The Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) has submitted a response to CITB’s consultation on a new training standard, ‘Understanding Fire in Buildings’. The ASFP agrees that all who attend site should know the purpose of the fire safety measures that are installed in the building and the effect that their own interactions with it may have. However it notes that fire safety and particularly passive fire protection installation is a skilled trade and should only be undertaken by appropriately qualified and certified companies and individuals.
The ASFP agrees that training on fire safety in buildings should be standardised and made mandatory for all involved in construction, However, the Association urges that the target audience for the standardised training be clearly defined. It believes that the proposed standard will cover the needs of non-fire specialists but considers that those whose primary function is fire safety will need more detailed training. The ASFP also notes that three hours of training is probably too much for non-fire protection specialists who simply need to understand the basics of fire safety and the need to defer to others with an appropriate fire safety skill set.
The ASFP also agrees that an element of independence should be built into the assessment process, such as use of the existing system that is utilised to evaluate the mandatory (Health and Safety) modules of the current NVQ level 2. However, ASFP has concerns that not all current providers of quality training will be Approved Training Providers (ATOs) under CITB rules and calls for a period of grace that will allow those who are not to prove their credibility and/or become ATOs.