The Fire Industry Association (FIA) officially launched their new qualifications in fire detection and alarms last week at FIREX (held at ExCel, London).
Three seminars were held on the topic of the new qualifications; one on each day of the three-day fire industry expo. The seminars were given by VIP speaker, Martin Duggan, General Manager of the FIA, who delivered an insightful set of presentations about the different qualifications that are due to become available.
“The seminars were very well attended and it was a great opportunity to answer questions directly from visitors at the show. These qualifications have taken years of development and we are really excited to share with the industry exactly what shape the qualifications will take,” said Martin Duggan.
“We’ve taken on new staff and had a small shake-up of the FIA team in preparation for the launch of the qualifications in order to answer all those initial questions and to ensure that the booking process goes smoothly.”
The new qualifications were met with an excellent response by visitors attending the fire industry expo, with a range of interest from across the sector – including a strong international interest.
“There are four new qualifications,” said Martin Duggan. “Designer, Installer, Maintainer, and Commissioner. They are equivalent to a Level 3 in the UK, so that is the same as an A-Level, but in Europe it is the same as a Level 4 qualification on the European Qualifications Framework.”
Alongside the seminars, the FIA also had a fully decked out stand to look like a pub, serving up a range of snacks and drinks, which was a huge hit with visitors. The stand had an information desk to meet with the FIA staff and pick up a prospectus for the new qualifications.
“The FIA Lounge was very successful,” said Kat Schabowska, Marketing Communications Executive of the FIA. “We had back-to-back enquiries at the information desk and the bar area was full every day of the expo. We are delighted to be able to say that this year’s footfall on our stand was even better than last year.”
An exciting development for the betterment of the industry, the new qualifications will contain a wide range of new topics and key information not seen in previous FIA training. As a result, the courses will be longer due to the amount of new content and the rigorous exams at the end of each unit.
“We did a gap analysis of our current training and the new qualifications to discover how much more the new qualifications would offer. The results show us that the courses will at least double in size,” explained Martin Duggan during his presentation.
“We’ve developed some units that are completely new, plus we added extra sections that industry stakeholders and employers have asked for. Our members have very much guided us in this direction towards including more content and making the courses longer and more extensive, in order to stretch the learners’ knowledge further than before.”
“We recommend that if you’re interested in our new qualifications or courses that you sign up to our email newsletter to find out when our booking system will go live,” commented Kat Schabowska.
About the Fire Industry Association: The FIA is a not-for-profit trade association promoting professional standards in the UK fire safety industry. The Association was formed in April 2007 out of a merger between two longstanding and well-respected trade associations, FETA (Fire Extinguishing Trade Association) and BFPSA (British Fire Protection Systems Association). The FIA is ‘owned’ by its members, which means that they are answerable to and representative of their members.