The Fire Industry Association (FIA) is delighted to announce that two new courses are now available to book under the ‘Training’ tab of the website. This will no doubt please those who have previously taken the Foundation course of the new qualification pathway, as these two new courses are the next step in the route to becoming qualified.
The new qualification pathway is designed for those working within the fire detection and alarm sector, to provide qualifications for designers, installers, maintainers, and commissioners. The two new units – Heath & Safety, and the Environment unit – are available to book now.
“We’re delighted to announce the launch of these two new units,” said General Manager of the FIA, Martin Duggan. “We understand that for those that took and passed the Foundation unit in January that it has been a long wait for the new courses, but we had to ensure that enough people had taken and passed the Foundation unit before we could launch the second set of courses. We’re now at that stage and booking for these two new courses is now open.”
The courses are only available to those that have taken and passed the Foundation course (though it does not matter which order the Health & Safety and the Environment courses are taken).
As the name of the course suggests, the Health & Safety unit enables learners to get a deeper understanding of the potential workplace hazards and how these could be best avoided, leading to safer workplace environments. The course will be available nationwide and will be a one-day course with an exam.
The exam for the Health and Safety unit is the industry standard ECS exam, which the FIA Awarding Organisation (the OFQUAL registered examination body behind the fire detection qualifications) recognises as a pass for the Health and Safety unit.
A small point to note here: if learners have either the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety, or an in date ECS Health and Safety assessment certificate, then they will already have achieved the standard necessary to be awarded a pass for the Health and Safety unit. These are subject to the FIA’s rules and guidance on ‘recognised prior learning’.
The second course to be released by the FIA is the Environment course. This unit guides learners through the environmental factors that affect those working in the fire detection and alarm sector. Areas such as waste management are discussed (what do you do with old equipment? How do you recycle it?), as well as the various environmental laws that are in place that dictate what companies in this sector can and can’t do.
Prior learning also applies to this course too. If learners hold the NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management, PLUS the FIA course ‘F-Gas Certification for Service Technicians’, PLUS the FIA course, ‘Critical Uses of Halon’, then this will be recognised as a pass – but learners must hold all 3 of these.
For both these units, if learners believe they hold recognised prior learning, they must notify the FIA team so that this is recorded on the system.
“‘Recognised prior learning’ is a term coined by the Awarding Organisation, who sets the syllabus for the qualifications. It’s important that you discuss with us what prior learning you might hold, and the validity of it. It absolutely must be in-date, otherwise we will not be able to accept it,” said Bindya Chongbang, Training Co-Ordinator.
As can be expected from the FIA, courses are taught by experts in their field, and learners can draw on the knowledge and experience of the FIA trainers. For the Foundation unit, which was the first unit in the qualification pathway to be released, customer feedback surveys showed that 97% of learners would recommend the course to others. If this is anything to go by, the Health & Safety and the Environment courses will be rated just as highly.
“We’re expecting a large number of bookings for these two new courses. Our learners have been anticipating the next set of courses and so we expect places to fill up and courses to sell out very quickly. We’re doing everything we can to add as many dates and locations for these new courses, but we recommend booking early to secure the date you want,” advised Martin Duggan.