Passive fire protection training launched

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) says it is launching a passive fire protection training programme in April 2018.

The foundation course has reportedly been developed in response to demand from employers and contractors operating in the passive fire protection sector. The content of the training reportedly embeds current best practice and draws on the technical expertise provided by the ASFP.

The training is said to aim to equip candidates with the knowledge required to demonstrate competency, while also offering a route for progression and academic recognition in this key fire protection specialism. The courses will be the first in the UK and Ireland to enable candidates to study to obtain a recognised qualification in passive fire protection.

Each course is apparently suitable for everyone involved in the construction industry from designers and specifiers, to contractors and specialist installers. Courses are also said to be suitable for building owner occupiers and enforcement agencies.

The courses offers a foundation in fire safety and fire science as well as units on different forms of passive fire protection, with the courses structured into four modules:

  • Module 1: Essential underpinning knowledge including fire science
  • Module 2: Installation of passive fire protection:
    – Unit 1: Fire protection to the structural frame of the building, fire retardant coatings
    – Unit 2: Fire resisting walls, floors and ceiling and fire-resistant glazing
    – Unit 3: Fire stopping, penetration seals, cavity barriers, ductwork and dampers and the building envelope
    – Unit 4: Fire resisting doors, industrial shutters and hardware
  • Module 3: Understanding active fire protection
  • Module 4: Understanding Building Regulations, approved documentation, regulatory guidance, CDM, CE marking, codes of practice and Building Information Modelling.

Individuals who undertake the training will have the opportunity to progress to new Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications provided by the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) awarding organisation. The new qualifications have reportedly been developed in partnership between the ASFP and the IFE, specifically to align to the new training programme and to provide recognition of individuals who have attained the essential knowledge and understanding to work efficiently and safely in passive fire protection roles.

The new IFE Level 3 certificate in passive fire protection qualification will be available from April 2018. It is aimed at individuals either directly engaged in passive fire protection, or those who need to develop an understanding of the passive fire safety systems, such as managers and technical supervisors working in passive fire protection roles such as technical sales staff, designers and fire risk assessors.

Individuals who wish to enrol with this qualification will be able to prepare for formal assessment by attending all four training modules delivered via seven days of lectures spread over several weeks. They will also be expected to undertake extensive additional study using ASFP technical publications as learning material. Assessment will take the form of a single 3-hour written examination.

The new Level 3 certificate will be provided by the IFE, a nationally and internationally-recognised awarding organisation regulated by the qualification regulators Ofqual and Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA). The new Level 3 certificate will reportedly be comparable to other level 3 qualifications in the nationally-regulated framework such as A levels and Level 3 NVQs and Diplomas. Candidates who are successful in achieving the IFE Level 3 certificate in passive fire protection will be able to build on their learning and progress to qualifications at Level 4 or to broaden their knowledge and understanding at Level 3 by working towards other fire-specific qualifications. They will also be eligible to apply for membership of the IFE.

The ASFP and IFE plan to introduce a further qualification later in 2018 – the IFE Level 2 certificate in passive fire protection. The Level 2 certificate is reportedly aimed at individuals such as team leaders or supervising installers working in passive fire protection roles and technical sales staff. Level 2 candidates will still undertake all four modules of study, although the syllabus will be less comprehensive, and they will select only two passive fire protection units from module 2. The Level 2 certificate will be supported by four days of lectures, with candidates again expected to undertake extensive additional study to prepare for a single 1.5-hour written examination.

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