Fire Protection Association Australia 03 8892 3131
CONNECT Member Login

Fire Systems Design


NSW Government recognition of FSD


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


Search National Register of Fire Systems Design Practitioners


Click on the button below to search the National Register for Fire Systems Design.  The National Register contains both accredited practitioners and those who meet the requirements to appear on the NSW Interim register.

D & C Button




About the Fire Systems Design Accredition Scheme


The Fire Systems Design class accredits individuals who perform design activities relating to selected essential safety measures in the fire protection industry. Initially the Scheme will focus on activities associated with the following essential safety measures:


  • Fire Sprinkler Systems
  • Fire Hydrant and Hose Reel Systems  
  • Fire Detection and Alarm Systems


These three (3) areas of work will form the categories available under the initial phase of Fire Systems Design.  In the future, additional categories may be included, such as but not limited to, 'Exit and emergency lighting' and 'Passive Fire Protection'.


The Fire Systems Design class of work covers the preparation of designs to a required standard, where the final design documentation outlines the requisite design criteria and provides documentation for procurement / manufacture / construction / installation / and commissioning by competent personnel.


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


In February 2019 the NSW Government approved both the FSA and 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 definition covering the scope of activities for Fire Systems Design work includes:


1.   Defining scope, system requirements and extent of fire systems design projects.

2.   Planning sketch layout of the fire system design.

3.   Preparing detailed technical design documentation including plans and specifications for systems and equipment (including material, installation requirements; testing and commissioning; operations and maintenance manuals).


The activities for the Fire Systems Design class include:


  • developing a design brief
  • assessing and interpreting the design requirements, legislation and codes
  • researching products and design solutions
  • specifying requirements of a design solution and products to meet design requirements, legislation and codes
  • conceptualising and documenting design solutions
  • validating that the design solution meets the required design criteria,  and
  • finalising documentation for the tender procurement, manufacture, construction and installation, commissioning and maintenance of the equipment for  the system designed, to ensure the system meets all relevant codes and standards. Such documentation would consist of system design calculations; system required reference data such as schematics, details of pressure gauge schedules, interface diagrams, cause and effect diagrams, technical specifications and tender and/or construction drawings.

Note: Fire Systems Design accreditation under FPAS does not absolve the individual or company from satisfying any other relevant legislative or licensing requirements applicable to the design of fire protection systems.


A more detailed description of the Fire Systems Design role commensurate with the requirements of the EP&A Regulation and validated via the FPAS accreditation process is expressed in section 3.0 of the NSW Competent Fire Safety Practitioner document, available here.



Fire systems designers are accredited under the Scheme to carry out work in the Fire Systems Design class for one (1) or more categories made available under FPAS. The individual applicant will be evaluated and deemed competent to be accredited in any one of the categories of Fire Systems Design and can be accredited in more than one (1) category.


The initial categories for this class identified for the roll out of Stage 1 are:


 Design categories


The Pathways

The Fire Systems Design class of Accreditation will initially be launched with two (2) individual accreditation pathways for entry into the Scheme:  


1.  Transitional (experienced pathway) and


Qualified Accreditation recognises individuals who have fulfilled the requirements identified under the Scheme by way of relevant nationally recognised qualifications or set of competencies designated by FPA Australia.

FPA Australia will designate minimum qualification requirements in the future and offer qualified accreditation accordingly.


The Qualified Accreditation pathway will be added at a later date. This decision was made due to a number of factors:


  • First, the Association wishes to ensure that there is sufficient capacity among the existing Registered Training Organisations delivering the Diploma of Fire Systems Design to deliver this qualification nationally.


  • The Association, in our continuing engagement with regulators, is aware of current government consultations and reviews applicable to fire systems design work, and we would like to ensure alignment wherever possible.


  • This revision will allow the Association more time to engage actively with the membership and the industry with regard to the final specific requirements for the Qualified Accreditation pathway.


The Association will endevour to announce a more detailed timeframe for the Qualified pathway rollout in 2020, so be sure to check the FPAS page of our website regularly for further updates.


Transitional Accreditation pathway


Transitional Accreditation (through experience) refers to an individual who has sufficient relevant work experience in fire systems design with a minimum of four (4) years working as a fire systems designer within the last ten (10) years in the category being applied for. 


In order to achieve Transitional Accreditation an individual must:


  • Submit an FPAS Accreditation application form, and
  • attend an FPAS Accreditation Information Session, and
  • successfully complete a written assessment set by the FPAS evaluation team.


The Scheme requires individuals who hold Transitional Accreditation to 'transition' to Qualified Accreditation within a specified time frame (4 years) once a qualification or approved training is designated by FPA Australia and becomes available to enroll in.


 Exp Path - Design



Relevant Experience

The relevant experience required for Transitional Accreditation is a minimum of four (4) years work in the fire systems design class and categories applied for. The applicant's experience needs to have occurred within the last ten (10) years. In considering applications for accreditation the applicant needs to provide details of work history and practical experience relevant to the categories of accreditation being applied for by submitting:


  • A copy of a current resume
  • Details of a minimum of seven (7) fire protection system designs per category being applied for, including the specific building types and uses where the applicant has designed the fire protection system.   


The projects needs to reflect a diverse range of medium to large size buildings of varying classifications and uses EG aged care, office, residential, hospital, warehouse, assembly, shopping centre.


FPAS Information Session

As part of the accreditation process,  applicants are required to attend/view a mandatory information session.


The FPAS information session will inform you of the:


  • Background to FPAS and the need for accreditation
  • Expectations of the FPAS evaluation team
  • Key fundamentals and principles related to designing fire systems
  • Assessment process including examples of assessment questions


Fire Systems Design Assessment

The assessment process has been developed to ensure that individuals applying for accreditation in fire systems design have an adequate minimum knowledge and skill base in the category/s being applied for.


The assessment will include:


  • A supervised four (4) hour (maximum) written assessment with a minimum of 150  questions in multiple choice format
  • A selection of questions that cover the knowledge and skills required for accreditation in the fire systems design class.
  • An open-book format in which the applicant may use relevant Australian Standards and other approved documents such as the National Construction Code, Acts and Regulations. 


The themes covered in the written assessment will include:


  1. Jurisdictional Legislation / Codes  / Standards
  2. Practical application and Knowledge
  3. Specific Systems Design Knowledge of Australian Standards
  4. Specific Systems Design Knowledge.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Maintaining skills and knowledge in the workplace through continuing professional development (CPD) programs is considered essential for practitioners and professionals in many fields. CPD activities in the fire protection industry enable an individual to update and maintain technical competence and effectiveness in the workplace. 


CPD activities can include:


  • formal education and training
  • short courses
  • attendance at workshops, seminars and discussion groups and conferences
  • technical meetings
  • learning activities in the workplace
  • private study of journals, texts etc and 
  • preparation and presentation of materials for courses, conferences and seminars.


Under the Scheme, CPD commitment by an individual will be a requirement of accreditation and renewal, to ensure that an individual is up-to-date with current work practices in the fire protection industry and in their accredited Fire Systems Design class.



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.


Code of Professional Conduct

The Code of Professional Conduct (the Code) prescribes the principles, standards of behaviour and service delivery requirements expected of accredited individuals under FPAS. All accredited individuals must sign the Code of Professional Conduct declaration, stating that they will abide by the requirements of the Code and accept any decision if it is determined they have breached the Code. Breaches of the code may result in termination of accreditation.

The Code of Professional Conduct can he found here


For further enquires please contact FPA Australia on 03 8892 3131 and ask for the Accreditation/Licensing Department or send an email to Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) at .


How to Apply

In order to apply for the FPAS Fire Systems Design class of accreditation please refer to the FSD section of the Scheme document, the NSW Competent Fire Safety Practitioner document, available here 

Disclaimer: FPAS is not a substitute for any requirements for licensing, registration or accreditation established by relevant applicable legislation (state, territory and/or federal) unless otherwise confirmed by relevant regulation.


Please note: Consultation regarding all elements of the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) is ongoing and as such all information contained on this page is subject to change.