Making Changes to the Canadian Electrical Code

The Canadian Electrical Code consists of five parts. Part I covers the installation and maintenance of electrical equipment, Part II is the safety standards for electrical products, and Part III is for outside wiring. Part IV is the objective-based industrial electrical code, and Part VI, the electrical inspection code for existing residential occupancies. This article will focus on Part I amendments.

The Part I committee consists of Part I members, associate members, subcommittee chairs, subcommittee members. A list of these members, complete with affiliation, is located in the front of the Canadian Electrical Code (CE Code). The Part I committee consists of voting members and non-voting (associate members). The voting members consist of a maximum of 41 members, 16 of whom are regulatory authority representatives and the remainder, from the industry.

Appendix C of the CE Code sets out committee and subcommittee structures detailing responsibilities and expectations. Members include inspection authorities, manufacturers of electrical equipment, employers, employees, consultants, utilities, testing laboratories, underwriters, or fire marshals, primary and secondary industries, respective code-making panels of NEC and users. Presently we have 50 IAEI member positions covering each of the 43 subcommittees.

Six Steps to a Successful Code Change

Step 1. Fill out Annex B in Appendix C and send it to the standards administrator of the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I. Proposals need to include specific wording for a proposed new rule or rule change, the reasons for the request, and background information to support the change.

Step 2. The standards administrator fills out Annex A from Appendix C and sends a copy to the subcommittee chair.

Step 3. The subcommittee chair adds comments and returns the proposal, now referred to as a subject back to the standards administrator.

Step 4. The standards administrator sends the subject to the subcommittee members for their comments. Communication of the subcommittee uses the CSA Standards Development Online Workspace (SDOW)

Step 5. After the comments are received from the subcommittee members, the subject is sent back to the subcommittee chair.

The subcommittee chair then decides if the subject is ready to be sent to the Part I Committee for a ballot, or if there is a need for it to be resubmitted to the subcommittee with a reworded proposal or additional rationale. The original submitter may be consulted at this point to ensure the intent of the proposal remains as purposed.

Step 6. When the subcommittee has achieved consensus, the subject is forwarded via the standards administrator to the Part I Committee for a ballot. The Part I Committee meets yearly in June to discuss subjects that received negative ballots. Successful subjects are filed for inclusion in the next edition of the CE Code. Unsuccessful subjects may be returned to the subcommittee or closed. The most important part of the process is the original submission; the more detail and rationale provided the better the success rate.

This article is an update of an article published in March-April 2005 issue of IAEI News.

Steve Douglas
Steve Douglas is an IAEI International Past President. He is also the Senior Technical Codes Specialist for QPS Evaluation Services. Steve is the Immediate Past Vice Chair of the CE Code Part I, Chair of CE Code Part I Subcommittees for Section 2, 12, and 84, and a member on Sections 8, 40, 64, 68, 76, 78 and Appendix A. In addition, Steve is the Chair of the CSA Subcommittees for Standards C22.2 No. 273 Cablebus, C22.2 No. 327 HDPE Conduit, C22.6 No. 1, Electrical Inspection Code for Existing Residential Occupancies committee, SPE-1000 Working Group the Past Chair of the Technical Committee on Wind Turbines, and a member on committees for the Objective Based Industrial Electrical Code, Safety Management Systems, Energy Storage Systems, Solar Photovoltaic Modules, Industrial control panels and assemblies, Industrial Machinery, Photovoltaic Cable, Fuel Cells, Wind Turbines, Distribution transformers, Outlet Boxes, and Wiring Fittings Hardware and Positioning Devices.