Standards Development Process

Standards are born of business needs and patient safety issues raised by stakeholders participating in an NCPDP problem-solving forum. The forum may take the shape of a stakeholder action group, a work group or a task group.

NCPDP hosts stakeholder action groups to clarify emerging or escalating issues, hear multiple stakeholder perspectives, and propose action plans for seeking solutions. This often results in a recommendation to form a task group as part of an NCPDP work group.

Issues may also be introduced through Data Element Request Forms (DERFs) or New Project Requests. DERFs are typically used to request an addition or modification to an NCPDP standard.

The work of resolving issues and developing solutions takes place in work groups and task groups where many perspectives are heard and considered. Work groups create multiple task groups to divide and conquer the work that needs to be accomplished. Task group deliverables, which may be standards, reference documents or white papers, are brought through the work groups using a consensus-based process.

Following a work group vote of approval on standards, ballots are sent out to obtain public comment and approval by a Consensus Voting Group, then approval of the Standardization Committee and Board of Trustees that procedures were followed. White papers recommending best practices are approved by NCPDP’s Standardization Committee.

Data Element Request Form (DERF)

The Data Element Request Form (DERF) is the documentation used to request an addition or modification to an NCPDP standard. Anyone may submit a DERF to NCPDP along with accompanying information, including the proposed standard, implementation guide, data element dictionary, and modification log if needed.

A DERF must be completed and submitted with the proper documentation prior to the next quarterly work group meetings for it to be reviewed during those meetings. The DERF is distributed to NCPDP members via the NCPDP website before the work group meeting.

New Project Requests

Do you have an idea for a new project that NCPDP could address? If so, you may complete the New Project Development Form.

The form must be submitted prior to the next quarterly work group meetings in order for it to be reviewed by Maintenance and Control (MC) during those meetings. It is highly recommended that the submitter be present at the MC meeting to discuss the project. If MC approves the form, the NCPDP Board of Trustees reviews and votes on it. If approved by the board, it is assigned to the appropriate work group.

DERF/New Project Request Calendar
The calendar for DERF and Project submission is located on the right side of this page - DERF/New Project Form Calendar.

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