President's Report - 31 January, 2021

Posted on : Sunday, 31 January 2021

Dear members, 

FPA Australia has an important purpose:  to maintain and improve fire safety. 


As part of that mission, the Board and staff are committed to a goal of improving the professionalisation of the sector and increasing practitioner skills. 


Earlier this month, we released a qualifications matrix for consultation with members based in New South Wales. 


The motivation for this work was the reforms currently occurring in that state in design and assessment, and the need for a qualified pathway for practitioners. 


The matrix forms part of our thoughts on what might be included in a national framework, that have guided our responses to inquiries by the Australian Building Codes Board and allowed us to  consider what skills might be needed to improve performance across all parts of the industry. 


This is a draft position paper designed to flesh out the ideal qualifications for different roles in the industry. 


For those interested, the matrix can be found here and we have a feedback template here


This is another step in our ongoing attempts to ensure that the industry is sustainable, trusted, and reliable. 


Our overall strategy is to develop similar matrices tailored to each jurisdiction, especially for those that currently have no licensing or accreditation frameworks. 


These will look to apply common standards where appropriate, but to tailor requirements for local circumstances where necessary. 


The role of an industry association such as ours is to support our members while, at the same time, helping them to become better skilled and more professional. 


This will lead to safer communities, where loss of life, injury, and damage to property and the environment are eliminated through effective fire protection. 


I encourage all of you to provide your thoughts and feedback, so that we can identify the right training standards for all practitioners. 


And deliver a better skilled, more professional, fire protection industry. 


Stay safe! 


William (Bill) Lea, AFSM