prior to the WG Approval Ballot phase, it is at the discretion of the Working Group Co-Chairs as to whether the working group member role will be Authorized Observer or a Primary or Alternate Voter. Beyond the WG Approval Ballot, the working group member role will be Authorized Observer.

Working Group Roles as Contributors

A contributor to the document development process is anyone who has contributed significantly to the development of the document, regardless of working group membership or voting status. As a guideline, a contributor is someone who actively participates in the working group discussions, document development, and/or votes as part of the consensus voting that occurs during the document development. A contributor is added to the Acknowledgements section of the document. A working group member who does not actively contribute to the document creation, or who does not vote during the approval phase, may not be added to the Acknowledgements section at the discretion of the Working Group Co-Chairs.

Working Group Rosters in NENA Workspace

NENA Workspace working group rosters control all aspects of a working group member's participation including:

  • Voting eligibility on Approval Ballots
  • Participation in email discussions
  • Access to the document library

Managing these rosters is an important responsibility of working group chairs. Voting thresholds require diligent roster management. The management and control of working group rosters is shared between the Committee Resource Manager (CRM), Committee Co-Chairs, and Working Group Chairs. The table below shows who can do what in a working group roster.

Add Member to NENA Workspace Add Member Already in NENA Workspace to working group Edit Date Added to Group Change Email Subscription Status Change Interest Category Change Role Change Voting Status Remove from WG roster Edit Account Info
CRM y y y y y y y y y
Committee Chair n y y y y y n y n
WG Chair n y y y y y n y n
Member n n n n n n n y y

How to Add a Member in NENA Workspace to a Working Group

In many cases, members are added to working groups and their parent committee by the Committee Resource Manager when the member is added to NENA Workspace. Members who are already in NENA Workspace can be added to the working group by the working group chair.

Here are the steps to add a member already in NENA Workspace to your working group.

  1. Log on to NENA Workspace (
  2. Select your working group.
  3. Click the Settings gear icon.
  4. In the Status section, click on Add or Invite Others.
  5. Select the Invite Others tab.
  6. Under Find People to Invite, enter the new member's first name, last name, email, or company (only need to fill in one field) and select Search.
  7. Check the box to the left of the member's name and select Add Selected To Invite List.
  8. If you need to add multiple people, repeat steps 6 and 7 above.
  9. Once all new members have been found, check the box to the left of their name and then select Add Immediately.
  10. In the pop-up window that appears, change how they are to receive messages to Real Time - One email for each message and select Save.
  11. Close the pop-up message.
  12. Select the Back to Community button in the upper left of the Invite to Community screen to return to the working group's Community Home Page.
  13. To set the new member's role, click the Settings gear icon again.
  14. In the Administration section, click on Members.
  15. At the top of the Members tab are several filters. In the first filter, select No Roles from the drop-down pick list and select the blue Apply Filter.
  16. Click the blue Edit Roles button to the right of their name. (Warning…Do not click on the drop-down arrow!)
    Note: To add multiple members with the same role at the same time, check the box to the left of all of the new members' names that will have the same role, change the first filter to Edit Roles from the drop-down pick list and select Submit. Check the boxes next to the appropriate roles.
  17. In the Edit Roles pop-up box, check the boxes next to Primary Voter and WG Member and then select Add.


    • If the member is an Authorized Observer, only check the box next to Authorized Observer (do not check WG Member).
    • If the member is an Alternate Voter, check the boxes next to Alternate Voter and WG Member.
    • If there are multiple members from the same company, only one can be listed as the Primary Voter. You will need to first consult with those members to determine who will be the Primary Voter and all others will be considered Alternate Voters.
  18. Since NWS is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, it can take a few minutes for the new WG member to populate in the Roster. To expedite this data population, force a sync by selecting the drop-down arrow next to the blue Edit Roles button to the right of the new member's name, and select Sync to Workspace from the drop-down menu. Screen print: Synch to Workspace drop-down image
  19. Select the Back to Community button in the upper left of the Manage Community Members screen to return to the working group's Community Home Page.
  20. All voting members must have an Interest Category assigned (Authorized Observers do not vote). To assign an Interest Category, select the Workspace tab and then select Roster on the left side menu. For each Primary Voter, Alternate Voter, and Group Leader, select their Interest Category from the drop-down box under the Details column, and then select Submit Changes.
    • Producer: Developers and/or providers of 9-1-1 related products (e.g., software, hardware, systems and/or networks, processes) and services.
    • User: Those who utilize 9-1-1 related products and services, including but not limited to Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and 9-1-1 Authority.
    • General Interest: Other interested parties who do not fit in the User or Producer category (e.g., consultants, State & Federal Agencies, SMEs).


    • If the WG's Committee Co-Chairs are to be voting members, their role must be changed from DSC Leadership to Primary Voter (or Alternate Voter). Follow steps 13-18 above to change their role.
    • If a new member name is not listed, repeat step 18 above to sync the member's account to NWS.
  21. Using your own email account outside of NWS, email a welcome letter similar to the Welcome Letter for New Members and copy to notify the new members that they have been added to the roster.

How to register a new member to receive automated email reminders for working group meetings and attendance tracking:

  1. While still on the working group's Community Home Page, click the Settings gear icon.
  2. In the Events section, click on Manage Events.
  3. At the top of the Event List page are several filters. In the first filter, select Past Events from the drop-down pick list, in the last filter select Start Date - Latest from the drop-down pick list (in case there are multiple meeting series), and select the blue Apply Filter.
  4. Find the very first meeting in the meeting series. Select the drop-down arrow next to the blue Edit button and select Manage Roster.
  5. Above the filters, click on Manage and then select Add Registrants.
  6. In the Register drop-down, select the name of the working group.
  7. Check the box to the left of the new working group member(s) and then click on ADD.

How to Remove a Member From a Working Group or Change their Status to an Authorized Observer

If a member misses more than three consecutive calls without advising Working Group leaders they may be removed from the Working Group. Working Group Chairs may first contact the member to see if the member is still interested in serving on the Working Group as an active WG member, Authorized Observer, or if they prefer to be removed from the WG roster. They may send the member an email based on the template Working Group Member Attendance Notice.

To change the status of a work group member to Authorized Observer, simply:

  1. Go to Settings (gear icon).
  2. Select Members under Administration.
  3. Select Edit Roles to the far right of the person’s name you are removing (not the drop-down arrow), uncheck their voting role (e.g., Primary Voter; Alternate Voter), check Authorized Observer, and ADD.

To remove a work group member, simply:

  1. Go to Settings (gear icon).
  2. Select Members under Administration.
  3. Select the drop-down arrow next to Edit Roles to the far right of the person’s name you are removing, and select Remove.
  4. Send an email to so the individual may be deactivated in NENA Workspace if they are not a member of any other work group.

How to Change Member Information

Only the member or CRM may change account information. Members may change all contact information, including password, by taking the following steps:

  1. Select the down arrow to the right of your name at the top of the page.
  2. Select My Account.
  3. Enter all data you wish to change and SAVE.

Only the CRM can change your employer’s company name as official ballots are directly tied to company names. To change your employer, you must send an email to and request the change to your employer.

Resolving Issues for Members Not Receiving NWS Emails

When a WG member is not receiving notifications from NWS, it is important for the member to first check to see if their notification settings are correct. Notifications may not be received if:

  • at the time the member was added to the WG, the Real Time setting was not selected.
  • the member unknowingly opted-out or changed their email notifications settings.

If upon review of the settings, the member finds that their notification settings are correct, the CRM can be contacted for assistance. This could indicate a concern with the email address.

Verification of the Email Notifications must be performed by the member as the Working Group Co-Chair does not have access to the member's account. A Working Group Co-Chair should copy and paste the following instructions into an email to the member.

How a Member Verifies Email Notifications Settings For a Working Group
  1. Go to the <COMMITTEE or WG NAME> Home page.
  2. Click Settings  1 .
  3. A pop-up box appears with the Email Notifications displayed in the right-hand column. If Daily Digest or No Email is shown, click on the drop-down arrow  2  next to the setting and select Real Time. The selection will temporarily turn green with a check next to it to signify the change was made.
Note: The Daily Digest setting results in only 1 consolidated email from that WG per day. This means that any last-minute notifications (such as a meeting cancelation) will not be received. The No Email setting means that no email notifications from that WG will be received. This includes meeting notices, document postings, and discussion lists.

Screen print: Change Email Notifications in Settings

How a Member Verifies Email Notifications Settings For all of their NWS Communities
  1. Click the drop-down arrow  1  next to your avatar in the upper right corner of any NWS page and select Profile  2 .
    Screen print: Change Email Notification in Profile
  2. Click the My Account tab  3  and select Email Preferences  4 .
    reen print: Change Email Notification in My Account
  3. Click the Community Notifications link  5  under Community Emails to review and manage your Email Notification setting by individual NWS Community.
    Screen print: Change Email Notifications using Community Notifications link
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow  6  next to the Email Notification setting displayed in the Discussion Email column to change the setting for an individual NWS Community. Settings are saved immediately.
    Screen print: Change Email Notifications for all Communities

Managing the NENA Workspace Calendar

The NENA Workspace Calendar must be used for scheduling conference calls and other events. The NENA Workspace Calendar entries are available under Home in the red banner at the top of every NENA Workspace page. Reviewing the NENA Workspace Calendar prior to scheduling a new event series will assist WG Chairs in not scheduling overlapping conference calls.

If you need to reload a meeting series to your calendar:

1. Log into the NENA Workspace.

2. Navigate to your WG.

3. Select the Event tab.

4. Click on the overlapping calendars "repeating event" for any upcoming meeting.

5. Click on the very first meeting (oldest) in the "Repeating Event Series."

6. Select the Download to Your Calendar button to download the meeting series.

7. Open the downloaded meeting series (ics file) and Save it to your calendar.

Working Group Conference Calls

Working Group conference calls are the primary method for reviewing contributions and achieving consensus in the preparation of documents and other deliverables. Because of the importance of these calls, and because they take a considerable amount of our volunteers' time, they should be conducted as effectively as possible.

They also have to be conducted in conformance with NENA policies that must be observed in order to satisfy ANSI requirements. This allows NENA to produce ANSI-certified national standards.

Fortunately, our working groups have useful tools for scheduling, conducting, and documenting our calls.

  • NENA Workspace is a collaboration web site that maintains calendars, document libraries, rosters, and other resources for our committees and working groups.
  • Zoom is a web and audio conferencing service used by NENA that allows desktop and application sharing for real-time conference calls.

Scheduling Conference Calls

In Advance:

  • Enter a calendar event for the call in NENA Workspace. See the detailed instructions here.
  • At least one day in advance of each call, put the Agenda and Notes Form (NENA-ADM-008) in the Agenda folder on NENA Workspace with distribution to membership. Use the guide Help for NENA-ADM-008 Agenda and Notes Form in filling out NENA-ADM-008. If you would like to increase the attendance for your calls, try embellishing your agenda notice to generate interest, especially among the members who you want to participate because of their expertise in a topic that is going to be discussed.
    • There are several standard topics that should be discussed during the very first Working Group meeting. To assist Working Group leaders, an Agenda for the first meeting that includes those standard topics is available here. Working Group leaders can customize the Agenda and remove, reorder, or add topics as desired.
    • For consistent messaging across Working Groups about the standard topics to discuss during the first meeting and to provide speaker notes from which Working Group leaders can reference during the call, an Agenda with speaker notes added is available here. This document can be used as the Meeting Notes for the very first Working Group meeting and can be distributed to new WG members who join the WG at a later date.
  • Be sure that someone has accepted the roles of Chair, Note Taker, and Document Editor.

Conducting Conference Calls

Prior to each call verify that the people are available for the call that have the necessary access codes and are able to perform the following functions:

  • Chair. The meeting chair leads the call. This is usually the working group's chair or co-chair.
  • Document Editor. (if documents or contributions will be reviewed)
    The Document Editor needs the Committee's Zoom email login and password in order to start the Zoom web conference.
  • Note Taker. In addition to taking notes, the Note Taker is usually assigned to monitor the Zoom Participants panel. The Note Taker should be made a meeting co-host by the Document Editor.
Conference calls should be conducted using this Conference Call Protocol
Conference Call Protocol
A few minutes before the call's scheduled start time:
  • The Document Editor should log in to Zoom, select "Join a Meeting" and prepare the material being reviewed.
  • The Document Editor should assign the Chair and Note Taker Co-Host privileges once they join the Zoom meeting. This is done in the Participants panel by selecting "More" next to their name and then "Make Co-host."

After a few minutes after the scheduled meeting start time or if all expected members have dialed in, the meeting Chair starts the meeting, using the NENA AGENDA & NOTES (NENA-ADM-008) document as a guide for conducting the call. The following steps should be covered for every call:

  • Call the meeting to order by stating, "This is an official meeting of the NENA <committee or working group name>."
  • Verify that a Note Taker is available and be sure they use NENA-ADM-008 for agenda and note taking.
  • Confirm the full names of meeting participants are properly displayed in the Zoom Participants panel. Ask participants to correct their names as needed. The Host or a Co-host should change phone numbers to the full names of those members who have dialed into the meeting.
  • Read through the Opening Questions & Statements in NENA-ADM-008.
At the first meeting in a calendar year, the complete antitrust statement in the NENA IPR Policy] must be read.
  • Ask whether anyone has knowledge of Patent IPR within the scope of any deliverables. The Note Taker will record that the question was asked along with the names, affiliations, and disclosed Patent IPR stated by those responding in the affirmative.
  • Ask whether anyone was aware of conflicts in content, ambiguous terms, or duplication of work. The Note Taker will record that the question was asked along with the conflict details if an affirmative response was received.
  • Approve previous minutes.
  • Review the agenda, ask if anyone wants to add additional agenda items, and then seek approval of the agenda.
  • Go over any announcements.
  • Conduct meeting.
  • Adjourn.

Tips for Successful Calls
  • The Chair's primary goal should be to conduct the call so that it proceeds efficiently and stays on topic and within scope. The Chair should work to achieve consensus and should avoid taking strong positions or advocating one position over another.
  • Try to keep any participant's comments focused and brief.
  • To maintain forward progress on work group deliverables as a part of a meeting facilitation role, work group co-chairs, at their own discretion, maintain the ability to interrupt any ongoing work group member’s conversation or to defer any questions asked that are deemed fundamental areas of knowledge already covered.
Use Zoom Polling to Conduct In-Meeting Polls

Zoom polls may be configured before and during meetings. See the Zoom Polling for meetings video for details. The results of Zoom polls should be captured from the Zoom administration page and saved in the Meeting Notes (ADM-008).

Use the Zoom "Chat Window" for quick surveys

Sometimes it is desirable to get documented feedback from participants on the call. An easy way to survey the callers and document their responses uses the Zoom Chat function:

  • The leader types a question or proposition in the Zoom Chat window addressed to "Everyone" and announces the question on the call.
  • Individual callers respond to the question in the Chat window, also directing the response to "Everyone".
  • The Chat window content can be exported by anyone directly from the Zoom Chat window during the call by selecting the More button (three dots) and then "Save Chat."
  • After the Zoom session has closed, the Chat log, starting with the question and including all of the responses, can be copied and pasted into the meeting notes. Zoom is set up to automatically copy the Chat window content into a text file that it writes on the Host's computer in the \Documents\Zoom folder.

After the Conference Call...

Several tasks need to be completed after the conference call is adjourned:

  • If anyone disclosed patent information, contact the parent committee's Co-Chairs and Committee Resource Manager (CRM).
  • Within 5 days, note taker enters attendance into NENA Workspace.
  1. Go to calendar and select that day’s calendar entry.
  2. Select track attendance.
  3. Select each member who was on the call.
  4. Select Record Attendance.
  5. Select the group members that attended the call.
  • Attendance must be officially recorded in NENA Workspace. An Excel spreadsheet template is available to assist note takers with tracking attendance, excused absences, and Working Group balance. Download the WG Attendance Template from NENA Workspace: here.
  • Within 5 days, note taker uploads minutes to group library. (Use NENA-ADM-008 Template)
  • If edits are made to contributions or draft documents, document editor will upload updated material within 5 days using “Add a Revision” in NENA Workspace. Reviewed contributions should be updated until consensus is reached and the contributions can be incorporated into draft documents. Contributions should also be retained in the contributions folder with major contributor identified.

Conducting Polls and NENA Workspace Ballots

Polls are an important part of a working group's activity. Surveys taken during calls using the Zoom's Poll feature or a Chat Window survey only represent the opinions of the meeting's participants but chairs are permitted to make consensus calls based on them if, in the opinion of the chairs, there is overwhelming consensus on the issue. For polls that include the entire group (or the designated voters), NENA Workspace provides two types of ballots to conduct polls. They are used to determine the preferences of the members and are also used to determine whether groups have the consensus required to publish documents.

See Conducting Polls and NENA Workspace Ballots for a complete guide on using NENA Workspace Ballots.

How Issues are Processed

Issue Processing Flow Chart

This diagram is a summary of the steps for processing an Issue.

The colors of the elements in the chart indicate the group responsible for the activity.

Green: Working Group
Blue: NENA Staff or Development Steering Council
Pink: Authoring Committee
Yellow: Committee Resource Manager

See The Document Development Process for details on processing documents.

Submitting an Issue

A NENA Issue Submission & Charter Form (ISF) (NENA-ADM-003)[8] must be completed in order for any proposed work to be considered by the Development Steering Council (DSC) for possible assignment to a Development Committee, and for all Issues generated by Committees, Subcommittees and Working Groups that are clearly within their designated scope as described below.

New Issues may be submitted by any individual with a direct and material interest in the Issue, including NENA Members, or Participants of any NENA Working Groups, either on their behalf or on behalf of the Working Grooup.  In addition, Issues may be generated as a result of an incoming liaison or equivalent form of communication submitted to NENA from an outside source, typically a Standards Development Organization (SDO) or other Entity (for example, organization, company, government agency, or the output from a non-NDG NENA entity such as an Industry Collaboration Event (ICE)).

The Issue being identified may be:

  • A totally new topic, not related to any existing Issue or ongoing NENA work activity, or
  • Associated with, or an extension of, a current Issue, or
  • Associated with, or an extension of, a previously resolved Issue, or
  • Associated with an existing NENA document, or
  • Associated with a NENA document still under development.

If input of this nature arrives outside of a NENA Issue Submission & Charter Form ISF) (NENA-ADM-003) and it requires substantive action by an NDG Committee/entity, such input will be encapsulated within an NENA-ADM-003 form by the Committee Resource Manager (CRM) before it is processed by the DSC as described below. If the DSC determines the content does not constitute what NENA considers to be an “Issue”, the matter will be rejected through the most expedient means available (e.g., email, phone call to the submitter). If necessary and applicable, the action taken can be handled through a NENA-ADM-005 External Liaison form to provide a history of the action(s) taken by NENA in response to the input.

The following steps shall be followed when submitting an Issue. For details refer to NENA Development Group Guide.

Step 1. Originator Completes ISF

Originator completes a NENA Issue Submission & Charter Form (ISF) (NENA-ADM-003) and submits the completed Issue Form to the Committee Resource Manager (CRM).

  • Originator may be any individual with a direct and material interest in the Issue, including NENA Members, or a Participant acting on their behalf or on behalf of a Participating Entity.
  • Issues that require expedited handling should be brought to the attention of the DSC Co-Chairs when submitted.

Step 2. Logging and DSC Leadership Review

The CRM logs the Issue into NENA Workspace (the Development Group collaboration website at and sends a link to the DSC Leadership. The DSC Leadership will review the ISF to determine if it satisfies the following criteria:

  • The subject matter is clearly defined via the NENA Issue Submission & Charter Form (ISF) (NENA-ADM-003).
  • The issue is not intended to disrupt NENA processes defined in the NENA administrative documents.
  • The subject matter is within the scope of the NENA Development Group

This review is not intended to judge the merits of the ISF content.

Step 3. NENA Development Group 10 business day review of ISF

The ISF will be released to all NDG members by the CRM for a 10 business day comment window to consider the following:

  • Is NENA the most appropriate organization to take on the work?
  • Is the requisite expertise available within the NDG?
  • Is there an existing committee or working group that should take on the work?
  • Is a new committee or working group needed?
  • What should the scope and deliverables be?
  • Is the issue intended to benefit any corporate or individual interest, or intended to frustrate competition?
  • Is there is already an existing solution for the problem or opportunity, or the can the existing solution(s) be enhanced to gain efficiencies, (e.g., operational, policy, functionality)?
  • Is the Issue of sufficient importance to justify resolving it within NENA?
  • Will resolving the Issue provide benefit to the 9-1-1 Community as a whole?
  • Are there sufficient resources available to resolve the issue without unduly affecting existing committed resources?

The DSC will consider these criteria along with submitted comments when deciding whether to accept or reject the issue and if accepted, to which committee it should be assigned.

Step 4. DSC Acceptance or Rejection of ISF

Within thirty (30) business days of the closing of the ten (10) business day review, the DSC will consider accepting or rejecting the Issue based on the acceptance criteria (see 0) and consideration of the comments received within the 10 business day review.  Issues may be referred back to the originator for clarification before final decision on disposition can be completed. The originator is notified of the disposition of the Issue (accepted or rejected), and if it was rejected, the reasons for rejection. If the Issue is outside the scope of the NENA Development Group but still internal to NENA, the Issue may be referred accordingly, and the submitter will be so advised. The DSC will have no further responsibility for that Issue. The decision to accept or reject will be recorded in the minutes of a DSC meeting, entered into the Issue status pages by the CRM and added to the ISF.

Step 5. DSC Suggests Scopes, Timelines, Deliverables in NENA-ADM-010 Issue Tracking Form and Assigns Issue to Committee.

The DSC determines which existing Development Committee is best suited to work accepted Issues. The originator’s recommendation, the NDG review comments, and any DSC suggested scopes, timelines & deliverables. The DSC will determine, and the CRM will populate the applicable fields in NENA-ADM-010 (e.g., the desired due date etc.), and use it as a hand-off to the assigned NDG Committee.

Step 6. The Assigned Committee and Working Group completes NENA-ADM-011 Charter.

Prior to any Working Group meeting being scheduled, the assigned Development Committee Co-Chairs in consultation with their existing Working Group Co-Chairs must complete the Charter (NENA-ADM-011) by establishing scope, intermediate milestones and estimated times for both intermediate milestones and Final Deliverables. The completed Charter is to be returned to the CRM within 30 business days. Any comments received prior to accepting the issue should be considered during the development of the charter. The CRM will share the completed ISF, including Charter, with the assigned Committee members and DSC. The assigned Committee should make an assessment if it has members with sufficient expertise and willingness to advance the work, and if these members constitute a broad enough population to achieve openness and balance.  If the committee doesn't feel this to be the case, it may either attempt to recruit new members to progress the issue or return the issue to the DSC for reevaluation.

The initial WG meeting shall review the Charter provided and provide any feedback to the Committee leadership so intentions are known, and overall Committee development schedules can be recognized and managed as necessary. The schedules shall be reviewed between the Working Group and Committee leadership periodically so there may be an early warning of any jeopardy relating to the schedules. Monthly WG status updates are to be provided via NENA-ADM-006, Scopes and Goals to the Development Committee Co-Chairs so they may submit a monthly report to the CRM of all Committee activities.

Because volunteer time for both leaders and members is limited, and the development needs are often large, the DSC shall establish development priorities across the NENA effort. Recommendations may be set to assign priority to specific development areas at both the WG level and, in some cases, the subject areas within WGs.  These priorities shall be communicated to the WG Co-Chairs in order to assist them in managing workload. WG leaders and volunteers who are members of more than one WG are expected to self-manage the application and balancing of their time according to these priorities. WG leaders shall communicate to the Committee leaders where matters arise relating to WG membership conflicts (e.g., competing time slots for meetings).

Step 7. DSC Reviews NENA-ADM-011 Charter.

The DSC reviews the Working Group Charter.  If approved, the CRM enters the approval date in the appropriate field of the ISF form and sends a copy of the updated form along with a hyperlink to the ISF to the originator. The applicable Development Committee Co-Chairs take responsibility for further oversight of the Issue until it is completed and provides status in the monthly Scopes & Goals report NENA-ADM-006.

Step 8. CRM Posts ISF & Charter

Upon acceptance of an ISF, the CRM will post the form to NENA Workspace and notify NDG membership via Workspace email. The CRM will also update the  Committee page to reflect the associated WG, with a link to the ISF stored on NENA Workspace. Additionally, and where applicable, at the instruction of the DSC, the CRM will notify those organizations that may be impacted by or have an interest in the subject matter of the ISF, in accordance with ANSI Essential Requirements for Standards Development Notice.

Step 9. CRM Closes Issue and Notifies Originator

When goals are achieved, the CRM closes the Issue and notifies the Orginator of the result.

Charter Updates

ISF Charter deliverables and objectives shall be reviewed by the Development Committee Co-Chairs frequently to keep the Working Group on track.  In addition, intermediate milestones representing major accomplishments toward the end results shall be identified and documented. No major changes to Scope shall occur without review by the leadership of the Committee(s) (i.e. Development Committee Co-Chairs & DSC Co-Chairs. Any major changes in scope or due dates require an update to the Charter. The Working Group Co-Chairs shall return an updated Charter to the CRM for distribution to DSC for their approval.

Completion of ISF Deliverables

After the goals or deliverables have been completed or abandoned, the ISF shall be formally closed, the Working Group will be retired, and all ANSI required materials will be archived as appropriate. NOTE: Once a Working Group is retired, all approval process documentation that is handled by the CRM will archived on the NENA server by the CRM, and the “Group” (not the members) will be archived in NENA Workspace.

Issue Status Tracking

The CRM maintains a spreadsheet that tracks the status for every open Issue.

The spreadsheet will be available on the publicly accessible section of NENA Workspace at

Forming a Working Group to Work an Issue

Completing the Charter

In initiating a new WG or a new subject within a WG, a clear definition of Charter, Scope and/or Mission shall be established in the beginning, to provide direction and end objective. This shall be reviewed frequently in order to keep the WG on track. In addition, intermediate milestones representing major accomplishments toward the end results shall be identified and documented. Minor adjustments to Scope can be made as perspectives evolve, but no major changes to Scope shall occur without review by the leadership of the Committee(s).

After Scope and Intermediate Milestones are established, the WG shall estimate the timeline for both intermediate milestones and the final deliverable. The Scope/Mission and timeline/date information shall be fed back to the Committee leadership so that intentions are known and overall Committee development schedules can be recognized and managed as necessary. The schedules shall be reviewed between the WG and Committee leadership periodically so that there may be an early warning of any jeopardy relating to the schedules.

Because volunteer time for both leaders and members is limited, and the development needs are often large, Committee and leaders of specific projects shall establish development priorities across the NENA effort. Recommendations may be set to assign priority to specific development areas at both the WG level and, in some cases, between subject areas within WGs. These priorities shall be communicated to the WG leaders in order to assist them in managing workload. WG leaders and volunteers who are members of more than one WG are expected to self-manage the application and balancing of their time according to these priorities. WG leaders shall communicate to the Committee leaders where issues arise relating to WG membership conflicts (e.g., competing time slots for meetings).

Recruiting Members

Once a working group is formed around a charter, the group's chair should recruit members with the skills and experience appropriate for the task.

In addition to specific subject matter experts, don't forget to recruit members with administrative skills needed to fulfill the roles of Document Editor and Note Taker.

  • Document Editor. The editor edits text in the draft document and in contributions during a meeting to reflect the corrections, additions, and deletions that achieve consensus during a meeting. The editor also maintains the draft document and when contributions are accepted, updates the draft accordingly.
  • Note Taker. The Note Taker keeps the minutes and attendance of all meetings. After the conclusion of a meeting, the note taker uploads the minutes of the meeting to the NENA Workspace folder for that group's minutes and also enters the attendance into the NENA Workspace meeting attendance page.

It is a good idea to also prepare other members to take over these roles when it is necessary to substitute. For these roles, subject matter expertise is not as important as administrative skills and reliable availability.

Here are several methods available for recruiting working group members:

  • Contact the group's parent committee members. Initially, members can easily be recruited from the parent committee by using the NENA Workspace committee mail list.
  • The parent committee chairs can forward an invitation to the other NENA committees through their representatives on the DSC.
  • Group chairs who are members of other committees can email invitations directly to those committee members using the committee email list.
  • Upon request, the CRM can send an invitation to all NDG members.

For every working group, a description of the working group is added to the committee's page on The description should include the areas of expertise needed on the group and the group's normal call schedule so that prospective members can determine whether they should join.

Managing NENA Documents

Document Types

The NENA Development Group publishes material and documents in five categories:

  • Administrative Documents (ADM)
  • Standards Documents (STA)
  • Requirements Documents (REQ)
  • Information Documents (INF)
  • Reference Publication (REF)
Administrative Document (ADM)

NENA Administrative (ADM) documents describe the organizational structure of the association and its committees, establish the processes for document development and approval, and provide the appropriate forms to document committee work. ADM documents are developed and maintained by the Development Group Administrative Committee's Document Management Working Group and approved by the DSC and NENA Board.

Standard Document (STA)

NENA Standard (STA) Documents are published for the use of the public safety community. A NENA Standard is intended to describe methods, processes, and specifications that, if implemented as specified, should result in successful operation of the 9-1-1 emergency call and incident processing system and promote interoperability between interconnected systems. NENA Standards documents may be used by system developers, service providers, public safety agencies, regulatory authorities and others for the purposes of development, procurement, and management of 9-1-1 emergency call and incident processing products and services. Some NENA Standard documents may be published as American National Standards. See ANSI (American National Standards Institute).

The NENA STA Template may be downloaded from the Administrative Procedures & Templates Documents Page on NENA Workspace.

Requirements Document (REQ)

NENA Requirements (REQ) documents are published as an information source primarily for use by industry stakeholders, NENA committees, and NENA working groups as guides for their development of NENA Standards. The contents of NENA Requirements documents are derived from a combination of the expressed needs of public safety agencies and the capabilities of the vendors of equipment and services. Requirements documents are not intended for use in development or procurement processes because their content does not include standard methods, processes, or specifications needed to support interoperability among the various 9-1-1 system elements.

The NENA REQ Template may be downloaded from the Administrative Procedures & Templates Documents Page on NENA Workspace.

Information Document (INF)

NENA Information (INF) documents are published to distribute information on a particular subject to the public safety community. Information documents may contain background information, best practices, check lists, and other material representing the collective knowledge and experiences of the NENA community. These documents may contain conditional normative statements to promote compliance with published NENA Standards but are not intended to be used to establish conformance requirements in development or procurement purposes. For example, a conditional normative statement might be "If you want to send emergency information to the NG9-1-1 system, you must conform to the provisions detailed in NENA-STA-010."

The NENA INF Template may be downloaded from the Administrative Procedures & Templates Documents Page on NENA Workspace.

Reference Publication (REF)

A NENA-authorized Reference Publication may consist of material in a variety of forms, including (but not limited to):

  • NENA Knowledge Base Article
  • Flyer
  • White Paper
  • Checklist
  • Brochure
  • Web Site Content
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Video
  • Microsoft Word Document
  • PDF Document

For any of the publication formats above, The Reference Material Tracking Form is created as a companion document that contains important information about the published material such as the authoring committee, working group, hyperlinks to the material, approval date, etc. The title of the document includes the identification reference in the form NENA-REF-XXX.Y-yyyy. This identification reference, included somewhere in the published material, shows that the material is an officially authorized and approved NENA publication.

The Document Development Process

NENA documents are developed and approved using the processes described in NENA-ADM-001.

Process for STA, REQ, and INF Documents

The detailed steps for processing Standard (STA), Requirement (REQ), and Information (INF) documents are shown in this flow chart diagram:

Click to go to full sized drawing

Process for REF Material

The process for approving reference material was designed to reduce the time needed to publish non-standard material by removing some of the steps in the STA, REQ, and INF process completely or leaving some of the steps to the discretion of the DSC (Development Steering Council). The detailed steps for processing REF material are shown in this flow chart diagram:

Click to go to full sized drawing

Document Development Process in the Working Group

The Document Development Process and the flow chart show green Working Group steps for completing document drafts and processing comments that are received during the various review steps. The detailed steps for those working group processes are shown in this flow chart diagram:

Click to go to full sized drawing

Get the Current Template

If the working group is developing a Standard, Requirements, or Information document, the group's document editor will download a template that must be used in the production of any of those document types.

Reference material (REF) does not conform to a standard template because it may be in the form of a multimedia presentation (such as YouTube), web page, or other non-standard format.

The current versions of all templates are available for download from the Administrative Procedures & Templates & Training Material page on NENA Workspace:

NENA Template for Standard Document
NENA Template for Requirements Document
NENA Template for Information Document

Draft Executive Summary and Content Outline from Charter

One way to get started on a document is for the working group chair to prepare a draft of the Executive Summary and an outline for the content of the document. These would be based on the charter.

Present to WG for review, refinement, and consensus

Once the draft of the Executive Summary and outline is complete and distributed, the material would be reviewed and refined by the full working group on a conference call. Getting consensus on the Executive Summary and outline in the early stages helps guide the group through the process of dividing the work, getting contributions, and filling in the details.

Seek contributions

Working group chairs should seek contributions for identified topics from volunteers. When volunteers accept the assignment to provide a contribution, they should also agree to a time deadline for providing the contribution.

All submitted contributions should be uploaded into the Contributions folder in the working group's NENA Workspace library.

Contributions with graphics

Most contributions are text only. They may be submitted in any format that can be imported into a Microsoft Word document for review. If the contribution includes graphics or any other material that cannot be edited in Word, the source files such as Visio, PowerPoint, or any other application files used to prepare the material must also be uploaded. This is necessary to allow editors for the initial draft and future document reviews to edit the non-text material.

Seek volunteers first, then assign

In the event that there are topics that are not accepted by volunteers, they may be assigned to individuals at the discretion of the working group chair.

Review contributions

Complete Template Sections Including Acknowledgement Table

Prepare The Document Glossary

The templates for most NENA documents include a Abbreviations, Terms and Definitions table. Instructions for adding entries to the table are included in the templates. Please note that the Abbreviations, Terms and Definitions table is used as a source for terms that are selected for addition to the NENA Master Glossary and NENA Knowledge Base.

See What kinds of terms and acronyms should be added to this glossary? for guidelines on selecting the kinds of terms that should be considered for addition to this NENA Knowledge Base and to the NENA Master Glossary.

Terms may be added to the document's Abbreviations, Terms and Definitions table for the convenience of the document's readers and not necessarily be added to the NENA Master Glossary.

Working Group Co-Chairs should check the Master Glossary or NENA Knowledge Base to ensure a term is not already defined.

Do not create acronyms or abbreviations unless necessary. If there is an abbreviation that is specific only to your document, instead of creating yet another abbreviation, just spell it out.

Early Notification For New Terms or Definitions

When a Working Group develops a new term that they believe may be used by other Working Groups, the new term or definition may be submitted in an ISF before the document containing the term or new definition is approved and published.

Conducting Document Reviews & Comment Resolution

At several steps in the development process, documents are offered for review or an approval ballot. Both reviews and approval ballots can generate comments. Comments may be submitted in a variety of ways including a specific on-line comment page for the document in NENA Workspace. Comments can also be provided in uploaded versions of the document with comments and proposed edits added in a way that they can be identified. Often, that method uses Microsoft Word "tracked changes". Comments may also be submitted by email or any other method the commenter chooses.

Every comment, no matter how it is submitted, must be entered into the NENA Workspace "Comment Manager". The Comment Manager tracks the process by which the comment is received, reviewed by the working group, and the resolution communicated back to the comment submitter. The Comment Manager also captures the submitter's response to the working group's action.

When completing fields in the NENA Workspace Comment Manager, the field names should be interpreted as described in the NWS Comment States Resolutions and Responses.

Reporting Status

Policy Issues

Since the WGs are formed to address technical and operational issues, anything that might constitute a significant policy issue, or affect NENA policy, shall be escalated to the Committee or Project leadership for resolution with the NENA staff or other lead point. The WG leader shall convey to the leadership when any policy issues inhibit progress on technical or operational topics.

Contributions to WG effort and People Resources

WG members are expected to contribute ideas, text, and review effort toward the goals of the WG. If the WG leader(s) determine(s) that they are not receiving these contributions in a timely manner, they shall identify this issue to the Committee or Project lead teams as soon as possible. The lead teams will attempt to rebalance the efforts of existing volunteers and seek out new resources as appropriate.

Participating in NENA events

Working Group chairs are expected to participate in scheduled NENA events such as the Joint Committee Meeting (JCM), NENA Standards and Best Practices (SBP) and the NENA Annual Conference. They may suggest appropriate session topics, help prepare the session presentation material, and may coordinate and present the material and moderate the session discussions along with other working group members.