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ASFP issues response to CITB’s consultation on ‘Understanding Fire in Buildings’ training standard

18 January 2021

THE ASSOCIATION for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has submitted a detailed response to the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) consultation on a new training standard entitled ‘Understanding Fire in Buildings’.

The ASFP agrees that all who attend site should know the purpose of the fire safety measures that are installed in the building and the effect that their own interactions with it may have. However, it notes that fire safety – and, in particular, passive fire protection installation – is a skilled trade and should only be undertaken by appropriately qualified and certified companies and individuals alike.

The ASFP agrees that training on fire safety in buildings should be standardised and made mandatory for all involved in construction, However, the Association urges that the target audience for the standardised training should be clearly defined. It believes that the proposed standard will cover the needs of non-fire specialists, but considers that those whose primary function is fire safety will need more detailed training.

In addition, the ASFP notes that three hours of training is probably too much for non-fire protection specialists who simply need to understand the basics of fire safety and be observant of the need to defer to others with an appropriate fire safety skill set.

The ASFP agrees that an element of independence should be built into the assessment process, such as use of the existing system that’s employed to evaluate the mandatory (ie Health and Safety) modules of the current NVQ Level 2. However, the ASFP harbours concerns that not all current providers of quality training will be approved training providers under CITB rules and is calling for a period of grace that will allow those who are not to prove their credibility and/or become approved training providers.