Saturday, 27 October 2012

ASFP obtains CITB-ConstructionSkills funding for passive fire protection training scheme

The Association for Specialist Fire Protection has obtained a significant grant from the CITB-ConstructionSkills Growth Fund to develop a nationally recognised industry training scheme for passive fire protection.

The scheme aims to up-skill contractors involved in the installation of passive fire protection as well as improve the knowledge base of those involved in the design, supply, inspection and maintenance of passive fire protection.

It will target three main occupational groups across the sector, including: new entrants to the specialist contractor workforce; contractors within allied specialist trades, such as joiners, dry liners and electricians within the distribution supply chain; and other groups that need a greater understanding of PFP, such as site supervisors, inspectors of fire systems, and building control officers.

Working with its key training partner, the Fire Protection Association, the funding will be used by the ASFP to develop the course structure and deliver a pilot scheme. The syllabus is expected to include a ‘Core module’ followed by a range of specialist programmes. The courses will include practical exercises, undertaken at the FPA’s research and training facilities, while online learning resources will be developed to support face to face training delivery.

The core module will introduce general fire safety concepts, explaining the need for an holistic approach to fire safety in which all types of fire protection system have a role to play. It will then consider issues such as the legal, standard and other code driven requirements for passive fire protection installations; the role of passive protection in ensuring the safety of buildings and occupants; responsibilities of those involved in the process including the designer, specifier, distributor, installer, end user and enforcement officer. It will examine common issues caused by building alterations, as well as presenting potential solutions.

The supporting specialist modules will be more practically-focused and will cover functional areas such as: intumescent coatings; non-reactive coatings; cavity barriers; dry cladding; fire resisting ductwork; fire resisting timber doors; and fire stopping.

Commenting on the funding award ASFP CEO Wilf Butcher declared:  

“The scheme is being developed in response to wide recognition of an identifiable under skilling in passive fire protection within the construction industry workforce, often as a result of PFP being installed as a secondary process by non-specialists.

“The new training scheme aims to significantly improve overall standards of PFP installation. It will enable an up-skilling of the existing workforce by creating a recognised and measurable industry benchmark. It is hoped that this will also lead to greater recognition of the NVQ process in passive fire protection.”

For further information, or if you are interested in contributing to the development of the training scheme, please contact ASFP CEO Wilf Butcher on e-mail:

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