The FIA is pleased to announce that following extensive and detailed discussions with BAFE, the independent register of Third Party Certificated fire safety service providers, that BAFE will be acquiring the operation of the FIA AO.
BAFE will be establishing FireQual Ltd as an OFQUAL-approved Awarding Body to run the existing Fire Detection and Alarm qualification examinations and to develop new qualifications across the fire sector that will support the call for greater competence and availability of verification of skills for those engaged in fire safety across the UK.
BAFE FireQual will be using qualifications industry experts to operate the business and bring experienced industry and awarding body expertise onto the FireQual Board.
The existing FIA FD&A qualifications will be transferred to BAFE and the FIA will continue to include these in their successful range of training courses. FireQual will be offering these essential qualifications to all industry trainers who meet the stringent training centre requirements.
All of the existing assets of FIA AO, including the current extensive question banks, are included in the sale. FIA AO will continue to operate the exams until such time as BAFE FireQual is in a position to be fully operational. All delegates (including those that are in mid-process) can be fully assured that the priority for the FIA and BAFE is the seamless handover of the examination regime.
It is anticipated that the transfer will be completed by the end of October 2020.
Ian Moore, Chief Executive of the Fire Industry Association, says: "The FIA has allocated considerable resource to bring the first OFQUAL-approved FD&A qualifications to the industry. We are delighted to be passing this on to BAFE in its independent competency role."
"It was the FIA that originally formed BAFE as the registration body for third party certified fire engineering specialist companies across the UK. As it developed, the FIA supported BAFE to become the fully independent registration body.
"We now feel that the FIA AO has reached that same level of development and for the same reasons of true independence [from the FIA Training Centre], is undertaking the transfer of the FIA AO to BAFE".
Stephen Adams, Chief Executive of BAFE, says: "We believe that this will be a significant development for the UK fire protection industry and indeed BAFE's role as the independent competency body.
"The FIA has made a major contribution to introducing qualifications for FD&A technicians with the development of the FIA AO and we look forward to building on this considerable achievement for the benefit of the wider fire industry.
"BAFE already invigilates the exams for a large number of fire extinguisher technicians and our aim is to work with Trade Associations and other trainers to develop a comprehensive range of OFQUAL approved qualification exams across the whole fire sector'.