The Fire Industry Association (FIA) is Europe’s largest trade association for the fire-protection sector, with a focus on providing excellence in fire safety.
A not-for-profit organisation, the FIA focuses on funding vital research into methods of fire protection. Recent studies have found out the reasons why false fire alarms occur and methods to combat them, and the effectiveness of multi-sensor detectors. The FIA is currently investigating the impact that the age of a smoke detector might have on its ability to detect fire, raising the question: do old detectors lose the ability to detect over time? And, more importantly, how old is too old? When should a detector be replaced?
The FIA also advises government on issues surrounding fire safety and has been instrumental in the government working groups that were set up to address competency following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
All of the above is made possible by bringing together the expertise found within the industry – from the FIA’s own Councils and Working Groups who create technical guidance documents and take an active part in the creation of standards for fire protection.
All those that sit on the FIA’s Councils and Working Groups are from FIA Member companies. FIA Member companies are all Third Party Certificated, meaning that they are all independently verified to check for quality. All FIA members are promoted in our business directory and have use of our nationally recognised logo, as well as the option to attend members-only fire-industry events.
Another important resource that the FIA provides is training and qualifications on a range of topics – such as fire extinguishing, emergency lighting, and fire detection and alarm systems. All monies raised through the training goes back into the industry – funding the aforementioned research above or helping develop training according to what members have asked for.
The FIA provides four qualifications in fire detection and alarms, made up of four units of study each. The four qualifications provide the opportunity to become qualified in fire detection and alarm design, installation, maintenance, or commissioning.
The qualifications have been produced in consultation with industry leaders and employers, matching the needs of the industry with what learners really need to understand.
We’ve worked with reference to the National Occupational Standards (NOS), current UK legislation and published standards, along with codes of practice and industry best practice to give learners the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding in a format that is in-depth but delivered under expert guidance.
These qualifications have been developed to Level 3 and registered on the Qualifications Curriculum Framework (QCF), equivalent to a Level 4 on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). Additionally, the qualifications are officially government recognised by the relevant bodies for qualifications in the United Kingdom.
Examinations for the fire detection and alarm qualifications are similar to your school days – formal, completed in silence, with no help from anyone else, and no reference material. This means that those passing the exam really do need to know and understand what they have learnt. However, unlike your school days, the exams are taken digitally on a tablet.
Learners start off by studying the Foundation unit, which begins with some at-home pre-learning material that should give learners an opportunity to absorb as much information as possible prior to attending the two-day course and exam. Once passed, learners can move on to the other units – Health and Safety, Environmental Concerns for Field Service Technicians and one Advanced unit that will make up the full qualification (this will be either Advanced Install, Maintenance, Commissioning, or Design).
Once all of the above has been passed, a qualification certificate can be awarded for all the hard work and dedication!
To find out more about the FIA – our research, Membership, training courses, or qualifications – visit the FIA website. Here you will be able to download our Course Prospectus, and learn more about the benefits of membership (including discounts on training).
For more information, go to www.fia.uk.com