Accredited Fire Safety Practitioner

Accredited Fire Safety Practitioner Services

In July, 2017, the New South Wales Government announced a series of reforms to fire safety regulation and certification, developed following recommendations made by the independent Lambert Review.

To give effect to these reforms, an amendment was made to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the Regulation) in October, 2017, which introduced the concept of the ‘Competent Fire Safety Practitioner’.

A key aspect of the reforms is to recognise that only competent individuals should perform certain tasks regarding fire safety, and that a qualification alone is not the only acceptable method of demonstrating competency.

Accredited Fire Safety Practitioner - Harbour Fire & Security - Coffs Harbour

Competent Fire Safety Practitioner/Accredited Practitioner (Fire Safety)

The ‘competent fire safety practitioner’ (CFSP) was introduced under clause 167A of the Regulation to replace the term ‘properly qualified person’.

This latter term was not defined, but implied that an individual must hold a qualification to conduct an associated task.

This role of CFSP was introduced for practitioners who:

  • develop performance solutions (some may also need to be fire safety engineers);
  • prepare or endorse plans and specifications for ‘relevant fire safety systems’;
  • apply to exempt a relevant fire safety system from compliance with the National Construction Code; or
  • assess the performance of essential fire safety measures of a building for the purposes of an annual or supplementary fire safety statement.

The term ‘competent fire safety practitioner’ has now been replaced with ‘accredited practitioner (fire safety)’, but the responsibilities of these practitioners remain unaltered.

The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) has now been formally approved under section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018.

This means that, as of 1 July, 2020, practitioners must be accredited under FPAS if they wish to perform ‘regulated work‘ under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (EPAR).

FPAS has been recognised for:

  • Fire Systems Design (FSD) – for practitioners who endorse plans and specifications in accordance with clauses 136AA and 146B of the EPAR; and
  • Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) – for those who endorse essential fire safety measures on annual or supplementary fire safety statements under Part 9, Divisions 5 and 7 of the EPAR.

To perform these roles, practitioners will need to hold an accreditation number, unless they are designers who hold C8 certifier (electrical engineering) or a C14 (hydraulic certifier – buildings) registration with the Department of Customer Service.