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Third Party Certification

To help business owners make informed decisions about who they should employ to assist them in managing fire safety, third party accreditation systems have been developed.

Third party certification bodies assess companies or individuals to make sure work is carried out to a set standard.  However, anyone can set up a third party certification scheme, so to be credible it should be accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

There are currently only two certification schemes accredited by UKAS:

There are a number of registers for fire risk assessors run by professional bodies in the fire industry.  Although not necessarily a guarantee of UKAS accredited third party certification they show the risk assessor has had to pass a set standard.

  • IFE – members of this register are not required to have a third part certification from a UKAS accredited body but need to pass an assessment by the IFE.
  • IFPO – Institute of Fire Prevention Officers have a register which has aligned its criteria with the new standards.
  • IFSM – The Institute of Fire safety managers has produced the Nationally Accredited Fire Risk Assessors Register (NAFRAR) which is a register of risk assessors who have been certificated through FRACS (their current register includes non-certificated assessors but will end in 2013).
  • FIA – Fire industry Association has a register of fire risk assessors and are working towards basing membership on third party certification by a UKAS accredited body.
  • BAFE – British Approval for Fire Equipment have been developing schemes for UKAS accredited companies.  The standards are detailed on their website but below is a summary of the main ones.
  • SP201 and SP203 – SP201 is a complete package for fire alarms including design, installation, commissioning and servicing.  SP203 has a similar content but is in a modular format.
  • SP101/ST104 – This scheme covers the maintenance of portable fire extinguishers.
  • SP203-4 – This is a modular scheme covering the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of an emergency lighting system.