Government approves Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship Assessment Plan

The Government has now approved the Assessment Plan for the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Technician Apprenticeship. The Assessment Plan sets out how fire, emergency and security systems-focused apprentices will be assessed, and specifically details an apprenticeship’s synoptic endpoint assessment, which will be taken by the apprentice in the final three months of their apprenticeship programme.

The Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Technician Apprenticeship standard directly reflects the needs of employers who employ apprentices to carry out the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of electronic systems both within and outside simple and complex premises to protect individuals, homes and properties from risk and danger. It’s an integrated programme of knowledge and skills acquisition, developed alongside the core behaviours expected of a competent developing professional operating in a regulated field.

The award of the apprenticeship certificate will signify a recognition of competence in a given role and enable progression to higher levels of skills development.

When delivered by high quality learning providers and assessed by independent assessment organisations, this strategy will ensure that candidates can progress towards the achievement of the apprenticeship as a step forward in a career within the fire, emergency and security systems sector.

Employer-led approaches for quality assurance and governance of ongoing professional development are (and have been) fully considered, including links between the apprenticeship and a professional body.

The synoptic endpoint assessment will include three distinct components. First, the completion of an extensive knowledge test answered through a multiple choice exercise taken as an online or computer-based test. This knowledge test will contain a standard set of questions from the common core of the apprenticeship standard and, in addition, questions selected from the chosen option pathway.

The second component is a professional discussion which is undertaken at the same time as the third component. The latter is a practical observation.

To achieve final certification, apprentices must have completed and achieved these endpoint assessments in addition to the gateway and the structured on-programme training phase that includes mandated units of achievement in line with employer’s requirements.

The endpoint assessment will demonstrate that the apprentice can apply their knowledge, skills and behaviours in an integrated way and satisfy the requirements for the award of an apprenticeship certificate.

Completing the final step

Pat Allen, director of Abel Alarm and lead employer on the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Trailblazer Group, said: “I’m delighted that the Government has approved the Assessment Plan. In doing so, it has enabled our industry to complete the final step towards having a structured apprenticeship that fits the needs of employers and their businesses. This is something we’ve needed for many years now.”

Steve Martin, head of the Fire and Security Association (FSA), has also welcomed the news that the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems Apprenticeship Assessment Plan has been approved by the Conservatives.

“The Government’s approval of the Assessment Plan is the final step towards our industry having an apprenticeship that’s tailored to suit the needs of employers, and that reflects what our industry is – a specialist engineering discipline,” enthused Martin.

“It means we now have a means of recruiting high calibre individuals at entry level and offering them a structured training programme. This is something which will help our succession planning as well as our ongoing efforts to develop the industry’s future skills base.”

Martin continued: “For too long, our industry has relied on others to train people at entry level whom we have then migrated across, but now we’re in a position to develop our own pipeline of talent and offer those seeking to join our industry at entry level the opportunity to do so.”

In conclusion, Martin told Risk UK: “The FSA is proud to have contributed towards the development of the Assessment Plan and the apprenticeship standard through its work on the Stakeholder Group. I would like to congratulate Pat Allen, our chairman, for his work on this project, and for his – and the other members of the employer group’s – efforts to turn the aspiration of an apprenticeship for this industry into a living reality.”


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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