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Fire Safety Assessment

 

NSW Government recognition of FSA

 

The FPAS Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD) classes of accreditation have been approved by the Secretary of the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. The NSW Government plans to formally gazette that approval in January 2020.

 

Read the NSW Government's statement here

 

The Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) class of FPAS accreditation accredits individuals who undertake assessment of the performance capability of fire safety measures (FSMs) for the purpose of informing an annual or supplementary fire safety statement.

 

This class of accreditation has been designed to address the requirements for certain fire protection work in New South Wales to be carried out by a 'competent fire safety practitioner', under the state's 2017 fire safety reforms.

 

To gain FSA accreditation, individuals must demonstrate a level of required knowledge, skill and experience to perform the fire safety assessor role, must hold appropriate insurance, and must agree to and abide by the FPA Australia Code of Professional Conduct.

 

In February 2019 the NSW Government approved both the FSA and Fire Systems Design (FSD) classes of FPAS accreditation under the state's 2017 fire safety reforms, meaning that individuals holding either FSA or FSD accreditation will be recognised as 'competent fire safety practitioners' (CFSPs) under the reforms. Recognition of the two classes is expected to be formalised in January 2020, after which relevant fire protection work in NSW will be required to be undertaken by a CFSP accredited by FPAS or other future approved schemes.

 

The FSA class of accreditation will ultimately be available across multiple jurisdictions, however the initial launch will be focused on NSW.

 

To get full details on the FSA class of accreditation, read the full FSA scheme document, the NSW Competent Fire Safety Practitioner document, available here.

 

 

NSW Interim Fire Safety Assessor Register

 

FPA Australian opened applications for the FSA class of FPAS accreditation on 2 April 2019. A register of accredited individuals will be available once applicants have successfully gained accreditation.

 

In the meantime, FPA Australia recommends that you visit the NSW Interim Fire Safety Assessor Register, which connects building owners and industry looking for assistance in preparing Annual or Supplementary Fire Safety Statements with FPA Australia Corporate members who currently do this work in NSW.

 

Access the NSW Interim Fire Safety Assessor Register

 

 

Scope of the role

The role of the fire safety assessor is to satisfy the competent fire safety practitioner aspects of Part 9 Division 5 of the EP&A Regulation to:

 

  • Identify the standard of performance to which FSMs are required to operate and perform;
  • Assess (inspect and verify) that FSMs are operating and performing as required;
  • Inspect exits and paths of travel to exit to ensure there is no offence under the Regulation (as applicable); and
  • Complete the CFSP aspects of the approved Fire Safety Statement Form for annual or supplementary fire safety statements.

 

A more detailed description of the Fire Safety Assessment role commensurate with the requirements of the EP&A Regulation and validated via the FPAS accreditation process is expressed in section 4.9 of the NSW Competent Fire Safety Practitioner document, available here.

 

This assessment and inspection role is to satisfy clause 175 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017 (the Regulation).

 

 

Restricted and unrestricted FSA accreditation

FSA accreditation is available in both Restricted and Unrestricted categories.

 

  • Restricted accreditation is available to individuals who demonstrate competency to assess a nominated FSM or number of nominated FSMs. These individuals are accredited to work on those nominated FSMs only.
  • Unrestricted accreditation is available to individuals who demonstrate competency to assess all FSMs.

 

Individuals are able to nominate and qualify for 32 separate FSMs under the FSA class of accreditation. Access a full list here.

 

Both FSA categories are accredited to assess the operating performance of these FSMs regardless of whether they are subject to a performance (alternative) solution.

 

Insurance

The Scheme requires accredited individuals to be appropriately covered by insurance for the fire protection services they undertake.

The Scheme requires an accredited individual to have a minimum insurance cover of:

  • $10 million for Public and Product liability; and
  • $2 million (inclusive of defence costs) for any claim for Professional Indemnity; or 
  • $1 million (exclusive of defence costs) for any one claim for Professional Indemnity. 


Professional Indemnity insurance held by an accredited individual must:

  • include in the list of business activities, all work activities relevant to the accreditation class and category held; and
  • be in the name of the accredited individual or the company name only and not be a joint policy with any other party; and
  • cover all past work of an accredited individual whilst accredited with Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) up to a maximum of 10 years. (Note: This is done by electing a Retroactive Date that is years past or electing a Retroactive Date of Unlimited). 

 

Accredited Individuals must provide a Certificate of Currency from their insurer as proof of their insurance cover for both Public and Product and Professional Indemnity insurance.

 

In relation to run-off provisions, which is when a sole trader retires or sells their business or a company or partnership is sold, FPA Australia recommends that individuals obtain professional indemnity insurance for seven (7) years after they cease working as a competent fire safety practitioner, so as to indemnify their work activities during the period for which they were accredited under the Scheme.

 

You can read the details of what your Certificate of Currency needs to provide here.

 

Accreditation pathways

Transitional Accreditation pathway

 

Transitional Accreditation recognises the experience of an individual who has worked in the fire protection industry for a period of time and holds the minimum appropriate level of competency (knowledge, skills and experience) to perform the fire safety assessor role.

 

Individuals holding FSA Transitional Accreditation are required to transition to Qualified Accreditation within four years of formal approval (gazetting) of FSA by the NSW Government, and once an appropriate qualification becomes available, is specified by FPA Australia and approved by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

 

To gain FSA Transitional Accreditation, individuals are required to:

 

  • Demonstrate a minimum of three years of practical experience on several buildings for each FSM applied for;
  • Complete an FSA Awareness Session;
  • Pass the FSA Fundamental written assessment;
  • Pass a written assessment covering each FSM applied for;
  • Hold a minimum of $10 million Public & Products Liability Insurance and $2 million Professional Indemnity; and
  • Sign and abide by FPA Australia's Code of Professional Conduct.

 

 

Qualified Accreditation pathway (currently not available)

 

Qualified Accreditation recognises individuals who have fulfilled the FSA class of accreditation requirements for relevant nationally-recognised qualifications or a set of competencies designated by FPA Australia.

 

Qualified Accreditation is not currently available for the FSA class of accreditation. FPA Australia is currently developing minimum qualification requirements, and will offer a Qualified Accreditation pathway once this is complete, subject to approval by the Secretary of the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

 

 

To apply, log in to CONNECT and go the FPAS > Fire Safety Assessment page, or click on the link below:

 

Apply here