Summary report of the Evaluation of NRC’s Codes Canada

Alternative format

PDF version (232 KB)

Prepared by:
Office of Audit and Evaluation
National Research Council Canada

This report was approved by the NRC's president on October 26, 2020.

Cat. No. NR16-335/2021E-2-PDF

ISBN 978-0-660-36876-4

The full report is available on the NRC's website: Evaluation

NRC Codes Canada’s Budget (2014-15 to 2019-20) NRC Codes Canada’s Resources (as of May 2020)
Total Expenditures: $28.28 Million
Total Revenues: $24.24 Million
Staff: 42 full-time equivalents
Location: Ottawa, ON

The National Research Council’s Codes Canada is a partner in the National Model Codes Development System. It provides administrative and technical support to the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC), an independent committee of volunteers who, along with the Provincial/Territorial Policy Advisory Committee on Codes (PTPACC), are responsible for developing the national model codes. An evaluation of Codes Canada was conducted in 2019-2020. It assessed the relevance and performance of the National Model Codes Development System, including NRC’s Codes Canada contributions.


Unique role The NRC plays a unique role in the National Model Codes Development System, which benefits from its neutrality, national scope and access to in-house and external research capabilities.
Societal benefits The national model codes have had a positive impact on the health and safety of Canadians (e.g., reduced radon exposure, audible fire alarms) as well as the environment (e.g., increased energy efficiency).
Economic impacts Recent efforts are underway to increase provinces’ and territories’ use of the same codes to reduce interprovincial trade barriers, and improve the competitiveness of the Canadian economy (e.g., free electronic codes).

Opportunities to improve the effectiveness of NRC’s Codes Canada activities

The partners of the National Model Codes Development System (i.e., NRC, CCBFC and PTPACC) have recognized that there is room for improvement with current National Model Code Development System. To this end, they have commissioned several reviews in an effort to improve the governance model and its implementation to produce national model codes that respond to the priorities of partners and that are aligned with the needs of stakeholders. In support of these efforts, NRC’s Codes Canada can:

  • Work with the CCBFC and provinces/territories to ensure that challenges with the current governance are addressed.
  • Further strengthen its communications and engagement with stakeholders to improve stakeholders’:
    • understanding of NRC’s Codes Canada’s role in the National Model Codes Development System relative to that of other partners (i.e., CCBFC and PTPACC).
    • awareness of the code development process, particularly related to how decisions are made, the code change request process, the public review process, and the operations of CCBFC committees (e.g., meeting timing and membership selection processes).
  • Better document the value brought by the NRC’s in-house research capabilities to the National Model Codes Development System.


The evaluation was carried out by the NRC’s Evaluation team and drew on the following methods: data review, document review, staff survey, and internal and external interviews.