IFE launches recruitment drive for volunteers to support competency frameworks


Matt Dodwell – PR and Communications Officer, The Institution of Fire Engineers

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has announced the launch of a new recruitment drive aimed at bolstering its volunteer cohort, ahead of commencement of the competency requirement in s156(4) of the Building Safety Act (BSA) 2022 and the new British Standard for Fire Risk Assessor competence.

The fire risk assessor space is moving towards a system of Conformity Assessment and certification schemes are central to this. The IFE is making way for further opportunities to shape the industry’s standards and practices at a most challenging time.

Recruiting volunteers with diverse backgrounds and skills is critical to achieving the IFE’s mission in ensuring a comprehensive approach to advancing fire safety standards globally and ensuring visibility of competency levels across the sector.

Voluntary roles are at the beating heart of the IFE and vary from assessing competency levels for membership, drafting exam papers that shape the fire safety workforce and helping pave way for a journey to Engineering Council registration. IFE Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are dedicated to developing expertise in various areas of fire safety, from heritage buildings and transport, to emerging trends and electric vehicles. As we await the Grenfell inquiry report publication and forthcoming legislation changes, the evolving landscape of fire safety emphasises the increasing need for specialised expertise in the growing premise of safety subject areas.

The call for volunteers comes at a pivotal moment in the fire safety sector, with the Industry Benchmark Standard from the Fire Sector Federation emphasising the importance of maintaining a suitable record of learning and development.

“The IFE recognises the critical role that competency plays in ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities,” said Steve Hamm, IFE CEO. “As we prepare for the implementation of new competency frameworks, we are calling on passionate individuals from all aspects of fire to join us in our mission to advancing fire safety standards and practices. The instant demand for showcasing competencies in fire risk assessment will place an unprecedented demand on the current workforce and we’re working with the Home Office to ensure the support is there.”

The Fire Competency Framework document illustrates the significance of robust record-keeping that demonstrates a commitment to quality and the ongoing professional development of individuals within the industry.

In her Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, Dame Hackitt found the approach to competence within fire safety critical roles, including the FRA role, to be fragmented and lacking cohesion. Volunteers who support this play a crucial role in supporting a robust competence verification system, giving RPs confidence in the assessors they appoint.

Sub-section 156(4) of the Building Safety Act 2022 (BSA) amends the FSO to place a new legal duty on RPs not to appoint a person to assist them with making or reviewing a fire risk assessment unless that person is competent.

IFE members that are interested in becoming a volunteer can visit the IFE website for further information and submit an application. Those interested in being party to helping navigate the changes ahead and helping the workforce demonstrate and align competencies in fire risk assessment will find this a most vital time for the industry. Find out more about volunteering opportunities at www.ife.org.uk/volunteering.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More