BAFE and the FIA announced the acquisition of the FIA AO by BAFE FireQual Ltd. BAFE strongly believe this will be a significant opportunity for the fire industry to develop an exciting range of accredited qualifications to meet the demand for quality assurance of individual skill and expertise required by the industry. This necessity was heightened by the Grenfell tragedy and its subsequent reports outlined by Dame Judith Hackitt and the Competency Steering Group. Dame Judith Hackitt stated: “The lack of a coherent approach to competence levels and experience required – or professional qualifications where these may be necessary – and how these qualifications and experience should be evidenced so that they are clearly understood by all those operating within the system.” - 5.2 Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report. Board of Directors FireQual will operate as a separate wholly-owned subsidiary of BAFE, with its own Board of Directors, and will be led by a newly appointed Qualifications Manager who has a wide experience at a senior level in the qualifications sector. The FireQual Board currently is made up of Chairman Lewis Ramsay - former Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Scottish Fire & Rescue, Pauline Traetto - previous Executive Director of BRE Academy, Douglas Barnett - Chairman of BAFE and Stephen Adams - BAFE Chief Executive. For full clarity FireQual will only offer exams and qualifications – neither BAFE nor FireQual will be delivering any training. FireQual will be working with licensed training organizations (including the FIA) who will offer the approved syllabuses to their learners. BAFE consider this separation from training and exams/invigilation, as currently operated at BAFE with the BS 5306 fire extinguisher exam, is important to deliver independent quality assurance of this process. Certification Bodies Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, commented, “There are natural synergies that will occur along with the BAFE ethos of Third Party Certification for companies delivered through licensed [UKAS Accredited] Certification Bodies. We believe that the introduction of accredited qualifications will only enhance the BAFE company schemes. These are not to be thought of as one or the other however, BAFE will continue to monitor company assurance of specific service competency which holds important value. FireQual will develop qualifications for individual expertise for specific services, whether the candidate works for a BAFE Registered Company or not.” Following the acquisition, the FIA AO will continue to deliver their exams until FireQual has established the necessary systems and delivery processes. FireQual aim to make this transition as quickly as possible with all the requirements for OFQUAL and the equivalent standards in Scotland and Wales under way. Fire safety industry qualifications FireQual will take the opportunity to contact a wide range of organizations that currently deliver training across all aspects of fire safety to consider the application of the new range of qualifications that we will be reviewing. FireQual welcomes any approaches to consider how this should develop and looks forward to collaborating with the industry to progress the future of individual qualifications for the fire safety industry.
BAFE is delighted to announce that Lewis Ramsay QFSM has joined the BAFE Board of Directors. Lewis Ramsay is a former Assistant Chief Fire Officer of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service specializing in both Response and Resilience and extensive work in Prevention and Protection. Stephen Adams, Chief Executive – BAFE, commented: “The BAFE Board brings together a very wide range of experience of the fire protection industry and related skills. Lewis’s experience and knowledge will be incredibly important and will help in our efforts to develop BAFE both nationally with the Fire & Rescue Services but also with a focus on Scotland. Scottish Government and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have always been quick to react to fire safety requirements to keep the public and working environment safe.” fire protection Industry Lewis Ramsay noted in a response to the Board and Council “I am delighted to have been appointed to the Board and will work hard to support BAFE during my tenure.” I consider BAFE to have a critical role in the development of competence and quality standards" Also, at the BAFE AGM 2020 (online), Douglas Barnett was also unanimously voted to continue as Chairman for the next two years. Douglas is Director, Mid‑Market and Customer Risk Management for AXA Insurance. The BAFE Board, Council and team welcome this decision especially at this time of great challenges for the fire protection industry. competence and quality standards Douglas responded: “It is a great honor to receive such strong support from the BAFE Board and Council. I consider BAFE to have a critical role in the development of competence and quality standards in the fire protection industry in the post-Grenfell era. I am delighted that Lewis Ramsay has joined the Board bringing a wide range of skills and experience to support us. I look forward to working with the team over the next two years.” BAFE are extremely grateful for the Board and Council’s contribution in developing and promoting quality in fire safety and for the support of our Certification Bodies, Trade Associations and most especially the commitment of our Registered Companies.