A best practice is a generally accepted method that when followed, shows consistent superior results. Best practices should be used as benchmarks by which to maintain quality and are an alternative to mandatory legislated standards. VITA's Integrated Services Program (ISP) has determined that establishing best practices is necessary to support 9-1-1 and GIS related goals in the commonwealth to ensure processes, systems, data, etc., and are functioning as efficiently as possible and that integration, particularly in the future environment of NG9-1-1, is achievable.
The best practice effort is organized and led by ISP staff. The Regional Advisory Council (RAC) serves as the best practice steering committee. Best practice work groups will be formed to gather, compile and/or develop specific best practices. These work groups may consist of RAC members as well as members of the commonwealth's stakeholder community (staff from local government, PSAP, GIS, IT, private sector, etc.) as subject matter experts (SMEs). All involved must keep in mind that when developing a best practice, it's important to identify the core principle, purpose and/or goal of the practice, while allowing flexibility for how it is implemented so it remains pertinent for a variety of local conditions. The best practices established and published through this effort are not standards. They are guidance that can be used and applied as found appropriate by local jurisdiction(s).
ISP staff and the RAC worked to develop and prioritize a list of needed best practices based on thematic areas. This list will generally drive best practice development, however other topics may arise from exiting projects, work groups, initiatives, efforts, etc, that lead to additional best practice development. The RAC prioritized list follows: