QA/QI Improvement Program for PSAPs

APCO/NENA ANS Standard for the Establishment of a Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Program for Public Safety Answering Points

In a world without Public Safety telecommunicators, the appropriate emergency personnel would never make it to the scene of an accident, injury, or crime. There would be no one to extinguish a fire, apprehend a suspect, or treat someone who is injured. However, even though PSAPs are the true first responders, 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers often get overlooked in the overall reach of Public Safety. Despite this, it is still crucial that they have the knowledge and resources to do their jobs, and to do them well.

The Standard for the Establishment of a Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Program for Public Safety Answering Points was created in conjunction between APCO International and NENA to be a unifying resource for providing quality assurance and effective feedback to the telecommunicators. The document, which received approval as A National Standard (ANSI) in April of 2015, helps “ensure a high standard of performance is delivered each and every time” a telecommunicators interacts with emergency communications, either as a call-taker or as a dispatcher.

As the abstract states, the standard:

1.)    “Defines the recommended minimum components of a Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement (QA/QI) program within a public safety communications center.”

2.)    “It recommends effective procedures for implementing the components of the QA/QI program to evaluate the performance of public safety communications personnel.”

This standard, which lays out clear and actionable guidance for improving call taker and dispatch quality, relies on the ability to listen to and review audio data. As such, having call data be quickly retrievable and easily sortable is paramount.

NICE Inform, with Evaluator and Reporter components, is one such example of a product that Wilmac can offer to Public Safety and Security organizations in an effort to assist with QA/QI ventures. However, because the standard’s recommendations lend no leanings towards any one product or manufacturer, the advice it provides is truly system, vendor, and product agnostic and can work with whatever call recording platform you already have.

Additionally, because this standard is available at no cost, is completely voluntary, and is easy implement, it provides a fantastic QA/QI starting point for any size agency.

“This standard is an attempt to establish a long overdue quality assurance and improvement process to all of America’s 9-1-1 telecommunicators to ensure call taking and radio dispatch actions are delivered at the highest possible standard.”

To review the Standard for the Establishment of a Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement Program for Public Safety Answering Points, click here:


About APCO

APCO International is the world's largest organization of public safety communications professionals. It serves the needs of public safety communications practitioners worldwide – and the welfare of the general public as a whole – by providing complete expertise, professional development, technical assistance, advocacy, and outreach.

About NENA

NENA serves the public safety community as the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. With more than 7,000 members in 48 chapters across North America and around the globe, NENA promotes the implementation and awareness of 9-1-1 and international three-digit emergency communications systems. NENA works with public policy leaders, emergency services and telecommunications industry partners, like-minded public safety associations, and other stakeholder groups to develop and carry out critical programs and initiatives, to facilitate the creation of an IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 system, and to establish industry-leading standards, training, and certifications.

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