FPA Australia seeks extension on QBCC licensing changes

Posted on : Friday, 26 March 2021

Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) has written to the Queensland Government and other politicians to express serious concerns about the ability for the fire protection industry to comply with new requirements and the likely increase of risk to the community. 

 

Without sufficient time to upskill, the industry is facing a shortfall of the practitioners who maintain the systems that keep people safe. 

 

Our letters are response to the proposed changes, due to commence on 1 May, 2021, and the difficulties many companies are facing to get their employees licensed within the regulated timeframe. 

 

A majority of our members that work in Queensland have advised us about concerns for their employees, their businesses, and their ability to fulfil work contracts once the changes commence. 

 

We have passed these issues on to the Queensland Government, and raised our concerns about shortfalls in consultation that have allowed this oversight to happen. 

 

There is clearly a lack of available training capacity, insufficient time to complete training, and a foreseeable gap that will occur, resulting in fire protection measures in buildings not being maintained. 

 

While FPA Australia strongly supports reforms that will improve the competency of fire protection practitioners, we fear that the mandate to implement the changes from 1 May, 2021, will result in a significant portion of the current fire protection sector not holding the required licence.  

 

This is despite the fact that many of the current practitioners have been performing these tasks for several years.  

 

More engagement is needed to get these reforms in place without detracting from community safety. 

 

We have asked that the implementation be delayed for 12 months to allow the industry time to upskill, and that a transition period be implemented to cater for existing practitioners and to provide a pathway towards qualifications and the recognition of prior learning. 

 

A copy of one of these letters can be found here

 

FPA Australia has a common purpose with the Queensland Government to pursue community safety.  We are available and willing to work with the regulatory authorities on any proposed improvements to the fire safety industry.