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ASFP supports calls for funding to address tall building fire safety failings

02 March 2021

THE ASSOCIATION for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), the UK’s leading association for the passive fire protection sector, is supporting calls for greater funding to address identified fire safety failings in tall buildings.

The move comes following the Government’s announcement of its five-point plan to address unsafe cladding issues and the defeat in Parliament of an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill which sought to prevent fire safety and cladding remediation costs falling on the shoulders of leaseholders.

While welcoming the announcement of additional funding for cladding remediation on tall buildings, the ASFP believes that the scheme doesn’t go far enough since it offers no assistance to pay for other identified fire safety failures such as problems with fire doors and other compartmentation measures.

The Government’s five-point plan to address unsafe cladding issues, announced by Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) on Wednesday 10 February, included an additional £3.5 billion in funding for the removal and replacement of cladding on buildings over 18 metres in height and a loan scheme for leaseholders to pay for remediation for buildings between 11 and 18 metres tall, with a maximum repayment of £50 per month.

It also included plans to introduce a developer levy which will apply to developers who seek permission to develop certain high-rise buildings in England. However, the plan presently makes no mention of funding to rectify other fire safety defects.

ASFP CEO Niall Rowan declared: “The ASFP believes that money should be made available to cover all identified defects and not just cladding. While there is some degree of discussion over whether the statutory guidance regarding cladding is clear or not, there’s no such argument about the requirements of compartmentation that are included in Approved Document B and the national equivalents in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Rowan added: “We welcome the Government’s five-point plan to address cladding issues and believe the proposals outlined in the Building Safety Bill will go some way towards improving quality and competency within the design, construction and inspection processes, in turn helping to prevent defects from arising in the future. However, we believe that the remediation of identified fire safety failures in existing buildings that are not the fault of leaseholders or the building owners concerned should be supported by appropriate funding.”

Learning platform

The ASFP will soon be launching an innovative new e-Learning platform in support of its acclaimed Foundation course in Passive Fire Protection. Featuring high-quality adaptive learning techniques supported by the ASFP’s technical expertise and training capability, the new platform will provide the ideal online solution for those learners wishing to study towards Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in Passive Fire Protection provided by the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).

The e-Learning system uses adaptive learning techniques to tailor teaching to each individual’s skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours, ensuring that every learner receives precisely the right level of instruction and support to achieve “exceptional” levels of understanding and proficiency.

A “unique interactive learning experience” will provide the perfect learning pathway for each individual, allowing them to develop the necessary competencies in the most efficient and effective way, while at the same time increasing understanding. ASFP expert trainers are able to monitor each learner’s progress and offer personalised feedback, support and coaching as and when needed.

Course content is based on original tried-and- tested material from the ASFP’s highly successful classroom-based courses. These have a proven record of preparing learners for the IFE examination, subsequently leading to a high pass rate. With the use of an independent and proven learning platform, the ASFP is confident that this will offer the best e-Learning available.

The platform will offer units covering all passive fire protection disciplines, as well as providing underpinning knowledge on fire science.

*The e-learning course will be available from Q2. If you would like the ASFP to contact you with further information as the launch date approaches send an e-mail to: info@asfp.org.uk