Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) AGM and Technical Meeting.

We’ve mentioned before on our website’s News Feed about how Steve is an accredited member of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM), a highly respected technical organisation of professionals and companies at the forefront of Fire Safety and Fire Prevention advancement and awareness. Steve travelled down to Watford in Hertfordshire on the 15th of October to attend the AGM and Technical Meeting of the IFSM at the BRE Group, in order to keep up on latest innovations in the fire safety industry, and attend lectures and seminars on new products and research, so we at Spark-Risk can pass these onto our customers to provide the best possible service. Some of the new products and information that came out of the day means we can create an even safer and protected environment for premises we work for.

The IFSM states:

What is TFRAR?
TFRAR stands for Tiered Fire Risk Assessors Register and is a register that recognises the different levels of individual competencies at which a fire risk assessor should operate at. TFRAR is a system set up by the Institute to recognise those levels from a base entry level through to the highest recognised via third party accreditation. The government recommends that Fire Risk Assessments will generally be carried out by suitably qualified/competent fire professionals and TFRAR is a new competence register for Fire Risk Assessors.

What is a Fire Risk Assessor?
There is no formal definition of a Fire Risk Assessor. TFRAR provides a framework/road map in the form of this tiered register to help define the role and relate it specifically to the levels of competence obtained to carry out Fire Risk Assessments. The register contains the names of individual Fire Risk Assessors and their associated competency level. All tiers of the register will be competency based and assessed either internally or by accredited independent bodies.

Who does TFRAR apply to?
Any Fire Risk Assessor who works in the field of fire safety, fire safety management and fire engineering. TFRAR applies to individual Fire Risk Assessors who wish to prove their competency level and be listed on a national database that can be access by all Responsible Persons and Duty Holders requiring Fire Risk Assessments.

Tier level Definitions
Tier 1 (Entry Level Register)
Tier 1 will be for those people who wish to make a start at a career in Fire Risk Assessment and will be the ‘beginners’ level. This maybe an individual who has successfully passed the Level 2 Accredited Fire Assessors Course recently launched by the IFSM which is sufficient, to enable the completion of Fire Risk Assessments on simple, less complex buildings. Tier 1 registrants will benefit from the TFRAR mentor scheme to help them develop & progress to tier 2.

Tier 2 Competent Fire Risk Assessors Register (CFRAR)
Tier 2 is for those Level 1 Fire Risk Assessors who have been working within the fire industry completing Fire Risk Assessments but who have been mentored for a period of time by a Tier 3 fire risk assessors. They will also have completed an examination held by the Institute and id successful, will be deemed competent to carry out fire risk assessments on buildings that range from simple and less complex to those that are of medium complexity and normal risk.

Tier 3 Nationally Accredited Fire Risk Assessors Register (NAFRAR)
Tier 3 will be the already existing NAFRAR which will be available for those Fire Risk Assessors already on NAFRAR as well as those who wish to carry our Fire Risk Assessments on high risk and complex buildings and who are eligible to register through a process that has recognised their achievement at the highest standards and levels of competency for fire risk assessors that is available. This means that their experience and competency has been successfully examined and tested by an independent third party accreditation / certification scheme.

(Currently, there are two active schemes providing third party accreditation which are accepted by NAFRAR. The first is the Warrington Certification Ltd. FRACS scheme and the second is the BAFE SP 205 Scheme. The FRACS scheme accommodates both individuals and companies who wish their fire risk assessors to be individually certified as competent. There are two FRACS schemes available, one for individuals and one for companies who offer fire risk assessments.

Information, application fees and application forms are available from the Warrington Certification website or enquiries about applications should go directly to: fracs@exova.com

BAFE SP 205 is a scheme that is for companies employing a number of fire risk assessors and also directly focussed on fire risk assessors who are sole traders (as their own registered company). IFSM members who are looking for a UKAS accredited scheme to certificate their company’s activities, the BAFE scheme SP205 is one which can be considered. There are 2 Certification Bodies delivering this scheme (NSI and SSAIB) and they will each have a scale of charges, dependant on the work required.

Members should remember that NAFRAR is a scheme for individual assessors who have proved their own competence. This can be done through the BAFE SP205 ‘company’ scheme either by a person being a ‘Nominated Person’ for an organisation applying for the scheme or as an individual tested as a ‘Validator’ under the scheme. At the present time, the scheme does not issue certificates of competence to individuals but the Institute will accept written proof from any of the certification bodies that a named individual has been tested for his/her competence as a Validator or Nominated Person.

For the latter, once certified, the member can apply directly for entry onto NAFRAR. (See here for details to BAFE for this new part of the scheme.)

What is the main benefit of TFRAR?
The responsible person/duty holder can choose a Fire Risk Assessor who is competent at the prescribed level and is capable of carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment of their premises/workplace, or similar establishment, and can identify, assess and record fire risks, as well as carry out audits to verify another person’s Fire Risk Assessments.