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BAFE continues to raise competency bar for fire detection and alarm system work

21 August 2023

FOLLOWING ON from a thorough review, the BAFE Fire Safety Register has now published Version 8.0 of its BAFE SP203-1 competency scheme document for the Design, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance of Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems.

BAFE has taken into strong consideration changes being introduced in respect of competency, including documents such as the BSI Flex 8670 (itself referencing the core criteria for building safety in competence frameworks).

For example, with the recommendations of this document, the appropriate skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours are factored into the updated BAFE SP203-1 scheme document.

The management scheme requirements regarding the competence of individuals have now been made more explicit. Where it was decided that additional conditions were needed, practical changes have been introduced such as a nominated lead individual for each module (ie design, installation, commissioning and maintenance) that have heightened competency criteria to ensure these individuals are appropriate to supervise and support an organisation’s management system in relation to this scope of work.

Extensive process

Matt Darville, chair of the BAFE SP203-1 Monitoring Committee, stated: “This has been an extensive process to review the document appropriately, considering our desires to clarify requirements and the comments and feedback from multiple participants of the Monitoring Committee.”

Darville continued: “The updates made to the BAFE SP203-1 scheme document are sensible. They do raise the competency bar for all relevant individuals employed by an organisation that delivers fire detection and fire alarm systems work. We trust that this is still very much achievable and continues to demonstrate the best possible objective evidence of competency for delivering such work.”

Lewis Ramsay, Board director at BAFE, commented: “The work performed by BAFE and the SP203-1 Monitoring Committee has been a substantial undertaking. An improved document is the end result.”

Further, Ramsay observed: “The current fire industry landscape is changing at a rapid pace. Keeping abreast of all developments is no easy feat for practitioners. ‘Responsible Persons’, duty holders and premises managers need to demonstrate their actions in meeting fire safety obligations. Schemes devised by BAFE exist for the industry to demonstrate its capability. Third party certification towards the BAFE Schemes can be a clear differentiator for anyone looking to employ the services of an organisation providing life safety works.”

*Copies of BAFE SP203-1 Version 8.0 are available to view via the BAFE website at www.bafe.org.uk