Fire Safety Assessment & Fire Systems Design NSW Accreditation Update

From the Fire Protection Association of Australia who currently are the accreditation body for Fire Safety Assessment and Fire Safety System Design.
Fire Safety Assessment & Fire Systems Design NSW Accreditation Update

In 2017, the NSW Government amended the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the Regulation) to require the endorsement of fire systems designs and performance to be carried out by competent practitioners.  

This change was in line with private certification views of the Independent Review of the Building Professionals Act 2005 (the Lambert Report), which considered the “approach to the regulation of the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire safety system” to be “a major deficiency” in need of urgent reform. 

It was always the NSW Government’s intent that an industry-based accreditation authority would be approved to accredit practitioners. On 1 July, 2020, Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) was recognised as an accreditation authority by the NSW Department of Customer Service. The announcement by the NSW Secretary recognised FPA Australia for Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD).  

NSW FSA and FSD practitioners can be recognised through a Transitional pathway until 30 June 2021 after which only the Qualified pathway for accreditation will apply.  

Who is affected by this change?
Fire Safety Assessment and Fire Systems Design Practitioners operating in New South Wales only, this change applies to:
Practitioners who currently hold Transitional Accreditation
Practitioners who are currently undertaking assessment for Transitional Accreditation; and
Persons who are wishing to become accredited through the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme  

What does this mean for you? 
From 1 July, 2021, the Transitional Accreditation pathway for NSW FSA and FSD will no longer be available and all new applicants MUST meet the Qualified Accreditation requirements. The Qualified Accreditation pathway will be the ONLY pathway available to applicants from that date.   

FPA Australia is encouraging all practitioners operating in NSW to complete the Transitional Accreditation for NSW FSA and/or FSD by 11.59pm on 30 June, 2021.  If you have not applied, or are yet to finish, we recommend you complete the Transitional pathway as soon as practically possible.   

Practitioners who hold a Transitional Accreditation for NSW FSA or FSD will have a period of four years dating either from the day they were accredited or 1 July, 2020, whichever is the later to meet the Qualified criteria, as detailed in the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS)  

Please refer to the relevant links below to understand what the criteria for the Qualified Accreditation pathway will be:
Fire Systems Design
Fire Safety Assessment  

We are aware that existing practitioners operating in NSW conducting FSA and FSD work may not have a direct correlation to qualifications identified in the matrix, these circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis.  

What are the benefits?
In NSW a practitioner is unable to sign off on measures they are not accredited for and through the Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD) Accreditation model, industry (rather than Government) is demonstrating its competence and providing certainty to clients and other stakeholders in the fire protection industry.

This is part of a national discussion about the recognition of skills and qualifications, and we see the recognition of the Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD) Accreditation categories as a model that can be picked up effectively by other states and territories. 
All other fire protection roles are unaffected by this change.  

What’s changing and why you need to know about the changes?
FPA Australia will cease ALL assessments being undertaken through Transitional Accreditation for the NSW Fire Safety Assessment and Fire Systems Design pathway from 11.59pm on 30 June, 2021 with the Qualified Accreditation pathway taking effect from 1 July, 2021.   

It’s important to understand that FPA Australia is unable to allow a person to become accredited through the Transitional Accreditation for either the NSW FSA or FSD pathways from 1 July 2021 onwards, and assessments will automatically close at 11.59pm on 30 June, 2021.   

If you are part way through an online assessment of a Fire Safety Measure at that time, you will be unable to complete the requirements and will be required to gain Accreditation through the Qualified Pathway.  

All new applicants must apply through the Qualified Accreditation pathway from 1 July, 2021, for NSW FSA and/or FSD.   

Frequently Asked Questions and Scenarios
To ensure we are communicating the right messages to all relevant stakeholders please submit your questions to fpas@fpaa.com.au including your mobile number, so that FPA Australia can contact you for clarification, if required.  FPA Australia will be running face to face information sessions (where applicable) and webinars to ensure that everyone can understand the process and ask questions.  

We understand that you may have questions that have not been answered in the content above, we will endeavour to update our Scenarios and Frequently Asked Questions to ensure the message is communicated to all relevant stakeholders.  

Please feel free to forward this information onto your colleagues who may be impacted by the change in the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) pathway to become an Accredited Practitioner in New South Wales.  

Kind Regards  
Amanda Hogarth
National Manager Accreditation
Accreditation & Licensing
Fire Protection Association Australia

About ndibs

Officially a senior citizen. Husband, Father & Grandfather.
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