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Institution of Fire Engineers approves NFPA CFPS credential as key component for membership applications

26 January 2021

THE MEMBERSHIP Application Assessment Panel of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has determined that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) credential will now be recognised as a major component for IFE membership.

The NFPA CFPS certification programme was created back in 1971 for the purpose of documenting competency and providing professional recognition for individuals involved in curtailing both physical and financial fire loss.

Over the course of nearly 50 years, the CFPS designation has been awarded to more than 5,000 individuals who’ve demonstrated a level of professionalism through applied work experience, related educational opportunities and successful completion of a certification examination.

Members of the CFPS community include engineers, risk managers, loss control specialists, fire officers, fire marshals, fire inspectors, safety managers, fire protection consultants, designers, code enforcers, facility managers and others who are responsible for the application of fire safety, protection, prevention and suppression technologies.

The IFE will now review and approve applications for membership in North America with three criteria in mind: current certification status, submission of a CV and documentation of formal education beyond secondary school (college or university). The IFE USA Board has been approved to review and pre-approve applicants with a valid, current CFPS certification in the United States and Canada before submitting these to IFE’s Membership Application Assessment Panel for final consideration.

The new strategy is designed to streamline the IFE’s membership application process while also ensuring that candidates have the high-level fire protection insights, career experience and educational background synonymous with IFE membership.

Membership application benchmarks

The new membership application benchmarks are as follows:

*For IFE member grade status (MIFireE), candidates must have NFPA CFPS certification plus a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a fire protection-related discipline from an accredited college or university, including degrees in engineering fields that are applied to the practice of fire protection, plus five years of verifiable work experience dedicated to protecting people and property

*For IFE graduate grade status (GIFireE), candidates must have NFPA CFPS certification plus an associate’s degree in a fire protection-related discipline from an accredited college or university, or a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any unrelated field, plus three years of verifiable work experience dedicated to reducing loss and liability

Candidates with CFPS certification, but without the formal education qualification requirements noted above, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the time of their application. CFPS certification will be seen as being equivalent to meeting entry-level IFE learning objectives for technician grade (TIFireE) or associate grade (AIFireE) memberships, depending on the years and type of post-education fire engineering work experience.

Life safety learning

“The NFPA is thrilled that the IFE recognises the strength of our CFPS certification programme and professionals with CFPS designations who have worked hard to grasp and apply industry-leading fire protection principles,” said Chuck Stravin, vice-president of business development and operations at the NFPA. “The NFPA CFPS certification has long been regarded as the benchmark for life safety learning, and the decision by the IFE to make this credential an essential consideration for membership speaks volumes.”

Steve Hamm, acting CEO at the IFE, added: “The Institution recognises the competency and experience gained via the NFPA CFPS certification. Thanks to the hard work of the IFE’s Membership Applications Assessment Panel and the staff involved from IFE headquarters, we’re pleased to be able to welcome applications from individuals with these credentials.”

The review and approvals process for CFPS-qualified IFE applicants may be devolved to include other IFE branches around the world once branch reviewer training and compliance with review process rules have been verified.

The IFE Membership Application Assessment Panel, however, retains the right and role of performing a quality assurance process on all applications recommended for IFE membership by an approved IFE branch.