New qualifications in managing fire risk are first of kind

Showing an older lady information about fire riskThe first formal qualifications recognising people trained to manage fire risk in rented residential or social housing have been launched.

This new suite of qualifications will provide staff with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage fire risks. Previously, fire safety training has been developed in a piecemeal way, with no recognition for those skilled workers.

The suite of qualifications are aimed at staff who monitor fire safety provision and also those who carry out fire risk assessment in simple or complex rented residential or social housing. The qualifications are being launched by SFJ Awards following collaboration with the National Social Housing Fire Strategy Group (NSHFSG), the Fire Protection Association (FPA), Fire Sector Federation (FSF) and the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA).

Peter Gannaway, Chair of NSHFSG said there was an urgent need for these qualifications. He said: “The NSHFSG is a network of over one hundred and fifty social housing landlords throughout England and Wales who have come together to identify and spread best practice. Soon after its formation the group recognised that the absence of adequate fire safety training standards aimed at flatted developments was a real concern that needed to be addressed.

“The group wanted to have confidence that those working on fire safety, either appointed from within or via consultancy, understood the range of issues specific to housing. The new qualifications will provide the sector with confidence that staff who have successfully completed them have a level of fire safety knowledge and practice acceptable to all in the sector.”

Sue Tyley, the Associate Director, Training, at the FPA said: “The Fire Protection Association (FPA) has been pleased to play an active role in this important new development for the housing sector and the emerging qualifications. Based on the National Occupational Standards in Fire Safety they offer a robust and credible training pathway for staff and associated stakeholders and will provide a benchmark for competency.”

The three qualifications are a Level 3 Award for Reporting Fire Risk in Residential Properties, a Level 3 Certificate for Fire Risk Management in Simple Residential Properties and a Level 4 Certificate for Fire Risk Management in Complex Residential Properties.

Adrian Jackson, Managing Director of SFJ Awards said: “These nationally-recognised qualifications have been developed according to the robust criteria laid down by the qualifications regulator Ofqual and the detailed content has been written with fire safety experts. Candidates will be required to demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out fire risk management duties. As the Awarding Organisation for these qualifications, SFJ Awards will ensure the quality of assessment and we very much look forward to working with the fire safety sector to improve safety for residents.”

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