Dame Judith Hackitt commented in her report, Building a Safer Future – Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety (May 2018) that there is a, ‘lack of a coherent approach to competence levels and experience required - or professional qualifications where these may be necessary – and how these qualifications and experience should be evidenced so that they are clearly understood by all those operating within the system.’
It was also noted in the same report that, ‘Qualifications and training are only part of the answer – continuous professional development (CPD) throughout a career is needed to ensure levels of competence remain relevant.’
Subsequently, the work of the Competence Steering Group (CSG), particularly Working Group 4 (Fire Risk Assessors), has published a nationally agreed set of behaviours, knowledge and competencies that would be expected to be held by those wishing to work within a Fire Risk Assessment role within the report Setting the Bar (October 2020).
The recommendations of the Competence Steering Group identified three levels of risk assessors from trainee, general, through to high fire risk with associated recommended core competencies and qualification levels.
This work has provided a firm base from which new fit for purpose qualifications can be developed to support the development and evidencing of the behaviours, knowledge and skills that have been identified.
FireQual is the specialist Awarding Body for the fire safety sector and, as a new entrant to the awarding of qualifications for individuals in September 2020, has worked with representative organisations across both the fire safety sector and the training industry to help facilitate and realise the aspirations as set out in the recommendations.
Regulated qualifications help to provide reliability and consistency. If an individual achieves a qualification, it does not matter where they are locally, regionally, or nationally, they must all meet the same requirements.
The launch of our new qualification, currently regulated by both CCEA Regulation and SQA Accreditation, provides a new solution directly linked to the updated requirements for Fire Risk Assessors.
This qualification is intended to address the identified need for the development of behaviours, knowledge, and skills related to conducting fire risk assessments in the field as well as considering the need for CPD, an important element identified by both Dame Judith Hackitt and through the work of Working Group 4.
The qualification requires individuals to demonstrate their knowledge of subject matters relating to Fire Risk Assessment followed by their need to demonstrate they can carry out the role competently within a variety of settings.
Equally important, individuals are also required to demonstrate that they have not only previously completed elements of CPD relevant to the role, but they must also demonstrate they have plans to do so moving forward.
The new Fire Risk Assessment qualification is now available for organisations to apply to the FireQual Approved Training Centre network to be able to deliver and for individuals to undertake through our network of training organisations.
Further information regarding the qualification can be found here
Organisations wishing to join the FireQual Approved Training Centre Network to deliver this and other qualifications that we provide can find more information here