FIA launches fire detection and alarm engineering qualifications

skills crisis The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has revealed that it s launching four new engineering qualifications for the fire detection and alarm sector. Open for applications from early July the qualifications will equip students to become system designers, installers, maintainers or commissioners. The FIA has consulted extensively with employers, recruiters and member organisations in designing the four new courses.

Years in the making the qualifications are suited to both anyone who want to join the sector as well as those already working in the industry. Professional in-depth knowledge The courses, says the FIA, will provide a professional in-depth knowledge of each specialist field. They sit at level 3 on the regulated qualifications framework (RQF), equivalent to an A-Level or NVQ Level 3. They arealso equivalent to level 4 on the European qualifications framework, a level higher than that specified in EN 16763, the newly released 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, said Ian Gurling, training manager for the FIA. Through surveys and feedback, we ve kept an open dialogue with the industry to create qualifications that will be hugely beneficial to both learners and employers. It became important early on to us to design new qualifications that cover a wide range of theory, but in a way that is relevant to each individual job role within the fire detection and alarms sector. Best practice The course begins with a foundation unit, which provides a thorough understanding of relevant standards and industry best practice. Learners can then progress through other units before choosing a final unit from a choice of four on design, installation, maintainence or commissioning.

In order to create these qualifications, we had to set up an awarding organisation, to formally recognise the qualifications, and register the new qualifications with Ofqual, continues Gurling. The new awarding organisation, I m proud to reveal, is called the FIA AO: the Fire Industry Association Awarding Organisation. The qualifications will be available nationwide at multiple education centres in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and are approved by the relevant government bodies for official qualifications in each country. The FIA recently put together this video and this infographic about the skills crisis besetting the industry. The FIA will officially launch the qualifications on their stand at FIREX International (20-22 June, ExCel London ). Anyone visiting FIREX Europe s largest annual trade show for the fire sector ( get your free badge now ) can pick up a brochure, ask questions or listen to one of the FIA s seminars to find out more about the new qualifications. Monitor the FIA website for further announcements about the qualifications or sign up to their newsletter to receive more updates straight to your inbox. Visit FIREX International for cutting-edge solutions, essential knowledge and the ability to grow your business by getting direct access to the whole fire safety industry. It is the perfect place to get your product in front of thousands of buyers, across a multitude of featured areas.

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