For the first time at IFSEC & FIREX International – taking place 17–19 May at London’s ExCeL – installers, integrators and engineers will be able to attend focused, in-person training sessions to ensure they remain on top of the latest best practices in security and fire, and secure CPD points to keep up with the growing push for competency requirements.
The ‘skills gap’ is one of the most pressing challenges in the UK’s fire and security technical installation sector at present. While not a new issue, it is one that has continued over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic – in a survey undertaken by IFSEC in 2021, 93% of installers answered CPD or professional qualifications would aid them in their work.
Furthermore, following Dame Judith Hackitt’s report into the failings at Grenfell Tower in 2017, installer competency in fire, emergency and security systems has been put under the spotlight, with a renewed push from government and the wider industry to ensure appropriate standards of quality are met. The ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) requirements for cards in the fire and security sector in England are changing as a result, with updated requirements to achieve both the Systems Technician (also known as the Gold Card) Level 3 cards and the Level 2 Operative Card, where work can be carried out and signed off unsupervised.
In line with the push for improved competency standards and updated CPD requirements that come with the ECS changes, and to support those looking to develop their expertise, IFSEC and FIREX International will be hosting a programme of CPD-accredited in-person training sessions dedicated to the installer and integrator fire and security community.
For the first time ever at IFSEC and FIREX, which take place alongside each other at London’s ExCeL between 17 and 19 May, installers will be able to attend accredited and in-depth training sessions from a mix of training providers and expert vendors on topics such as video surveillance, access control, fire alarm systems and plenty more.
The initiative will provide delegates with an unmatched opportunity to get the most out of their visit to the shows, where it will be possible to source new solutions, network with peers and suppliers and develop existing knowledge, all in one place.
Gerry Dunphy, Event Director of IFSEC & FIREX International, explains: ‘Skills and competency are now at the forefront of the security and fire-safety professions, so we’re delighted to be able to introduce focused and relevant training sessions into the shows. IFSEC & FIREX Training is an important addition as visiting customers can not only view and experience the latest technology and speak to market leading vendors, they can now partake in high calibre CPD training sessions to ensure they’re keeping up with current trends, standards and innovations. It means the shows truly become fully rounded experiences for installers and engineers.’
Trevor Jenks, Training Manager at the SSAIB, is working with IFSEC & FIREX to ensure the training sessions are relevant and provide genuine value to attendees. Trevor adds: ‘I’m thrilled to be working with the IFSEC & FIREX team on this initiative. The skillset required in the industry is constantly evolving, and attending high quality training from knowledgeable trainers is more important than ever.’
What will IFSEC & FIREX Training offer?
The prospectus of available courses on offer at the event will cover a variety of key topics that were selected by installers as areas of interest in a survey undertaken by IFSEC & FIREX in 2021.
Courses will be delivered in two distinct manners, both of which were highlighted as important methods of training for fire and security installers in the same survey:
- Courses delivered by independent security and fire training organisations
- Courses delivered by manufacturers – these will be vetted by an independent consultant to ensure the quality of training is of a high standard and isn’t a ‘sales pitch’. The sessions will also look at technological innovations which meet new industry codes and standards that installers should be aware of.
Topics being covered include:
- ECS Systems Operative – Fire, Emergency and Security Systems (FESS) by Skills for Security
- Introduction to Fire Detection & Alarms by Fire Industry Association (FIA)
- Cyber Security by Hikvision
- Digital Service Masterclass by Texecom
- Optical Fibre Overview and Fusion Splicing Workshop by Tavcom Training
- Introduction to fire doors and fire protection in buildings by Warringtonfire
A small fee will be charged per session to encourage attendance, though heavily subsidised from the original costs as part of IFSEC and FIREX’s ongoing support in helping to address the skills gap. To ensure sessions remain focused, there are a limited number of spaces available on each. Welcome refreshments, as well as lunch vouchers for all delegates will also be included in the price.
Each course will start in the morning or around midday and last anywhere between 4 and 6 hours, to ensure delegates receive an appropriate level of training, while also allowing for plenty of time to speak to suppliers and catch up with likeminded professionals on the show floor. Courses will be hosted away from the show floor in the gallery suites at London’s ExCeL on the same days as IFSEC and FIREX, taking place between 17 and 19 May.
Crucially, all delegates will receive proof of attendance for CPD (Continuing Professional Development) records – a key requirement of the updated ECS cards renewal scheme.
The initiative has received wide-ranging backing from across the sector, with support coming from the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), Fire Industry Association (FIA), Security Systems Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), National Security Inspectorate (NSI), Skills for Security and the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP).
Registration for sessions is now open! Click here to book your place and access full details of the courses.