Uniform Standards and Procedures (USP) Terminology

The following terms represent the types of documents promulgated and enforced by DSA HQ for use in the plan and field review of projects under its jurisdiction. The definitions are intended to clarify the nature and purpose of each document type.

Documents comprising Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, also known as the California Building Standards Code:

Building Regulations

Lawfully enforceable administrative, design, construction, and materials testing, and inspection requirements contained within the California Building Standards Code (Title 24, Parts 1 – 12). For an explanation of the 12 Parts of Title 24, see the Title 24 page of the DSA website. Regulations define minimum requirements, for buildings or facilities, necessary to achieve statutory objectives. DSA is one of the State agencies that propose changes to Title 24 building regulations governing schools and other occupancies. The California Building Standards Code is coordinated and published by the California Building Standards Commission.

Building Standards

Requirements for construction materials quality and installation, and test procedures that are published by private sector standards-setting organizations. These standards, when specifically recognized (referenced) in California Building Regulations, are considered to be part of the California Building Standards Code. Such recognized Building Standards (also known as “referenced standards”) are listed, for example, in Chapter 35 of the current (2016) edition of the California Building Code (Title 24, Part 2) and considered to be enforceable. Note: Model code amendments and California amendments to some referenced standards are part of the appropriate sections of Title 24 (for example, Chapter 19 of Part 2 amends portions of ACI 318).

Documents that communicate policies, procedures or interpretations related to the California Building Standards Code:

The following document types are developed, approved and published by DSA Headquarters for the benefit of our stakeholders to provide guidelines on acceptable means of achieving compliance with Building Regulations and Standards, and for the purpose of promoting consistent enforcement of code requirements among the DSA Regional Offices. Any USP document that is posted on the DSA website at the time of project submittal is considered to be in effect for the project.

Interpretation of Regulations (IR)

By its statutory authority and responsibility, per Education Code Sec. 17308, DSA establishes and publishes consensus guidelines known as Interpretations of Regulations (IR). These documents clarify the intent of one or more code provisions applicable to design and construction of buildings or facilities projects under DSA jurisdiction. IRs present readily acceptable means of compliance with code provisions; however, DSA will consider other means proposed by design professionals. Provisions of IRs are applicable to all projects generally, while decisions by DSA plan reviewers are applicable only to the specific project under review.

Bulletin (BU)

DSA notification to its stakeholders regarding any issue intended to be directed to a broad group of external stakeholders as well as DSA staff. Bulletins are generally used to provide notification of a specific concern arising from an event or previously unknown condition, and pertaining to building code requirements. Bulletins have been issued to announce the acceptance of projects under codes when updated codes are issued, or to inform stakeholders of safety issues with certain building products or techniques.

Policy (PL)

A set of governing statements established through internal and external stakeholder consensus based on law and code objectives, addressing any aspect of DSA’s plan and construction review program that is not clearly addressed by code. Policy also may specify administrative or technical requirements that are not yet addressed within Title 24, but are deemed important and necessary to fulfill code objectives in advance of, or in lieu of, adoption into the California Building Standards Code. With the effective date of the new 2007 Title 24 codes (January 1, 2008), DSA began phasing out Structural Policies, upgrading them to IRs if still needed under the new codes, or deleting them, as appropriate.

Procedure (PR)

A process or series of steps that DSA staff and/or external stakeholders must complete in order to fulfill one or more administrative requirements of DSA’s plan and construction review programs.

Project Submittal Guideline (GL)

A compilation of recommendations based on Code, referenced standards, DSA USP documents, and DSA practices. These guidelines are designed to give the design professional helpful information and insight into the DSA project application submittal and review processes. Guidelines are provided by DSA in support of the USP goals of giving stakeholders the information they need in order to be able to work smoothly and efficiently with DSA, and to help standardize practices among the four DSA Regional Offices.