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Fire Sector Federation issues benchmark standard for fire risk assessors
20 March 2023
THE FIRE Sector Federation has published its new Industry Benchmark Standard for Fire Risk Assessors in order to provide practical guidance for those risk assessors who want to understand the application of fire risk assessment across a range of building types. The overriding aim is to support the delivery of comparable standards right across the sector.
The document has been developed by the Fire Sector Federation’s Fire Risk Assessors Working Group and identifies criteria reflecting individual competency at three distinct core levels: the foundation standard, the intermediate standard and the advanced standard.
Further, it outlines increasing levels of skill, knowledge, experience and behaviour to form a competency-based progression route for fire risk assessors, spanning a clear career pathway for individuals from entry through Continuing Professional Development and on to the highest levels of competency achievable.
The Industry Benchmark Standard for Fire Risk Assessors document is unique in that it also seeks to match the three core levels of competency to the fire risk presented in three general types of buildings.
Expanding work on competency
Dennis Davis, executive officer at the Fire Sector Federation who leads the Fire Risk Assessors Working Group, commented: “The Industry Benchmark Standard for Fire Risk Assessors has been developed to expand and complement our previous work on competency. It supports the need for a systematic assessment of fire risk followed by the implementation of recommended appropriate controls and mitigation coupled with continuous management of fire safety.”
Davis continued: “Our aim is to raise the professional status of the important work undertaken by fire risk assessors. We also wish to engage with all those proficient assessors, operating without formal or recognised competency assurances, in order to help them seek appropriate independent accreditation.”
The tasks undertaken by the Fire Sector Federation’s Fire Risk Assessors Working Group will shortly move to a new phase of development through the British Standards Institution’s new Competence in the Built Environment Committee CPB/1 to create a British Standard Code of Practice.
Support from the IFE
The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has welcomed publication of the Industry Benchmark Standard for Fire Risk Assessment. The organisation has reviewed the standard and is supportive of its content, which will become central to the IFE’s own fire risk assessor registration process moving forward.
Steve Hamm, chief executive at the IFE, explained: “The Fire Sector Federation’s benchmark aims to raise the professional status of the valuable work fire risk assessors undertake. We echo the Federation’s commitment to promoting competency.”
Hamm went on to state: “A number of our own members have been involved in the competency steering group work tasked with developing the principles that underpin this standard, and we have aligned our internal processes to ensure that future applicants to join the IFE’s Fire Risk Assessor Register will be assessed in line with this newly-launched benchmark standard. In turn, this will enable those seeking a competent fire risk assessor to benefit from the assurance provided by the rigorous IFE registration processes.”
Shaping future policy
As an organisation, the Fire Sector Federation seeks to exert influence on shaping future policy and strategy related to the UK’s fire sector. The Federation is a not-for-profit, non-Government organisation established to act as a forum for the benefit of its membership and to evolve as a central source of information on all aspects relating to fire safety.
*Copies of the Industry Benchmark Standard for Fire Risk Assessors are available to download by accessing the Fire Risk Assessment section of the Fire Sector Federation’s website at https://www.firesectorfederation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/FSF_FRA_BenmarkStandard_Dec2022-Version1-1-1.pdf
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