New route unveiled for fire industry technician accreditation
17 August 2021
A NEW route for fire industry technicians to become accredited to the industry Level 3 standard has been launched by National Electrotechnical Training (NET). The FESS Experienced Worker Assessment is aimed at those individuals who’ve been working with fire, emergency or security systems for (typically) a minimum of five years.
To ensure parity across the whole industry, it has been based on the same content as the FESS Apprenticeship. That being so, both new entrants and existing workers are being assessed and accredited to the same standard.
The assessment process involves a number of elements which must be completed within a period of 12 months. Candidates will need to carry out and record a range of specified tasks in their workplace (covering Health and Safety, installation, commissioning, inspection and servicing) and upload the evidence to NET’s dedicated assessment system.
These tasks will be verified by an authorised individual to ensure that it’s the candidate’s own work, then independently assessed and marked by a NET assessor to confirm the person concerned has met the Level 3 industry standard. NET will also carry out quality assurance audits once marking is completed.
Then, in a NET-licensed Training Centre, candidates also will need to complete the task of safely isolating a single-phase circuit under controlled conditions.
Finally, candidates will need to carry out a 90-minute online knowledge assessment under observation. If they hold certain fire and security qualifications, they may be exempt from the online knowledge assessment.
Gold Card application
Successful completion of the Experienced Worker Assessment is recognised by the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme and can be used towards a FESS ECS Gold Card application.
Work is underway to confirm arrangements for experienced workers who specialise in specific areas within the industry (eg installation or maintenance). Development work on a route for the security industry will also begin this month.
In order to develop the assessment, NET has worked with a group of industry bodies including the British Security Industry Association, the Fire Industry Association, the Fire and Security Association, the FESS Employer Group, SELECT and the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board.
Pat Allen, chair of the industry Working Group, explained: “The increasing external requirements on this safety-critical industry means that our workforce need to be both professional and qualified. This new assessment complements the FESS Apprenticeship. Now, experienced workers as well as apprentices can also have their skills formally recognised and become accredited.”
*Further information on the FESS Experienced Worker Assessment is available online at www.netservices.org.uk/fess-ewa