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Fire Sector

In the 2012 Fire Sector Summit, Fire Minister Brandon Lewis congratulated the fire industry for some considerable statistical reductions in fire fatalities and non-fatal casualties. From 2001-2002 to 2011-2012, fatalities and non-fatal casualties reduced 34% and 54% respectively, with total fires falling 6% to 227,000.

The Fire Industry Association (FIA), the largest trade association of the UK fire protection industry in a recent 2015 market conditions report detailed the fire sector continuing to grow which is resulting in an increased need for skilled labour and training. The report explains that 35% of fire industry companies have recruited skilled labour in the past six months, compared to 9% losing skilled people. Furthermore 58% of companies are anticipating an increase in training over the next six months. There is increasing competition in the fire industry, with margins being squeezed by increases in materials and supplier costs. Distinction and competitive advantage is becoming increasingly critical across the private sector of fire protection products and fire safety.

CPD in the Fire Sector

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has promoted the completion of Continuing Professional Development for all Fire Engineers since 1997, as a way to “further their knowledge, understanding and expertise”. Rather than a prescribed requirement, the IFE recommends as a guide that Fire Engineers complete at least 25 hours of appropriate learning activities through events and courses each year.

The IFE defines the purpose of CPD perfectly in the following; “The pace of technological and social development has quickened and the life span of information is short. Organisational structures typified by hierarchies, specialist departments, apprenticeship and the concept of a planned career for life are disappearing. They are being replaced by “flatter” structures with an emphasis on adaptability, flexibility, team work, personal judgement and the achievement of objectives. The public perception and expectation of professionals has changed leading to the personal characteristics of professionals being re-defined. This cultural change has affected education and training by putting increasing emphasis on competency, vocational training, workplace learning and CPD.”

The Institute of Fire Safety Managers explains that all members should complete Continuing Professional Development activities each year and, whilst this is currently on a voluntary basis, CPD should still be treated seriously and should start immediately when a member joins the Institute.

Professional Bodies

  • Association for Specialist Fire Protection
  • Fire Industry Association
  • Fire Sector Federation
  • British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association
  • Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association
  • Fire Brigades Union
  • Association of Building Engineers
  • Building Control Alliance
  • Fire Protection Association
  • Institute of Fire Safety Managers
  • Institution of Fire Engineers

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