Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) has
stressed the importance of ensuring competence as the foundation of
any accreditation scheme introduced under the NSW government's
reforms to fire safety regulations.
Commenting on the proposed reforms, which include mandatory
accreditation for fire safety industry members, FPA Australia
maintained its strong support but noted the current wording
around who could attain accreditation could be more sharply
"The intent of the reforms is to improve fire safety. If those
providing services in the fire protection industry attain a NSW
accreditation simply by being a member of an organisation rather
than by having demonstrated their individual competence under a
recognised accreditation scheme, the intent has been undermined,"
said FPA Australia General Manager Technical Services and
Deputy CEO Matthew Wright.
The FPA Australia submission, which is a consolidation of
feedback from and consultation with NSW industry members,
"Merely holding membership of a group or the holding of a
qualification purporting to represent competency should not be
acceptable. The regulations should not promote any inferred
suggestion that membership equals an acceptable assessment of
competency if it does not."
According to Mr Wright, recognition of competence through
accreditation for both the built environment and bushfire, will be
a vital next step and will progress in consultation.
"FPA Australia is fully supportive of the proposed reforms and
believes the observations and recommendations made in its
submission will assist to fine tune what is a well thought through
and very important document."
Among other areas addressed in the submission:
- Better documentation for performance expectations of a
building's fire safety systems at the construction phase and for
the life-cycle of the building
- Clarity around exemptions to compliance to avoid current
- The introduction of additional critical stage inspections
targeting passive fire protection installations
- The additional inspection role proposed for Fire and Rescue
- The development of Performance Solutions relating to fire
- Clarification of a building's Annual Fire Safety Statement to
reduce current confusion and to ensure only a properly accredited
and competent fire safety practitioner can prepare a fire safety
schedule and an annual fire safety statement.
"FPA Australia congratulates the NSW government on progressing
these reforms as the leading jurisdiction developing contemporary
requirements to improve professionalism and increase fire safety.
Other states should be watching and following the lead the NSW
Government has shown," said Mr Wright.
FPA Australia congratulates incoming NSW Minister for Innovation
and Better Regulation, the Hon. Matt Keane. Minister Keane takes
over the tremendous work done by the former Minister, the Hon.
Victor Dominello who has moved to the Finance portfolio. FPA
Australia looks forward to working with Minister Keane and building
on the tremendous progress achieved in improving fire safety in
To read the full submission click