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Tim WAWAW  
#1 Posted : 03 January 2018 11:18:12(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Tim WAWAW

I need to undertake a fire risk assessors training course and there are several on offer. I really need some advice on which is the best to take, be it a NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management or a five day risk fire risk assessors course with a Institute of Fire Safety Managers qualification at the end.

I'm a Health and Safety advisor and our business does not have a competent person to complete a fire risk assessment.

Could someone please help with advice.

Thanks in advance

Tim

SBH  
#2 Posted : 03 January 2018 15:50:25(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
SBH

Take the NEBOSH cert first, you may need the basic grounding it offers.  In the interim you could consider employing an external assessor.You dont mention what your industry is and whether the assessment is a complex one or not. Tread carefully.

SBH

Member of

Tim WAWAW  
#3 Posted : 04 January 2018 10:51:19(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Tim WAWAW

Hi,

Thanks SBH for that, i work in the automotive industry, the sites that i will be carrying out fire risk assessments are between low to medium risk sites, my thought with the NEBOSH course was that it was not not that specific, where as the other cousre could be more useful if i was to move away from my current job, but still not sure which would be better, HELP!!!!!!!!!

Invictus  
#4 Posted : 04 January 2018 11:07:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Invictus

There is also the link below for the FPA they run a number of courses and you can have a look at what they offer or contact for advice. I have alsways found there courses good and have met the needs of a number of industries I have been in.

Remember training is just giving you a background knowledge and without using keys quotes the real work starts when you start to put that into practice.

https://www.thefpa.co.uk/training/training-courses.html?

thanks 1 user thanked Invictus for this useful post.
chris42 on 12/01/2018(UTC)
rick448  
#5 Posted : 09 January 2018 16:51:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
rick448

I am attending the FPA Fire Risk assessors course later this month. I have previously completed the Nebosh Fire Cert and am just about to complete the H&S Diploma, however I don't feel that either of these have given me the skills necessary to carry out Fire Risk assessments in some of the areas I now work in, and this is with over 30 years Fire and Rescue experience thrown in. 

thanks 1 user thanked rick448 for this useful post.
chris42 on 12/01/2018(UTC)
Tim WAWAW  
#6 Posted : 10 January 2018 10:19:19(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Tim WAWAW

Thanks Rick,

Any ideas which would be the most suitable course for fire risk assessing at a medium risk business?

Tim

rick448  
#7 Posted : 10 January 2018 11:33:58(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
rick448

Originally Posted by: Tim WAWAW Go to Quoted Post

Thanks Rick,

Any ideas which would be the most suitable course for fire risk assessing at a medium risk business?

Tim

I've sent you a PM. 

chris42  
#8 Posted : 12 January 2018 09:13:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Originally Posted by: rick448 Go to Quoted Post

I am attending the FPA Fire Risk assessors course later this month. I have previously completed the Nebosh Fire Cert and am just about to complete the H&S Diploma, however I don't feel that either of these have given me the skills necessary to carry out Fire Risk assessments in some of the areas I now work in, and this is with over 30 years Fire and Rescue experience thrown in. 


Very interesting comment, I have wondered about the level of this course. In your view what level of company is the course good for / appropriate for, when doing Fire RA’s ?

Chris

stuart46  
#9 Posted : 12 January 2018 09:51:18(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
stuart46

Hi Tim,

I did a three day course with the FPA about 18 months ago. The course was excellent. Previous H&S experience helps but overall the course was a good grounding for carrying out a releatively comprehensive fire risk assessment. Would certainly recommend.

RayRapp  
#10 Posted : 12 January 2018 11:03:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: rick448 Go to Quoted Post

I am attending the FPA Fire Risk assessors course later this month. I have previously completed the Nebosh Fire Cert and am just about to complete the H&S Diploma, however I don't feel that either of these have given me the skills necessary to carry out Fire Risk assessments in some of the areas I now work in, and this is with over 30 years Fire and Rescue experience thrown in. 


Very interesting comment, I have wondered about the level of this course. In your view what level of company is the course good for / appropriate for, when doing Fire RA’s ?

Chris

Chris, I think this a pertinent point. The two course for me are stand alone courses providing different training although there will no doubt be some overlap. In my experience you cannot be a competent fire risk assessor with just a five day training course. You need some background knowledge in fire safety and management to support the FRA process. 

chris42  
#11 Posted : 12 January 2018 11:43:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Originally Posted by: RayRapp Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: rick448 Go to Quoted Post

I am attending the FPA Fire Risk assessors course later this month. I have previously completed the Nebosh Fire Cert and am just about to complete the H&S Diploma, however I don't feel that either of these have given me the skills necessary to carry out Fire Risk assessments in some of the areas I now work in, and this is with over 30 years Fire and Rescue experience thrown in. 


Very interesting comment, I have wondered about the level of this course. In your view what level of company is the course good for / appropriate for, when doing Fire RA’s ?

Chris

Chris, I think this a pertinent point. The two course for me are stand alone courses providing different training although there will no doubt be some overlap. In my experience you cannot be a competent fire risk assessor with just a five day training course. You need some background knowledge in fire safety and management to support the FRA process. 


Thanks Ray, I think this is what the OP is asking, if you are say at point zero with no or limited fire knowledge and want to get to competent Fire risk assessor what are the appropriate courses and route.

The courses and route may be different if you work in a care home, or a bus workshop, or a joinery company, or an office or a manufacturing factory or housing association or a chemical plant. So what is the route from start to competent or them all. I personally see little value in the course, if you can’t do the job afterwards, unless its only intent is to give background knowledge.

I’m not convinced a background in the fire service is necessarily a good thing (not necessarily a bad thing either), but I don’t want to hijack this thread with that.

Chris

RayRapp  
#12 Posted : 12 January 2018 12:02:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Chris, this is one of the 4 pillars of competence - experience. You can't get a qualification in experience in any industry.

David Bannister  
#13 Posted : 12 January 2018 12:34:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
David Bannister

I started my career many years ago as a fire surveyor for an insurance company and received excellent training & education in fire matters as they relate to buildings and businesses, but nil with regards to personnel safety. At that time it was a uniquely Fire Brigade preserve.

By the time the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 came around I was well established and I think well-regarded in my career (including Diploma & appropriate IOSH membership) and was rather taken aback that I was now being expected to think about people in a fire situation, not just premises, equipment and materials and business continuity. With that in mind I took a 5 day course on Fire Risk Assessment with Lancashire FRS and was very bored by most of the content although did learn much about warning and escape.

Having that long experience and level of knowledge I now consider myself competent to tackle most commercial and industrial fire risk scenarios, but NOT so for high-rise or sleeping accommodation where non-ambulant people may be present. Whilst I have no desire to extend my competence in to those levels, I have a fear that some practitioners are tackling these sites with inadequate knowledge, skill, wisdom and experience.

I hope that the Gov't review post-Grenfell will genuinely address competency for such matters.

Edited by user 12 January 2018 12:37:44(UTC)  | Reason: added missed word

chris42  
#14 Posted : 12 January 2018 13:14:33(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Yes, I agree with both of you regarding experience, especially about the post Grenfell disaster.

However, those days are gone or radically changed in my view. It used to be that you would learn your trade next to the competent person and soak in their knowledge and experience, apprentice style. But companies don’t have time or resources to have one qualified and one learning on the job – not in H&S anyway as a general rule. 

So, we end up back with how do you gain experience. You can’t do the job without experience and you can’t gain experience without doing the job. The other thing about experience is how can you tell. You have one person do a particular job once and another person do the same particular job 20 times. Who is to say the person who did it only once didn’t do it the best way it could be done and who is to say the person who did it 20 times was not just lucky with their method? But who do you accept is the most experienced? So, experience in my view can be made on dubious foundations.

Training should include practical not just theory, but you should be able to actually do the job sufficiently well at the end or what is the point. As noted above you do 20 office risk assessments ok, now to move to manufacturing unit, really? You pass your driving test which is practical and theory and you may not be the best driver in the world straight after, but competent enough to go forth on your own. 

Latest IOSH magazine has an article about H&S being a first career, how is that going to work then for the future. There has to be a process to go from start to competent with regard to Fire Risk assessment in today’s climate.

Chris

Edited by user 12 January 2018 13:15:50(UTC)  | Reason: word auto correct issue

RayRapp  
#15 Posted : 12 January 2018 21:14:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

I think this is one of the real problems with Fire Risk Assessors who often work autonymously. I have engaged several fire risk assessors and their competency has varied quite considerably, from those who have the hands on knowledge, typically ex-fire service, to those who have the theory but not much practical knowledge. There is a place for both these types if managed correctly.

Some might consider my views a bit rich given I have no fire safety qualifications whatsoever. Indeed when I took my current role I had only a very basic knowledge of fire safety. However I was 'lucky' in that there was not a big focus on fire safety when I arrived a few years ago - there is now!

So, experience comes with time and doing the job. Ulitmately I think it is about knowing your limitations as well. For example, knowing about fire safety in a social housing environment is very different to an oil rig or a chemical plant. That is not to say a person does not have some overlapping skills and with some mentoring could not become competent in another industry.

Similarly no one became a Chartered Member of IOSH or any other institution immediately. It takes time to learn your trade. Sure, that status alone does not guarantee competence, but it is a good indicator.        

ColinT  
#16 Posted : 15 January 2018 12:49:20(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ColinT

Hi Tim

I have completed the NEBOSH Fire Cert which gives underpinning knowledge but nothing in the way of risk assessment. I then completed a Fire Manager Certificate ( 5 days) and an Advanced Fire Manager Diploma with Vulcan Fire Safety (5 days, 4 open book exams an a 10,000 word project) Both of these courses were excellent with the emphasis on practical exrecises based around plan drawings and scenarios. Does this make me a competed fire risk assessor ? No, but competent enough to know what I can do and when I need someone more specialised to come in.

thanks 1 user thanked ColinT for this useful post.
chris42 on 15/01/2018(UTC)
chris42  
#17 Posted : 15 January 2018 17:31:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

I have seen posts on here saying the Vulcan courses were good and I thought about that route some time ago, but that was because it was more than 5 years since I did the NEBOSH cert & Diploma and would have to have done a part again, which I didn’t want to.

So experience aside for the moment ( as I didn’t want ot hijack the thread), the OP so far has the choice of :-

NEBOSH fire Cert or

Fire risk assessors course with a Institute of Fire Safety Managers or

FPA course or

Vulcan training Fire Manager cert then Advance Fire Manager Diploma

So which is the best course of action for a newbie to this ?  to at least satisfy the academic side of competence (the equivalent to new driver I mentioned, they can do it acceptably, but will get even better in time)

Do you really need to do the NEBOSH first or just go and do the FPA course or Vulcan or Institute? And would this be sufficient Qualifications for a medium risk manufacturing company (do you think,). That is the question they seem to be asking.

Chris

Tim WAWAW  
#18 Posted : 16 January 2018 13:42:37(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Tim WAWAW

Ive looked at all the courses on offer and had lots of advice, it seems the NEBOSH does not offer enough in the  fire risk assessment.

I have now actually booked on the FPA 5 day fire risk assessors course at the Fire college in Moreton in the Marsh and the feedback i have had from many different people is that this would be the most suitable. I'll let you all know!

Thanks for all the advice

Tim

firesafety101  
#19 Posted : 19 January 2018 13:51:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

David Bannister touched on the post Grenfell review and I hope there will be recommendations for FRAs to be carried out by FRS.

In my opinion the increase in fire deaths and the number of large fires are due to the cuts in FRS and those cuts need to be reversed.

In the past with the Fire Precautions Act fire brigades would inspect and make requirements which if not followed would result in prosecution.

Present day FRAs can be carried out by untrained people, or people assessing property way above their level of training and competence.

People request advice and guidanCe from present day FRS and recieVe the right advice but the problem is they don't HAVE TO act on that advice.

I don't wish to kill the work carried out by those who currently do a very good job of FRAs but do think I am right.

My opinion of course. 

Messey  
#20 Posted : 19 January 2018 16:23:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

Good God FS101

I do hope the fire service stay as enforcers and dont get their mits on fire risk assessments!

The FPA was a blunt tool that frankly didnt work so well in all cases and was a huge burden for businesses

I worked in a team of 40 fire safety Inspecting Officers. Out of that number, 18 or so were good to excellent, whereas the others ranged from jobsworths to hangers on. Senior managers who needed to sign off enforcemet notices were often not fire safety competent, but passing through a fire safety dept on their way to the next rank. Even now I do not see the level of FS competence in fire services that I do in the real world - even though I accept that there are plenty of cowboys operating at the moment.

Post Grenfell will almost certainly result in a 'Gas Safe' type competency register for fire safety practioners. I believe small low risk premises will remain as now, that non competent people will be able to carry out FRAs. This would allow the owner of a SME to carry out his own FRA. But - as with the Fire Precuation Act,  there will be a definition of high risk - if you like a bar will be set - and anything over that bar will require someone from that register.

Sleeping risks over a certain height, healthcare or vulnerable persons, and places of entertainment are bound to be on that list. Perhaps shops and offices over a certain area in size will require the same.

But please no, lets not go back in time and give it back to the fire service. It will be akin to ditching the tablet and using slate and chalk!! :)

thanks 2 users thanked Messey for this useful post.
David Bannister on 20/01/2018(UTC), lorna on 22/01/2018(UTC)
toe  
#21 Posted : 19 January 2018 18:32:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
toe

Originally Posted by: Messey Go to Quoted Post

Good God FS101

I do hope the fire service stay as enforcers and dont get their mits on fire risk assessments!


I fully agree with Messy and this statement.

firesafety101  
#22 Posted : 20 January 2018 12:57:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Messey Go to Quoted Post

Good God FS101

I do hope the fire service stay as enforcers and dont get their mits on fire risk assessments!

The FPA was a blunt tool that frankly didnt work so well in all cases and was a huge burden for businesses

I worked in a team of 40 fire safety Inspecting Officers. Out of that number, 18 or so were good to excellent, whereas the others ranged from jobsworths to hangers on. Senior managers who needed to sign off enforcemet notices were often not fire safety competent, but passing through a fire safety dept on their way to the next rank. Even now I do not see the level of FS competence in fire services that I do in the real world - even though I accept that there are plenty of cowboys operating at the moment.

Post Grenfell will almost certainly result in a 'Gas Safe' type competency register for fire safety practioners. I believe small low risk premises will remain as now, that non competent people will be able to carry out FRAs. This would allow the owner of a SME to carry out his own FRA. But - as with the Fire Precuation Act,  there will be a definition of high risk - if you like a bar will be set - and anything over that bar will require someone from that register.

Sleeping risks over a certain height, healthcare or vulnerable persons, and places of entertainment are bound to be on that list. Perhaps shops and offices over a certain area in size will require the same.

But please no, lets not go back in time and give it back to the fire service. It will be akin to ditching the tablet and using slate and chalk!! :)

Hi Messey, long time no chat.

my reasoning is from experience of FRAs I have done in the past few years where my assessment disagreed with previous assessors.

you mention sleeping risks over a certain height, what about a hairdresser ground floor with 1st floor sleeping accommodation.  who assesses that.

I found no fire seperation, no alarms, no means of escape except through the shop which was the Risk etc. etc.

Is that High Risk and would it be on your list.

If your route is deemed the best the bar will be set very low otherwise no improvement will occur.

On another point the FRS will not be training staff to undertake FRAs therefore no competence.  as you know money has been withdrawn from FRS and needs to be eversed, that could include  for such training.

I learned to write on slate and chalk, that was all right for me ha ha haaaaa

Take care pal.



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