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Delivering on our 2020 vision – simplifying accreditation

FPA Australia has a simple goal for the fire protection industry: that all individuals will be ‘fit-for-action’ (which means trained, competent and accredited) by2020. We are committed to making this goal a reality and have listened to feedback from our members in order to make the training and accreditation process simpler and more affordable.

We recognise the cost of accreditation can be a barrier – so we have removed most of the costs. The Association is removing fees associated with transitional accreditation (inspect and test) and business recognition for all Corporate members. This means you can obtain transitional accreditation for all of your inspect and test technicians right now, free of charge.

The Association also understands the cost of training can be prohibitive, so we are now offering a major subsidy. While you are free to choose the most cost-effective training provider to suit your needs, FPA Australia is now subsidising 40% of the cost of inspect and test training in order to ensure we can deliver on our 2020 Vision outlined above.

To ensure the success of our accreditation programs we need to partner with the entire industry and the community and actively promote the use of accredited individuals. The success of these important initiatives depends on the support of stakeholders at all levels, both within the industry as well as brigades, councils, regulators, facility managers and everyone with an interest in fire protection and life safety.

In order to demonstrate our commitment to accreditation as the only pathway to professionalising the fire protection industry, in future, only FPA Australia Corporate members who employ accredited technicians will receive promotion as “providers of choice” on the Association’s website and in other promotional materials.

In 2016 some of the largest and most influential fire protection businesses in this country will be joining FPAS, bringing with them hundreds more technicians who will become qualified FPAS individuals. This is absolutely a win-win for the industry and the community as more qualified individuals means more choice for consumers and ultimately, improved
fire safety outcomes.

This will also mean an increasingly competitive environment with those companies that have taken up FPAS advantaged by being able to leverage their commitment to quality and training in advertising, tenders and contracts. For too long simply being the cheapest option has often been the determining factor for fire protection companies being selected for work. This must change. We see a future where businesses employing trained, skilled, competent and accredited individuals are the preferred option for major fire protection works and FPAS will be critical in achieving this.

The next major step in our accreditation program will be the official launch of the fire systems design and fire systems certification classes which have taken significant time and resources to develop. This development has included the creation of dedicated skills assessment workshops, resources and questionnaires. Once these classes of accreditation are rolled out, the next focus will be on accrediting individuals undertaking emergency planning and training work. In time it is expected that all major areas of fire protection work in Australia will be covered by an accreditation program administered by FPA Australia. And we’re not stopping with just people.

The quality and compliance of building products which have an impact on the fire safety of occupants is a major focus of FPA Australia. The Association believes a comprehensive national listing scheme for such products is required and the Association is working with the relevant stakeholders to determine how such a system might be administered in future.

On behalf of our Association and the Board of Directors I ask you to support our efforts to improve the industry right now, by only using and recommending accredited individuals for the inspection and testing of fire protection work in Australia.

Recognising and promoting businesses committed to best practice is the best way we can achieve good life-safety outcomes and deliver on our vision to lead and support a professional industry, to minimise the impact of fire on life, property and the environment, for a safer community. Thank you for taking the time to consider these important initiatives and please enjoy reading this edition of Asia Pacific Fire magazine.

For more information, go to www.fpaa.com.au

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FPA Australia CEO