Fire Industry Association unveils new qualifications suite for fire detection and alarms sector

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has revealed that the organisation will be offering four new qualifications for the fire detection and alarms sector. Available to book from early July, the qualifications are designed to reflect the four main job roles of the sector – designer, installer, maintainer and commissioner – with one specific qualification for each.

Working in combination with employers, recruiters, member organisations and learners, the FIA identified four main areas of study related to specific jobs roles and subsequently developed the qualifications around the precise needs of each specific job role.

The new qualifications, which have taken years of research, have been designed to give those working in the industry (or those just joining or wishing to join) a professional in-depth knowledge of their specialist field. They’re set at Level 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which is equivalent to an A-Level or NVQ Level 3.

In addition, the new qualifications are equivalent to a Level 4 on the European Qualifications Framework: one level higher than that stipulated in the EN 16763 Services Standard that specifies the minimum level of education for those working in the fire and security services sectors.

“Our members and learners have very much guided us in the process of designing these new qualifications,” commented Ian Gurling, training manager at the FIA. “Through surveys and feedback, we’ve maintained an open dialogue with the industry to create qualifications that will be hugely beneficial for both learners and employers. Early on in the process, it became important for us to design new qualifications that cover a wide range of theory, but in a way that’s relevant to each individual job role within the fire detection and alarms sector.”

Qualification pathways

Each qualification pathway begins with a Foundation unit which affords learners a thorough understanding of the relevant standards and Best Practice for the industry. Upon passing this stage, learners can then progress through the other units before selecting their final unit from a choice of four, which will qualify them in their chosen area.

Gurling continued: “In order to create these qualifications, we had to set up an Awarding Organisation designed to formally recognise them and also register them with Ofqual. The new Awarding Organisation has been named the Fire Industry Association Awarding Organisation.”

The qualifications in design, installation, maintenance and commissioning of fire alarms will be available nationwide at a range of centres in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and are approved by the relevant Government bodies for official qualifications in each country.

The FIA will be officially launching the qualifications at FIREX International 2017 (which runs at ExCeL London from Tuesday 20-Thursday 22 June), where visitors can pick up a brochure, ask questions or listen to one of the FIA’s seminars to find out more detail.

*Risk UK’s readers who wish to remain up-to-date with further announcements should visit and click ‘Sign up to our e-News’ to receive the latest detail

**Watch the FIA’s video concerning the new batch of qualifications

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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