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FireQual achieves approval from regulation bodies in Northern Ireland and Scotland

22 February 2021

UPON BAFE's acquisition of the Fire Industry Association’s Awarding Organisation last year, FireQual was established and has been diligently working on developing this platform to offer qualifications for individuals working in the fire safety industry. FireQual is pleased to announce that approval has now been achieved from regulatory bodies in both Northern Ireland (ie the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment) and Scotland (ie the Scottish Qualifications Authority) for the organisation to offer qualifications covering fire safety with the initial offer concentrating on fire detection and alarm systems work.

This is described as a “momentous stage” in FireQual’s development. An official statement issued by the organisation reads: “In our mission targeting the betterment of knowledge and skills in the fire safety industry, we can now begin to work with approved training centres to offer FireQual qualifications. FireQual will provide further updates on qualifications and approved training centres as and when these become available.”

Not looking to stand still, FireQual’s next qualifications are already being developed in response to Working Group 4 focused on fire risk assessments and assessors themselves. This follows in the wake of a comprehensive response to the Grenfell Tower fire and the Fire Sector Federation’s recent publication og its Fire Risk Assessor Code of Practice. Regulated fire risk assessment qualifications are now required to help determine individual understanding and formal knowledge of this critical skill.

The Fire Sector Federation document, entitled ‘Approved Code of Practice: A National Framework for Fire Risk Assessor Competency - Version 1’. states: “32 areas of core knowledge have been identified as being appropriate for demonstrating the skills, knowledge and behaviour necessary to conduct fire risk assessments.”

These skills, levels of knowledge, experience and behaviours are also an area of keen focus for the British Standards Institution (BSI), which is developing the BSI Flex 8670 document (Built Environment – Overarching Framework for Building Safety Competence of Individuals – Specification) in response to events including the Grenfell Tower fire. This document outlines the knowledge to be “considered an essential building block of competence leading to the development of skills.”

Strong set of qualifications

Lewis Ramsay, chairman of FireQual, commented: “Following numerous requests and observing the current landscape of fire safety management, FireQual is pleased to announce the formation of a Fire Risk Assessment Qualifications Development Group to establish a strong set of qualifications covering this vital service. Having a core knowledge of understanding about the fire risk assessment process is absolutely fundamental. We believe that the FireQual qualifications currently in development will create a quality benchmark for demonstrating that a given individual holds the right knowledge to begin putting theory into practice.”

As stated, the FireQual fire risk assessment qualifications are currently in development with prominent industry figures providing necessary input. Further information regarding these qualifications will be announced when it’s available.

Other qualifications are also currently in development. Nic Preston, qualifications manager at FireQual, stated: “There are many areas of fire safety that currently don’t have robust and regulated qualifications for particular skills. This is a key focus of FireQual. We want to establish them so as to provide a respected avenue for individuals to determine their knowledge and skills.”

*Further updates on qualifications development at FireQual are available via the website: www.firequal.com