Dr Bob Docherty, Secretary General of The Institute of Fire Safety Managers, reports on the implementation of the independently accredited register.

The Institute recognises that the time has come to start to move towards a more professional and competency based fire risk assessors register.  This has always been our aim. We are the first professional body in the fire sector to take action to provide one which contains the names of fire risk assessors who have been through a process which is accredited by an independent nationally recognised accreditation body to provide third party type accreditation/certification, preferably by UKAS. 

UKAS is a totally independent accreditation body which has the support and backing of the government. The UKAS link is important for us in the promotion of a national independent register as it signals government support. Any scheme that we recognise should also encapsulate the relevant British and European standards for bodies operating certification of competent persons and possibly, standards for bodies' certification of product/services.

The name for the new Institute's register is the 'Nationally Accredited Fire Risk Assessors Register of The Institute of Fire Safety Managers' (NAFRAR).

 

Recognition of Appropriate Accreditation and Certification Schemes

The Institute will recognise, for the purposes of entering applicants onto its NAFRAR, any scheme that carries UKAS approval and/or which follows BS EN ISO 17024 and also BS EN 45011. 

At the present time, the Institute has worked closely with Warrington Certification Ltd and their own Fire Risk Assessors Competency Scheme (FRACS) and has negotiated special rates for members of the Institute wishing to go through FRACS.

The Institute notes that there will be various third party UKAS accredited schemes, and it will acknowledge and recognise any of these where a person wishes to join NAFRAR.

 

How the Process Works

From the 1st December 2011, there will be no more applications accepted onto the current fire risk assessors register. All members on the current register will be invited to apply to a certified (third party accredited) scheme. The Institute encourages members to go through FRACs as its scheme of choice. 

Anyone who is not on the current register will be directed by the guidance documents and the website to either apply for FRACS or other certification schemes.

Once a person has successfully received third party accreditation/certification they will apply to go onto the NAFRAR and their name entered onto that register.  This application process will be minimal compared to the current one although there will still be an application fee and an annual fee payable for maintaining names on the register.

 

The Current Register

The current register will continue to run concurrently with the NAFRAR and both will appear on the website. The CFRAR will specifically note that those assessors on that register have been through a third party accreditation/certification procedure and it will be clearly labelled with an introduction to establish the difference between the two registers.

 

Photo by Sean Vatcher: www.fire-photos.co.uk 

 

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 1015 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com