As we’ve previously reported, the fire protection industry has seen immense changes in recent years. Among the changes, NSW Government legislation introduced in 2017 stipulates that every fire safety practitioner must be fully accredited in order to assess and endorse fire measures for Annual Fire Safety Statements.
The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) is overseen by Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia), our peak industry body for fire protection. In addition to a demanding assessment process in order to gain accreditation, all Accredited Practitioners must also pass a detailed audit process.
The 2017 reforms were designed to strengthen fire safety certification for new and existing buildings. In response to the changing legislation, the FPAA added to the FPAS scheme an accreditation class for fire safety assessors, which has become the only accreditation process available.
For fire compliance including Annual Fire Safety Statements, work may now only be conducted by an Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety).
The DEM Fire team includes Accredited Practitioners in both Fire Safety and Fire Design. We’re accredited for all the different areas of the 32 measures to cover all requests.
The accreditation is renewed every year. All Accredited Practitioners must also pass an audit process once every five years, and more frequently in the event of an investigation such as a complaint.
“For all Accredited Practitioners, there is an audit to determine that what we are doing is right. For my audit, I provided a list of the last 100 properties I had endorsed for Annual Fire Safety Statements, with documentation to back them all up. That was a nine-item spreadsheet of 100 sites,” he says.
“Once I submitted all the details, they chose six sites they wanted to audit. They went through that paperwork and requested further evidence if required to help satisfy them. After about four weeks, the audit process was completed.”
“It was a rigorous auditing process,” he adds, “but for our industry, this is good because we want Accredited Practitioners doing the right thing.”