Fire Systems Design

FPAS is now mandatory in NSW


The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) was formally  approved by the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service under  section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018


This means that if you: 


  • endorse plans and specifications for designs, and do not hold C8 or C14 registration with the Department, you must be Fire Systems Design (FSD) accredited; or


  • endorse fire safety measures on annual or supplementary fire safety statements, you must be Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) accredited. 


All other fire protection roles are unaffected by the announcement.  


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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.

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About the Fire Systems Design class of FPAS accreditation


The Fire Systems Design (FSD) class accredits individuals who perform design activities relating to selected fire safety systems. The Scheme currently covers activities associated with the following fire safety systems:


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


These three (3) areas of work form the current available categories of Fire Systems Design.  


In the future, additional categories may be included, such as but not limited to, 'Mechanical design', 'Exit and emergency lighting', and 'Passive Fire Protection'.


Fire Systems Design 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.


For each fire safety system available under the Scheme, practitioners can select the appropriate Level of work that best suits their individual needs and circumstances. Each Level specifies the system types, configurations and the nature of work a practitioner at that level is accredited to undertake, as well as any conditions that relate to the defined level.


Further information on the categories and accreditation levels and restrictions can be found in Practice Note FSD-01 Fire Systems Design Accreditation Levels and Restrictions.



New South Wales Government recognition


On 1 July, 2020, the Secretary of the NSW Department of Customer Service approved FPA Australia as an accreditation authority under section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018


This recognition was given in relation to the Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD) classes of FPAS accreditation under the state's 2017 fire safety reforms.


This means that individuals holding FSA or FSD accreditation, as appropriate, are now 'Accredited Practitioners (Fire Safety)' under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (formerly competent fire safety practitioners) and are the only ones who can endorse: 


  • design plans and specifications (except for C8 electrical engineers or C14 hydraulic certifiers); or
  • fire safety measures on an annual or supplementary fire safety statement.


Full details on the FSD class of accreditation can be found in the NSW Competent Fire Safety Practitioner Scheme document.



Scope of activities for Fire Systems Design


The scope of work covered by the Fire Systems Design class of FPAS accreditation 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.



Accreditation pathways


Accreditation under the Fire Systems Design class of accreditation is currently only available through an experienced person's process known as Transitional Accreditation. The next stage of the scheme will include an additional pathway, known as Qualified Accreditation.


This additional pathway is for individuals who hold specific qualifications in fire systems design recognised by the Scheme. All accredited practitioners who are granted Transitional Accreditation are required to transition to Qualified Accreditation within four years of the Scheme being recognised by the NSW Government.


Transitional Accreditation (through experience) refers to an individual who has sufficient relevant work experience in fire systems design. 


To be eligible an applicant is required to demonstrate relevant, diverse and appropriate experience for each level of Fire Systems Design accreditation.


  • Level 4 (Specialist) - 4 years' experience within the last 10 years (sprinkler design only);
  • Level 3 (Advanced) - 3 years' experience within the last 10 years;
  • Level 2 (Intermediate) - 2 years' experience within the last 10 years; or
  • Level 1 (Basic) - 1 year's experience within the last 10 years.



Application process for FSD accreditation


Applying for FSD accreditation is a six-step process as shown in the below diagram.


FSD Application Process 1B




Demonstrating relevant experience


Applicants are required to provide evidence of relevant experience for the category and level applied for. The information required includes completion of a Design Project Logbook and a Statutory Declaration to confirm experience.


To complete the logbook, applicants are required to provide 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, e.g. aged care, office, residential, hospital, warehouse, assembly, shopping centre.


The Project Logbook and Statutory Declaration can be downloaded from the below links.


Fire Systems Design Project Logbook

Fire System Design Statutory Declaration



FPAS information session


As part of the accreditation process, applicants are required to 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; and
  • 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 cover:


  1. Jurisdictional legislation/codes/standards;
  2. Practical application and knowledge;
  3. Specific systems design knowledge of Australian Standards; and
  4. Specific systems design knowledge.





The Scheme requires accredited individuals to be appropriately covered by insurance for the fire protection services they undertake. Further information about insurance requirements can be found in the Scheme Document.



How to apply


To apply, log in to FPA Australia's CONNECT website and go the FPAS > Fire Systems Design page, or click on the link below:


Apply here



Fee schedule


The following fees apply to individual accreditation. Fees will be collected in two stages:


Stage 1


The Application Fee, including the fee for each category and jurisdiction applied for is payable at time of lodging your application. Your application will be processed once you have paid these fees.


Stage 2


The Annual Accreditation Fee is payable once your accreditation has been approved and you have been endorsed in at least one category of Fire System Design.

The Application, Category and Jurisdiction fees are non-refundable once an application has been submitted. Prices include GST.


  • Fire Systems Design Application Fee - $330
  • Fee per Category - $330 (includes one assessment)
  • Fee per Jurisdiction - $330
  • 1st Year Annual Accreditation Fee - $935 (includes one year accreditation fee, listing on the accreditation register)


Other fees:


Re-assessment Fee

Relates to each assessment that needs to be retaken. A limit of one resit is permitted


Annual Renewal Fee

Base Renewal Fee.


Fee per category


Fee per jurisdiction






CPD Log Form for Fire Systems Design & Fire Systems Certification


CPD Log - Excel




Sample CPD Log