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MAF Associates expands industry accreditations to boost training and recruitment

26 October 2021

MAF ASSOCIATES has bolstered its existing credentials as one of the UK’s leading fire risk assessment and fire safety consultancies by adding three key industry accreditations to its already impressive roster of associations.

In response to “unprecedented demand” for its service, notably so in relation to external facade surveys and cladding inspection, MAF Associates has joined the Fire Industry Association, the Fire Sector Federation and the Association for Specialist Fire Protection. These affiliations add to well-established partnerships with BAFE and the Fire Protection Association, among others.

“With so much demand for the services we offer, we see membership of these organisations as vital for enhanced co-operation across the industry, not only to build our own profile, but also to share vital knowledge and training,” stated Mike Fox, founder and managing director of MAF Associates.

Fox continued: “One thing that has been made clear in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy is the lack of qualified operatives in our industry, especially so relating to external fire inspections and surveying. We’re determined to work with industry bodies and other businesses to address the short-term skills gap and devise long-term solutions.”

Enhancing skills and training

As one of only a handful of UK firms able to offer the full range of services necessary to ensure compliance with the Fire Safety Act 2001, including the stipulations relating to facades and cladding, MAF Associates is acutely aware of the need to enhance skills and training for existing fire risk assessors and surveyors, as well as encourage more individuals to enter the industry.

Fox estimates that there are fewer than 200 people fully qualified to undertake the examinations mandated under the Government’s new legislation, with at least 200,000 buildings currently requiring inspection.

In conversation with Fire Safety Matters, Fox observed: “With recent changes to the EWS-1 Form requirements, there is still some uncertainty over the number of buildings involved here. It could go as high as 1.2 million, but even at the lowest threshold, we simply don’t have the manpower to deal with demand. Many organisations, such as the Fire Industry Association, are already working to boost skills and awareness. We will do all that we can to support this effort.”

Fox continued: “As a company, we are finding it increasingly difficult to seek out suitably qualified and experienced personnel, especially so with regards to the new regulations and responsibilities mandated under the Fire Safety Act. As an industry, we clearly need new blood. This is not going to happen overnight, but we can clearly do more by working together through industry associations and training organisations.”

Decades of experience

MAF Associates was founded by Fox back in 2010, who built on three decades of experience in the construction sector, including posts with roofing, cladding and building products companies.

Today, MAF Associates is one of the UK’s leading building inspection and investigation businesses, providing detailed reporting and analysis for insurers, building management and construction companies.