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FPA Australia Announced as Accrediting Body for Bushfire Practitioners in WA

Posted on : Friday, 14 August 2015

The Western Australian government today announced that Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) is the first organisation to be recognised as an accrediting body for Bushfire Practitioners in accordance with the state's Bushfire Accreditation Framework released earlier this year.


FPA Australia has been working closely with the state government to develop an appropriate framework for the recognition of individuals who undertake bushfire assessments which is based on similar systems that are in operation in other parts of Australia.


The Framework sets out the Government's road map for establishing a professional bushfire practitioner industry and is in response to recommendations made in an independent review into the Perth Hills bushfire which occurred in February 2011.


FPA Australia is the national peak body for fire safety that provides information, services and education to the fire protection industry and the community. Association CEO Scott Williams said the move was good news for the Western Australian Bushfire Planning industry and the community.


"This is a proactive and responsible approach from the Western Australian government and we are pleased to see such a positive move towards professional recognition for practitioners undertaking this important and potentially lifesaving work," he said.


"Ensuring that only appropriately skilled and competent practitioners are engaged to conduct bushfire planning work in Western Australia is critically important for maintaining community safety in bushfire prone areas."


To support the accreditation of Level 1 BAL Assessors and the introduction of legislative changes to planning and building in bushfire-prone areas, FPA Australia will be providing two specific training courses to address the roles and responsibilities for a range of professionals who will be involved in this field of work.


The first course is a 5 day short course that provides participants with the required skills, knowledge and ability to determine a Bushfire Attack Level and provide advice on the required construction provisions.


The second course is a two day awareness course that provides participants with a broad understanding of the new building and planning requirements for development in bushfire prone areas in Western Australia.


The training courses will commence in September and are expected to be available throughout 2015 and 2016.  Courses will be held in both metropolitan and regional centres.  A detailed course schedule and enrolment form and Frequently Asked Questions document can be downloaded from


In Western Australia the draft State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning for bushfire risk management strongly recommends the use of accredited BAL Assessors and Bushfire Practitioners to determine Bushfire Attack Levels and prepare Bushfire Management Plans.  A practitioner accredited under FPA Australia's BPAD Scheme will be recognised as an accredited person under this policy.


The implementation of an accreditation scheme for bushfire practitioners will support future changes to the planning and building requirements for bushfire-prone land in Western Australia that are expected to be implemented later this year.  The aim is to have a cohort of individuals accredited prior to the implementation of these essential changes.


The initial launch of the BPAD Scheme in Western Australia will offer accreditation of practitioners as Level 1 BAL Assessors.  This level accredits an individual to provide Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments and to provide general advice in relation to the building requirements related to a determined BAL. It is expected that additional levels of accreditation covering activities related to the preparation of bushfire management plans and other planning related activities will be announced soon.


The creation of a professional bushfire practitioner industry with appropriate levels of training and accreditation will:


  • enable effective, professional and consistent advice for land-use planning and building decision processes;
  • improve bushfire risk management measures being applied to land uses and development;
  • provide individuals with professional standing and expertise to provide BAL assessments and provide bushfire planning and design services; and
  • improve the safety of local communities and strengthen community resilience to bushfire events.


The BPAD scheme has already been successfully implemented in New South Wales and Victoria. For further information on the BPAD Scheme and to apply for accreditation as a Level 1 BAL Assessor, visit