Two courses for new qualification pathway released by Fire Industry Association

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has announced that two new courses are now available to book under the ‘Training’ tab of the organisation’s website. The news will be of particular interest to those who have previously taken the Foundation course of the new qualification pathway, as these two new courses are the next step in the route to becoming qualified.

The new qualification pathway is designed for those working within the fire detection and alarm sector to provide qualifications for designers, installers, maintainerS and commissioners. The two new units – Health and Safety and the Environment unit – are available to book now.

“We’re delighted to announce the launch of these two new units,” said Martin Duggan, general manager of the FIA. “We understand that, for those who took and passed the Foundation unit in January, it has been a long wait for the new courses, but we had to ensure that enough people had taken and passed the Foundation unit before we could launch the second set of courses. We’re now at that stage and booking for these two new courses is open.”

The courses are only available to those that have taken and passed the Foundation course (though it doesn’t matter in which order the Health and Safety and Environment courses are taken).

Health and Safety unit

Martin Duggan: general manager at the FIA

Martin Duggan: general manager at the FIA

As the name of the course suggests, the Health and Safety unit enables learners to gain a deeper understanding of the potential workplace hazards and how these could be best avoided, in turn leading to safer workplace environments. The course will be available nationwide and will be a one-day course with an exam.

The examination for the Health and Safety unit is the industry standard ECS exam, which the FIA Awarding Organisation (the OFQUAL registered examination body behind the fire detection qualifications) recognises as a pass for the Health and Safety unit.

A small point to note here: if learners have either the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety or an in-date ECS Health and Safety assessment certificate, then they will already have achieved the standard necessary to be awarded a pass for the Health and Safety unit. This are subject to the FIA’s rules and guidance on ‘recognised prior learning’.

Environmental factors in focus

The second course to be released by the FIA is the Environment course. This unit guides learners through the environmental factors that affect those working in the fire detection and alarm sector. Areas such as waste management are discussed (ie ‘What do you do with old equipment?’ and ‘How do you recycle it?’), as well as the various environmental laws that are in place to dictate what companies in this sector can and cannot do.

Prior learning also applies to this course If learners hold the NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management plus the FIA course ‘F-Gas Certification for Service Technicians’ in addition to the FIA course ‘Critical Uses of Halon’, then this will be recognised as a pass – but learners must hold all three of these.

For both these units, if learners believe they hold recognised prior learning, they must notify the FIA team so that this is recorded on the system.

“Recognised prior learning’ is a term coined by the Awarding Organisation setting the syllabus for the qualifications,” explained Bindya Chongbang, the FIA’s training co-ordinator. “It’s important that you discuss with us what prior learning you might hold and the validity of it. It absolutely must be in-date, otherwise we will not be able to accept it.”

Courses are taught by experts in their field, with learners able to draw on the knowledge and experience of the FIA trainers. For the Foundation unit, which was the first unit in the qualification pathway to be released, customer feedback surveys have shown that 97% of learners would recommend the course to others. If this is anything to go by, the Health and Safety and Environment courses will be rated just as highly.

Booking process

“We’re expecting a large number of bookings for these two new courses” advised Martin Duggan. “Our learners have been anticipating the next set of courses and so we expect places to fill up and courses to sell out very quickly. We’re doing everything we can to add as many dates and locations for these new courses, but we recommend booking early if individuals wish to secure the date of their choice.”

*Full details of the course content can be found in the prospectus or on the website. Download the prospectus at https://www.fia.uk.com/training.html Book the Health & Safety unit at https://www.fia.uk.com/course/health—safety-course.html Book the Environment unit at https://www.fia.uk.com/course/envirionmental-course.html

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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