Fire Risk Assessment

IFC Certification Ltd (IFCC), a member of the internationally renowned IFC Group, provides independent third party certification of companies undertaking fire risk assessments. The scheme is open to all companies, organisations, partnerships and sole traders. Certification to the IFCC 0099 scheme is for the company for whom the fire risk assessors work, not for certification of the individual fire risk assessors, unless assessed as sole traders.

The scheme is available for either ‘Internal Company Certification’ or ‘Professional Company Certification’. A company involved in undertaking fire risk assessment for various clients as a professional service is categorised as a ‘Professional Company’ within the scheme requirements.

IFCC have developed 3 categories of scheme:

Risk Category 1 – Any buildings with a short duration evacuation and where the building design is relatively compliant to conventional fire safety design codes. This includes offices; retail, assembly and similar buildings; and smaller residential apartment buildings.

Risk Category 2 – Any buildings with a longer duration evacuation having a higher reliance on fire safety precautions, such as passive fire protection and/or sprinklers. That includes hotels; hospitals; care homes; nightclubs; tall office buildings and similar. Buildings in this category should be relatively compliant to conventional fire safety design codes. Any buildings such as shopping centres that rely on smoke ventilation systems to protect the occupants during evacuation would be included within this category.

Risk Category 3 – Any buildings with an unusual or specialist risk that requires specialist skills to assess. This includes oil and gas installations, any buildings which house large amounts of combustible materials; nuclear; historic buildings; buildings that used extensive fire engineering in the design and buildings that are significantly non-compliant to current fire safety design codes.

The Certification Process

Certification is conducted in two parts; an audit of the the Company management systems, and competence assessment of the individuals being put forward for assessment.

An Audit of the company’s management systems is undertaken at their premises. Evidence of insurances held by the company relating to the fire risk assessment work, details of training and experience of the fire risk assessors are also verified. In addition, for a ‘Professional Company’ a declaration of the type (risk category) of fire risk assessment work undertaken by the company is required.

The applicant company is required to provide sample reports produced by each of the individual risk assessors employed by the company for review. If these reports satisfy IFCC requirements, the individuals are invited to undergo a technical interview. This review is usually undertaken at IFCC offices, however, arrangements can be made to undertake this at the company’s premises.

Each Fire Risk Assessor undertakes a three stage technical interview to assess their competence.

The first stage is a technical review of the previously submitted reports produced by the individual.

The second stage of the interview involves a case study of the appropriate risk category(s). Plans of a building and details of its use are provided and the risk assessor is requested to produce a bullet point fire risk assessment report of their review, in order to demonstrate their FRA knowledge.

Stage three involves the fire risk assessor answering a range of questions; the answers given are then assessed against current legislation and good practice.

After conclusion of the interview, the responses to all three stages of the technical interview are marked and reviewed. In order for the company to achieve certification both the company audit and the competence assessment of the employed fire risk assessors has to be satisfactory.

Benefits of IFCC 0099 Fire Risk Assessor Certification

• Demonstrating a superior service

• Differentiating yourself from competitors

• Having a defensible legal position in case of prosecution

Companies that use internal Fire Risk Assessment and hold IFCC 0099 certification can demonstrate to their senior management appropriate risk management. This provides re-assurance for the company employees as the company can demonstrate that the company takes its employees and on-site workers health and safety seriously. It can also reduce the chance of successful prosecution, or the threat of being sued should an incident occur. It also demonstrates investment in staff training and development. Finally it allows the Fire Risk Assessment to be ‘signed off’ by a proven ‘Competent Person’.

‘Professional Company Certification’ helps you market and sell your services to a wider market, now including those that require Certified Risk Assessors for their audit.

It allows you to market your services with greater confidence and often command a higher fee as you can demonstrate use of qualified staff over a company that cannot show that its people have met the standards required. It gives you a head start when more legislation comes in for FRAs.

Our team of experts will be pleased to discuss any of our services with you.

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