NSW delivering on fire safety reforms

Posted on : Thursday, 28 February 2019

The New South Wales Government has formally approved Fire Protection Association Australia's (FPA Australia) accreditation scheme under the state's 2017 fire safety reforms.


The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) will be formally recognised after a phase-in period of approximately 12 months. After this time the NSW Government will recognise as 'competent fire safety practitioners' individuals who hold the appropriate class of FPAS accreditation.


The applicable FPAS classes of accreditation will include Fire Systems Design (FSD) and Fire Safety Assessment (FSA).


The announcement represents a major step forward in fire safety in NSW, delivering on the NSW Government's 10-point action plan to improve fire safety in the state. It also acts on the recommendations in the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence report, and the earlier Lambert Review.


"We applaud the NSW Government and Minister Matt Kean for prioritising the fire safety of the community and implementing these major reforms, and for working closely with industry to make this happen," said Scott Williams, FPA Australia's CEO.


"The NSW Government's recognition of FPAS will improve the quality and consistency of fire protection work in the state, and puts NSW at the forefront nationally of implementing the recommendations of last year's Shergold-Weir report."


As part of its 10-point plan, the NSW Government is committed to partnering with industry to improve fire safety and building outcomes.


"I congratulate FPA Australia on becoming the first accrediting body capable of accrediting competent fire safety practitioners approved by the NSW Government," said Minister Matt Kean, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation. "This appointment is another key step towards ensuring the people of NSW are safe."


Under the state's 2017 fire safety reforms, introduced by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Fire Safety and Building Certification) Regulation 2017, building owners are required to use competent fire safety practitioners (CFSPs) for certain types of fire protection work, including fire systems design and fire safety assessment.


Until recognition of an industry accreditation scheme, building owners have been required to satisfy themselves that the fire protection practitioners they select are competent. Following official recognition of FPAS, building owners will be required to use a CFSP accredited by FPAS or other future approved schemes.