The NSW Government approved Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) comes into effect on July 1, 2020. This 2017 legislation is important news for the fire protection industry as only those trained as Competent Fire Safety Practitioners (CFSP) accredited through the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) are now authorised to undertake Essential Fire Safety assessments under the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Regulation 2000 in NSW
Wormald has worked proactively to ensure numerous staff are qualified and hold the required Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) class of FPAS accreditation recognised by the NSW Government. In order to meet the FSA’s stringent requirements, individuals must demonstrate they have the required knowledge, skill and experience to perform the role of a fire safety assessor. They (or their company) must also hold the appropriate insurance and agree to abide by the FPA Australia Code of Professional Conduct.
Individuals are additionally required to undertake assessment of the performance capabilities of up to 32 fire safety measures (FSM) for the purpose of completing assessment of a building, and to complete CFSP sections of the approved annual fire safety statement form.
What this means for annual building certification
The change put in place by the NSW government marks a significant change for the fire protection industry in NSW. The most important change is the requirement for only accredited Competent Fire Safety Practitioners to perform assessment on sites of the existing fire safety measures.
Wormald previously outlined implications of the NSW fire safety reforms for building owners and developers, building certifiers and fire safety system designers, identifying the liability issues around annual fire safety assessments not performed according to the new regulation.
The role of a fire safety assessor explained
- Fire safety assessors must satisfy the fire safety practitioner aspects of Part 9 Division 5 of the EP&A Regulation to:
- Identify the standard of performance to which Fire Safety Measures (FSMs) are required to operate and perform
- Assess (inspect and verify) that FSMs are operating and performing as required
- Inspect exits and paths of travel to exit to ensure there is no offence under the Regulation (as applicable), and
- Complete the CFSP aspects of the approved Annual Fire Safety Statement for annual or supplementary fire safety statements.
FPA Australia has a series of online resources including accreditation pathways, and a detailed description of the Fire Safety Assessment role validated via the FPAS accreditation process, available here. A register of accredited individuals has also been published by FPA Australia and is available here.
Wormald is available to answer any questions or concerns about the new legislation. Please contact our team on 133 166.