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									                                 ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




             ABBE Level 3 Certificate
             in Fire Risk Assessment

               Qualification Handbook




Release Issue 1: November 2008                                      page 1 of 39
ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Release Issue1: November 2008                      Page 2 of 39
                                                           ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



CONTENTS
                                                                                        Page

                  About ABBE                                                            4

SECTION 1         INTRODUCTION                                                          5
         1.1      Background to the development of the ABBE Level 3                     5
                  Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment
            1.2   Structure                                                             5
            1.3   Guided Learning Hours                                                 5
            1.4   Assessment and grading                                                7
            1.5   Resources                                                             7
            1.6   Delivery                                                              7
            1.7   Recruitment and access                                                8
            1.8   Categorising candidates’ prior experience and/or qualifications       8
            1.9   Candidates with particular assessment requirements                    8
           1.10   Key skills                                                            8

SECTION 2         EVIDENCE                                                              10
         2.1      Achieving units 1, 2 and 3 and 4                                      10
         2.2      Evidence collection                                                   10
         2.3      The importance of selection                                           13
         2.4      Accreditation of Prior Achievement                                    13
         2.5      The role of the candidate                                             14
         2.6      Portfolio organisation                                                14

SECTION 3         ASSESSMENT AND INTERNAL VERIFICATION                                  15
         3.1      Role of mentor/advisor                                                15
         3.2      Role of the assessor                                                  15
         3.3      Assessment methods                                                    16
         3.4      Assessment records                                                    17
         3.5      Role of the internal verifier                                         17
         3.6      Role of the external verifier                                         17
         3.7      Enquires and appeals                                                  17

SECTION 4         OCCUPATIONAL COMPETENCE OF ASSESSORS AND                              19
                  INTERNAL VERIFIERS
            4.1   Assessors                                                             19
            4.2   Internal verifiers                                                    19
            4.3   Centre assessor and IV training requirements                          19

SECTION 5         EXTERNAL EXAMINATION                                                  20
         5.1      Examination arrangements                                              20
         5.2      Examination content and format                                        20
         5.3      Application for reasonable adjustments                                21

SECTION 6         ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS                                           22

SECTION 7         STRUCTURE AND CONTENT                                                 23
         7.1      Qualification structure                                               23
         7.2      Limitations of competency                                             24
         7.3      Benchmarks for the qualification                                      25
         7.4      Unit structure                                                        27
                  Unit 1 Professional practice in fire risk assessment                  28
                  Unit 2 Fundamental principles and concepts for fire risk              30
                           assessment
                  Unit 3 Prepare to undertake fire risk assessments                     35
                  Unit 4 Undertake and report on a fire risk assessment                 36

Appendix          Additional unit Information                                           38



 Release Issue 1: November 2008                                                               page 3 of 39
ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



ABBE LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATE IN FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT

OFQUAL Accreditation Number:                       500/5481/8

Qualification Accreditation start date:            01/11/2008
Qualification Operational start date in Centres:   01/11/2008
Qualification end date:                            31/12/2010
Qualification Certification end date:              31/12/2013

This guide is for prospective and existing ABBE approved assessment centres who wish to offer
the ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment (Cert.FRA). It provides the qualification
specification and guidance on evidence and assessment requirements.

The Certificate is aimed at those who intend to carry out fire risk assessments as ‘competent
persons’ as required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 [RRO]. This qualification
has been designed to enable candidates to demonstrate their ability to undertake this work and is
suitable for both in-house assessors and independent consultants.

At level 3 candidates will be undertaking fire risk assessments on non complex low-rise/medium
rise buildings with a low to medium occupancy risk. ABBE is developing a level 4 award that will
target more complex buildings: see section 7.1 for a more detailed indication of levels.

This qualification concentrates on fire risk assessments for the purpose of ensuring adequate
levels of life safety rather than property protection or business continuity.

This handbook should be used in conjunction with the ABBE Centre Operations Guide, available
from the ABBE website www.abbeqa.co.uk, or by telephone from the ABBE office on 0121 331
5174.

ABBE (Awarding Body for the Built Environment)

ABBE is an Awarding Body regulated by Ofqual for the delivery of a range of qualifications that
form part of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the Qualifications and Credit
Framework [QCF].

ABBE has developed considerable expertise in overseeing high quality assessment for the higher
level vocational qualifications in the Property and Construction sectors of industry. Since its
inception late 1997, ABBE has grown steadily and currently offers a suite of qualifications to the
industry through its assessment centres.

The Certificate has been accredited by OFQUAL and ABBE centres are adopting a variety of
robust, innovative assessment methods for prospective fire risk assessors.

ABBE contact details

For further information please contact

ABBE (Awarding Body for the Built Environment)
Birmingham City University
Franchise Street
Perry Barr
Birmingham
B42 2SU

Telephone:         0121 331 5174
Fax:               0121 331 6883
Email:             abbeenquiries@uce.ac.uk
Website:           www.abbeqa.co.uk




Release Issue1: November 2008                                                       Page 4 of 39
                                                           ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

SECTION 1       INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the development of the ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk
        Assessment (Cert.FRA)

        The need for the Cert.FRA has been brought about by the Government’s Regulatory
        Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO).

        The Fire Safety Order requires that fire risk assessments will be produced by a
        ‘competent person’, but without defining competence in terms of either qualification or
        learning. The ABE Certificate in .Fire Risk Assessment [CertFRA] is a competency-based
        award that has been developed to provide a structured qualification that requires
        candidates to demonstrate that they are capable of carrying out fire risk assessments and
        have the under-pinning knowledge needed.

        This qualification has been developed in consultation with representatives from industry
        organisations and employers. This qualification has been accredited by OFQUAL as a
        Level 3 qualification in the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) and is eligible for
        public funding as determined by the DfES, under Sections 96 and 97 of the Learning and
        Skills Act 2000. It can be found on the OFQUAL database of accredited qualifications at
        www.Ofqual.org.uk.

        This document contains guidance on assessing the ABBE Level 3 Cert.FRA. The
        Certificate includes four units in the new format specified by the Qualification and Credit
        Framework (QCF). Competency-based units set out the required learning outcomes and
        assessment criteria to set out how fire risk assessments must be carried out.

        Candidates must complete all 4 units of the 30 credit certificate and the external
        examination [independent assessment]. A separate Unit [unit 2], has been
        introduced to assess underpinning knowledge and understanding across the scope
        of a fire risk assessor’s operations and candidates must achieve this unit before
        they can undertake any of the practical units [3 and 4].

        The guidance contains further details of the assessment and quality assurance of the
        qualification together with advice about ABBE’s policy concerning access to the
        qualification, the design of programmes of study and delivery modes.

        This qualification has been designed to encourage participation in education and training
        in other related areas.

1.2     Structure

        To achieve the full qualification, a candidate must successfully complete all 4 units and a
        short exam, which is linked to unit 2 for certification purposes.

        Candidates will be qualified to undertake fire risk assessments on low-rise, non-complex
        buildings. They will need to demonstrate that they have collected appropriate data to
        identify and evaluate fire risks, and make well-reasoned recommendations for action
        across a range of situations. Candidates would need to complete the following units:

                                                                           Learning time
                                                            Credit                                     QCF unit
 Unit                         Title                                      Guided        Private
                                                            value                                      reference
                                                                        learning        study
                                                                         (hours)       (hours)
 1       Professional practice in fire risk assessment         4           20            20         Y/502/0757
 2       Fundamental principles and concepts for fire         12           60            60         K/502/0763
         risk assessment
 3       Prepare to undertake fire risk assessments            4           20            20         T/502/0765
 4       Undertake and report on fire risk assessments        10           30            70         F/502/0767



                                            Page 5 of 39
ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



         The ABBE Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment is designed to:

             establish a framework of education and training for prospective fire risk assessors;
             provide opportunities for prospective fire risk assessors to achieve a nationally
              recognised level 3 qualification;
             define the knowledge, understanding and skills candidates need to undertake fire risk
              assessments;
             provide opportunities for candidates to develop their Key Skills abilities: a range of
              skills and techniques, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful
              performance in working life.


1.3      Guided learning hours (glh)

         The ABBE Cert.FRA is a Level 3 award and has an anticipated 130 hours of guided
         learning. Guided learning hours refer to the amount of study undertaken by the candidate
         under the direction of the trainer. This could include tutorials, directed research, project or
         assignment work. This is intended as a guide only and the actual amounts of time will
         vary according to the needs of the individual candidate.

1.4      Assessment and grading

         The ABBE Cert.FRA is competence-based and criterion-referenced. Units 1, 3 and 4
         have a standard format that is designed to provide clear guidance on the requirements of
         the qualification for candidates, assessors and verifiers and are assessed by a
         combination of work related evidence and an external examination. Unit 2 contains the
         requirements for knowledge and understanding and candidates must achieve this Unit
         before sittind the External Examination.

         None of the units within this qualification are graded.

         All four units must be completed successfully and the ABBE External Examination passed
         in order to gain the full qualification.


1.5      Resources

         This qualification is designed to accredit the skills and knowledge held by experienced
         candidates and to prepare inexperienced candidates for employment as a fire risk
         assessor. Centres must ensure that candidates have access to resources of industry
         standard to support the delivery and assessment of this programme.

         Staff delivering programmes and conducting the assessments should be fully familiar with
         current practice and standards in the sector concerned. Centres will need to demonstrate
         how candidates will access any specialist resource requirements when they seek
         approval from ABBE.

         All staff involved in the assessment and verification of this qualification must have the
         necessary occupational skills and experience required. See Section 4: Occupational
         competence of assessors and internal verifiers for further details.


1.6      Delivery

         It is important that centres develop an approach to teaching and learning that supports the
         assessment of the specialist vocational nature of the ABBE Cert.FRA. The specifications
         contain a balance of practical skill and knowledge requirements, some of which can be
         theoretical in nature.




Release Issue1: November 2008                                                           Page 6 of 39
                                                           ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

      Tutors and assessors need to ensure that appropriate links are made between theory and
      practice and that the knowledge base is applied to the sector. This will require the
      development of relevant and up-to-date teaching materials that allow candidates to apply
      their learning to actual events and activity within the sector, and to generate workplace
      evidence for their portfolio

1.7   Recruitment and access

      ABBE’s policy regarding access to its qualifications is that:
       the qualifications should be available to everyone who is capable of reaching the
         required standards and has access to appropriate work to generate evidence;
       the qualifications should be free from any barriers that restrict access and
         progression;
       there must be equality of opportunity for all wishing to access the qualifications.

      Centres should ensure that they recruit candidates to this qualification with integrity. This
      will include ensuring that applicants have appropriate information and advice about the
      award and that it will meet their needs and expectations.

      Centres must assess each applicant’s potential and make a professional judgment about
      their ability to successfully complete the programme of study, where applicable, and
      achieve the qualification. This assessment will need to take account of the support
      available to the candidate within the centre during their programme of study and any
      specific support that might be necessary to allow the candidate to access the assessment
      for the qualification.

      Further information on equal opportunities and access to fair assessment can be found in
      the ABBE Centre Operations Guide available on the ABBE website at www.abbeqa.co.uk
      or by telephone on 0121 331 5174.

1.8   Candidates with particular assessment requirements

      ABBE recognises that some candidates have difficulty with the learning demands of a
      course or find the standard arrangements for the assessment of their vocational
      competence presents a challenge. This may apply to candidates with known and long-
      standing learning difficulties and/or physical or other impairments.

      Centres must take steps to ensure that any particular assessment requirements are
      identified as early in the programme as possible, preferably at initial assessment stage,
      and appropriate arrangements are put in place to support the candidate.

      Further information on equal opportunities and access to assessment can be found in the
      ABBE Centre Operations Guide available on the ABBE website at www.abbeqa.co.uk or
      by telephone from 0121 331 5174.

1.9   Key skills

      The following table shows where evidence produced for the ABBE Cert.FRA Level 3 may
      contribute to achievement of Key Skills units. This provides an indication only and does
      not imply full coverage.

      Key Skills Units                                    ABBE Level 3 Cert.FRA
                                                 Unit 1      Unit 2        Unit 3       Unit 4
      Communication Level 3                         X                        X             X
      Application of Number Level 3
      Information Technology Level 3                                                       X
      Working with Others Level 3



                                           Page 7 of 39
ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




          Improving own Learning and                 X           X
          Performance Level 3
          Key Skills Units                                  ABBE Level 3 Cert.FRA
                                                   Unit 1      Unit 2   Units 3     Unit 4
          Problem Solving Level 3                                                     X
          Ethical, social, legislative, economic     X
          or cultural considerations
          Sustainability, Health & Safety,           X           X        X           X
          European international
          developments




Release Issue1: November 2008                                                       Page 8 of 39
                                                          ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

SECTION 2:    EVIDENCE

2.1   Achieving the units

      It is expected that the award requirements are met by the submission of evidence
      generated from within the work-place, however this could be supplemented by training
      activities for Units 1 and 2 that are assessed by assessment centres.
      Candidates are required to produce a minimum of three fire risk assessments and
      associated advisory reports. Assessors must assess all three. Candidates must
      complete all 4 units and the external examination [independent assessment].
      Candidates must achieve unit 2 before they can undertake any of the practical units
      [3 and 4].

      Candidates’ evidence must demonstrate:

             that they have applied the knowledge contained in Unit 2 when carrying out their
              fire risk assessments;
             how they identified key aspects of construction, use and fire risks for each
              property;
             how they analysed and evaluated the data collected, and
             their justifications for the recommendations made for each fire risk assessment
              report.

      The assessments used to ensure coverage of the learning outcomes for the units can be
      summarised as follows:

             A multiple choice test (set by ABBE) to test underpinning knowledge
             Three appropriate fire risk assessments
             Supporting evidence such as site notes and correspondence to accompany each
             A critical reflection on the process and rationale for key decisions made.

      The evidence required for assessment is covered in more detail below in section 2.2.

      It is the responsibility of assessment centres to confirm the fire risk assessments, are valid
      and the un-aided work of candidates and to assess them fully to establish that they meet
      the award requirements to the extent ABBE has specified.

      Computerised simulations are not acceptable for assessment purposes though
      they may be used for training.

2.2   Evidence collection

      Evidence from the candidate's own work - direct or primary evidence

      The most important source of evidence will be the candidates’ own performance at work.
      It is called direct evidence because it was produced directly by candidates. Both the
      products (what is done) and the processes (the way it is done), can be used as evidence.
      Direct evidence will normally take the form of:

         Work products, typically documents that are used or generated by candidates when
          undertaking fire risk assessments. For example:
          o Copies of all correspondence between candidates and their clients at all stages of
             the process
          o Photos, sketches and/or drawings that sufficiently portray the nature of buildings
             and occupancies
          o Records of information from interviews with staff.
          o Pro-forma’s based on PAS 79 or equivalent in respect of the completed:
                 o Fire Risk Assessment
                 o Action Plan



                                           Page 9 of 39
ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




             Personal statements, often referred to as storyboards, describing particular
              situations or activities candidates have dealt with; the evidence collected, reasoning
              behind decisions made; and the resulting outcomes.

              For example:
              o The process adopted by candidates from the point of receiving instructions
                  through to the submission of the reports and recommendations in each case.
              o The nature of the buildings assessed in terms of their construction and layout.
              o The nature of occupancies and/or processes undertaken.
              o The existing fire precautions and (fire) management practices that are in place
              o The perceived classification of risk presented by existing circumstances
              o The reasoning behind the evaluation of risks and adequacy of exiting provisions
                  for fire safety, including details of codes or standards referred to.
              o The reasoning behind recommendations that are made for changes to the fire
                  precautions or management of premises.
              o Points at which candidates determined that aspects of fire risk assessments were
                  outside of their own competency and action taken to remedy this.

             Video or audio recordings showing activities or recording questioning sessions.


         Evidence supplied by others - indirect or secondary evidence

         Evidence of candidates’ performance may be gathered from various other people, e.g.
         line managers, previous employers, colleagues, customers, suppliers or staff. This is
         called indirect evidence because it is evidence that infers candidate competence by
         consulting others. This evidence might be sought after the submission of the direct or
         primary evidence as a means of addressing any shortcomings that assessors may detect
         in terms of evidence, analysis or performance.

         This evidence might include:

             Reports on candidates’ performance - e.g. appraisal reports; feedback from
              customers; staff or team meeting notes; market research findings; evaluation
              seminars

             Witness testimony provided by line managers, colleagues or peers and describing
              candidates’ performance in a specified activities or roles

         Those who supply witness testimonies are often referred to as witnesses. Witness
         testimonies should include telephone/email details for witnesses so that they can be
         contacted by assessors or verifiers, if required.


         Evidence supplied by assessors

         Assessors are an important source of evidence for candidates, and assessors can
         contribute directly to candidate portfolios in the following ways:

             Observation report - Assessors observe candidates carrying out tasks or activities
              and make detailed records of what they observed, along with decisions on the
              candidates’ competence.

             Record of Q&A - Assessor question candidates to test knowledge and understanding
              and provide records the question and answer session so that verifiable audit tracks
              are created.




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                                                     ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

     Structured professional interview (SPI) – otherwise referred to a Professional
      Discussion. The SPI is an assessment tool that allows assessment centres to
      undertake detailed and structured interviews with candidates to speed up the
      assessment process via single interviews rather than candidates compiling the
      specified additional evidence in their own timescale. In addition, candidates who still
      have competence gaps even when they have submitted all the required evidence may
      find that the SPI is an ideal way for them to address these small shortfalls.

      The SPI is well suited to ‘experienced practitioners’, as they will probably be able to
      come forward with the required evidence of competence more quickly than those who
      are new entrants.

      A guidance documentation on SPI is available on the ABBE website at
      www.abbeqa.co.uk It is important that both assessors and candidates are fully aware
      of the guidance because SPIs are not an ‘easy option’ that circumvent the rigour of
      more standard methods of assessment. The assessors take on a considerable
      responsibility for structuring and recording in detail the assessment activity and the
      candidate needs to prepare well to enable the interview to be a success.


Amount of Evidence

The ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment has been designed to enable
assessment centres to ensure that candidates have sufficient occupational competence to
practise as fire risk assessors. Candidates are, therefore, expected to be able to submit
valid evidence derived, as far as possible, from the workplace to enable the assessment
centres and ABBE to verify their competence.

Candidates will be required to produce a minimum of 3 fire risk assessments and the
specified additional evidence. The 3 fire risk assessments must be drawn from a range of
properties with differing occupancy types that present a varied range of fire safety issues.

It would greatly assist candidates, assessors and verifiers if the fire risk assessments
could be entered on to a grid for easy reference. An example of a grid is shown below,
the buildings chosen are purely indicative, and the buildings actually used may be drawn
from a wider range. Candidates should ensure that their selected buildings represent
sufficient breath.


    Attributes           Low rise (1-2 storey)           Medium rise (3 – 5 storey)
    Low risk             Doctor’s surgery                Small office building providing
                                                         serviced office suites
    Higher risk          Car body shop
    occupancy

NOTE: 2 of the three risk assessments MUST be done on buildings that are
accessed by the public on a regular basis.

Guidance on using the grid.

The grid above is common to many of ABBE’s awards. The number of fire risk
asessments that candidates are required to submit is relatively low [in this case 3].
Therefore the grids should be constructed carefully to enable candidates to optimise the
range of buildings, building occupancy and use that they bring forward as evidence. The
grid carefully selects the most crucial building types/useage to ensure that basic
competence is demonstrated. It must be noted that the submission of a small number of
reports cannot cover all the types of building and complications that in working life the fire
risk assessor is likely to come across.



                                     Page 11 of 39
ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



         However, ABBE’s award has been designed to enable successful candidates not only to
         gain entry to this market, but also to give them the skills needed to sensibly handle
         buildings that did not form one of the three buildings assessed to achieve the award in the
         first place. Good assessment centres will also be able to assist in this area.


2.3      The importance of selection

         The task of generating and collecting evidence for a portfolio is a new experience for
         many candidates and there is a temptation to include everything that might seem to be of
         value. However, if an item does not show how the candidate performed it may not be
         relevant at all.

         Candidates should always ask the question 'What does this prove?' and try to select
         evidence which they are proud of and which shows that they have done well. This will
         ensure good evidence, covering significant performance. The best portfolios are not
         necessarily the heaviest.


2.4      Accreditation of Prior Achievement (APA)

         Employer organisations, professional bodies and training providers can apply to ABBE to
         have their organisation/course/training etc recognised as covering parts of the Certificate.

         To be entitled to APA candidates must provide their assessment centres with proof such
         as proof of membership of a professional body, employment or training courses attended
         and must include this proof or a copy of it of this in their portfolios. Assessors must record
         in the candidates assessment records that candidates have been granted the appropriate
         APA.

         As it is the responsibility of assessment centres to declare candidates as competent or
         not, and validate all credit claims made by candidates before formally granting the prior
         achievement/learning.

         All credit must be accepted unless it becomes clear from the assessment process that the
         credit is not justified. ABBE must be informed of any cases for which APA credit has been
         denied.

         Candidates who knowingly submit false information about membership /
         employment will have their ABBE certification withdrawn.

         Credit is awarded in the following ways:

         Accredited Organisations

         Organisations that can prove that they cover some of the performance evidence required
         by the award in question. Professional bodies and other organisations that have codes of
         practice covering professional ethics and CPD are typical applicants.

         Recognised educational courses/training

         Approved providers are typically academic institutions and training providers whose
         assessed qualifications demonstrate candidates have the underpinning knowledge and
         understanding requirements of the ABBE Cert.FRA.


         Credit Availability

         ABBE awards governed by the APA scheme usually have limits on the amount of credit
         that can be granted to candidates. If credit limits were not in place then candidates might,


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                                                          ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

      with the exception of the External Examination, which is set externally by ABBE, be able
      to achieve an award solely by submitting evidence of prior achievement. Credit limits are
      set to ensure that assessment centres always have opportunities to assess candidates.
      Full details regarding the amount of credit available for each award is set out in the ‘ABBE
      Guide to making APA applications’ available online.

      This award has the same Unit 1 as that used in the ABBE energy awards. The following
      information sets out against the ways in which achievement of this award will help
      candidates achieve the ABBE energy awards and visa versa. For full details of all
      these and any other credits available for this award please see the ‘ABBE APA
      agreements’ also available online.

      Unit 1

              Candidates who have achieved Unit 1 of the ABBE Level 3 Cert.FRA will be
               deemed to have covered unit 1 of the ABBE energy awards, including the level 3
               Dip.OCEA, Levels 3 and 4, Dip.NDEA and level 3 Dip.DEC.

              Candidates who have achieved Units1 and 2 of the ABBE Diploma in Home
               Inspection (Dip.HI) or Diploma in Domestic Energy Assessment will be deemed to
               have covered Unit 1 of this award.


2.5   Role of the candidate

      Candidates with the support of their assessors and employers must:
       identify sources of evidence generating and collecting the evidence to demonstrate
         their competence to the requirements of the qualification;
       number and cross reference evidence;
       check whether further supporting evidence is needed;
       present evidence for assessorment;
       obtain feedback from the assessor;
       carry out any necessary follow-up action
       arrange for simulations or other evidence gathering/assessment techniques needed
         to cover gaps in work experience and/or evidence


2.6   Portfolio organisation

      Candidates must collect their evidence of competence together into a ‘portfolio’. This
      could be held in hard copy or electronically.

      Responsibility for developing the portfolio (and ownership of it) stays firmly with
      candidates, but it is very important that they receive continuous help and support. This
      help can come from a range of people, including line managers and colleagues, mentors,
      advisers, tutors, as well as assessors.

      The quality and presentation of the portfolio is central to the success of candidates’
      submissions. Each item must be clearly identified and accurately recorded. It be easy to
      identify the learning outcomes that have been achieved” candidates are claiming with
      the evidence presented in their portfolios.


      Confidentiality

      There are some circumstances where candidates (or their employers) might have good
      reasons for not wishing original evidence to be viewed by others, (e.g. by assessors from
      competitor organisations or disclosure of confidential information). Assessors should work
      with candidates to respect these areas (e.g. by advising candidates to remove confidential
      information from reports before submitting them).


                                          Page 13 of 39
ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




SECTION 3: ASSESSMENT AND INTERNAL VERIFICATION – GENERAL GUIDANCE.

3.1      Role of mentor/advisor

         Centres may wish to allocate mentors or advisors to candidates to provide support during
         the assessment process. They can provide encouragement, reassurance and support to
         candidates, and act as advocates if need be. Mentors may come from within employer
         organisations or from the approved assessment centres. They do not have a formal role
         or responsibility in assessment, but can act as objective sources of comment or guidance.
         They can help candidates to reflect on their activities and suggest solutions to problems.
         They can support them through the process of portfolio building, help them to identify
         possible sources of evidence, and where appropriate supply witness testimony.


3.2      Role of the assessor

         The role of the assessor is to:

             Carry out an initial assessment of candidates to identify their current level of skills,
              knowledge and understanding and any training or development needs.

             Draw up an assessment plan, identifying opportunities for evidence collection.

             Review the evidence presented against the requirements of the qualification, to make
              judgements on the overall competence of candidates.

             Provide feedback to candidates on their performance and progress. This feedback
              needs to give candidates a clear idea of how their portfolios are progressing to date
              and where further evidence is required and how best to obtain this. It should also
              enable candidates to plan for those units where they currently have little experience
              or knowledge.


         When assessing candidates’ evidence, assessors must take the following into account:

             Authenticity – was this work produced by the candidate? Does it reflect the
              candidate’s own performance?

              It is essential to ensure that candidates have generated the evidence provided. The
              evidence must be presented in a way that allows candidates contributions to be
              identified, and it must relate to their own competence.
              Assessor need to ensure that evidence is authenticated by means of endorsements
              by third parties such as candidates’ line managers or colleagues, or by observing
              candidates or by questioning them. In some situations, candidates’ roles and
              responsibilities may need to be described precisely to confirm the authenticity of the
              evidence. This description must be signed by the appropriate parties (e.g. line
              managers or supervisors).

             Sufficiency – does the evidence presented cover all the performance criteria, scope,
              knowledge and understanding, required by the national standards?

              Taken as a whole, the evidence must match the whole standard and enable
              assessors to judge that candidates are consistently competent across all of the
              requirements of the qualification.

             Currency – does the evidence reflect the candidate’s current level of competence?
              Assessors have to determine that candidates are competent now and will continue to
              be so in the foreseeable future. To show this, evidence must be current. It should be
              as recent as possible, though this will depend on the nature of the evidence. One

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                                                          ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

          way that candidates can show how recent it is to (wherever possible) ensure that all
          pieces of evidence in portfolios bear the dates of their origin. The recognition of
          previous achievements raises particular issues of currency. If, for instance, legislation
          has changed since this activity, this item of evidence would have to be supported by
          evidence of their awareness of present legislation and how it would affect current
          practice at work.

         Validity – is this appropriate evidence for the competence being assessed?

          The evidence candidates present must be relevant to the units they are undertaking
          and must satisfy the relevant Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria. However,
          it is worth noting that one piece of evidence in a portfolio can be used to prove
          competence against more than one Learning Outcome.

         Reliability – would this evidence produce the same assessment judgement if
          assessed by someone else?


          Assessors must be confident that they ‘have faith in’ the quality of the evidence that
          has been presented. They need to consider whether they would make the same
          judgements on evidence if they assessed it again in, perhaps, a month’s time and so
          whether another assessor would make the same judgements if they assessed it.


3.3   Assessment methods

      As stated earlier, where, above and beyond the 3 fire risk assessments and the specified
      additional evidence requirements, competence gaps still exist, assessors can use a range
      of assessment methods to assess the evidence produced by candidates, including:

         Direct observation of candidates carrying out a tasks or activities

         Examination of work products produced by candidates (e.g. diary notes, site notes,
          completed reports)

         Examination of witness testimonies from people, other than assessors, who are
          prepared to provide statements detailing specific details of candidates’ performance

         Review of records of ‘question and answer’ sessions covering specific aspects of the
          knowledge and understanding and scope

         Examination of accreditation of prior learning activities such as mapping of a
          recognised APA (see Section 2.2)

         Structured Professional Interviews (SPIs) in which candidates conduct a ‘show and
          tell’ exercise by presenting evidence from files and records rather than taking copies
          for portfolios (see Section 2.5 for further details).

          Further information on these assessment methods can be found in the ABBE Centre
          Operations Guide.




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                                                           ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



3.4    Assessment records

       The recording of assessment activity, including assessment decisions, and access to
       evidence is essential for verification purposes. Assessor must keep the following records
       and make them available for internal and external verification purposes:

           assessment plans for each candidate
           records of assessment activities undertaken, including observation of candidates
            where appropriate
           records of assessment judgements made on candidate evidence
           records of feedback to candidates

       Further information is available in the ABBE Centre Operations Guide.


3.5    Role of the internal verifier

       An internal verifier must be appointed to ensure the quality and consistency of
       assessments within the centre.

       Each assessor’s work must be checked and confirmed by an internal verifier. Internal
       verifiers check and standardise the assessment decisions made by assessors in centres.

       Internal verifiers must observe assessors carrying out assessments, review assessment
       decisions from the evidence provided and hold meetings with assessment teams to
       ensure consistency in the use of documentation and interpretation of the qualification
       requirements.

       Further information on the role of the internal verifier is available in the ABBE Centre
       Operations Guide.


3.6    Role of the external verifier

       External verifiers check the assessment and internal verification process and decisions
       made in the centre and authorises claims for certificates. External verifiers are appointed
       by ABBE.

       Further information on the role of the external verifier is available in the ABBE Centre
       Operations Guide.


       Note

       This qualification is a verified vocationally related qualification and as such is not
       governed by the NVQ Code of Practice. However, as the assessment and verification
       model for this qualification mirrors that of an NVQ, the NVQ Code of Practice should be
       used as a ‘best practice’ guide.


3.7    Enquiries and appeals

       Verified units
       If a candidate is in disagreement with their assessor concerning the assessment, the
       candidate has the right to refer the matter to:

               The internal verifier within the centre
               The centre manager, if the matter is still unresolved




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                                                     ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

       The ABBE external verifier who may be consulted at the next visit. At this stage
        the candidate should provide the EV with records of the activity that has already
        been undertaken

In extreme circumstances, if the external verifier is unable to bring the matter to a
satisfactory conclusion, the candidate can appeal directly to ABBE.

ABBE will only accept an appeal from a candidate if the above steps have already been
taken. Further details on appeals can be found in the ABBE Centre Operations Guide.




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ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



SECTION 4          OCCUPATIONAL COMPETENCE OF ASSESSORS AND
                   INTERNAL VERIFIERS

4.1      Assessors

         In order to assess candidates working towards the ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk
         Assessment, assessors must:

             Have appropriate occupational expertise as defined by the work role in this document.

             Occupational expertise can be practitioner based or academic for those involved in
              training and teaching

             Attend training that relates specifically to the Assessor award, Learning and
              Development Unit A1, and apply this standard to their work throughout the process.
              (Note: it is not a requirement for assessors of this qualification to hold A1, however
              ABBE recommends it as good practice).

             Attend training events which contribute to their continuing professional development
              (CPD) covering aspects such as:

              o    national occupational standards and the current guidance on the inspection and
                   reporting criteria for fire risk assessment,
              o    standardisation of assessment practice and decision-making linked to
                   interpretation of current guidance.

4.2      Internal verifiers

         In order to internally verify the assessment of candidates working towards the Certificate
         in Fire Risk Assessment, internal verifiers must:

             Have appropriate occupational expertise as defined by the work role in this document.

             Attend training that relates specifically to the Internal Verifier award, Learning and
              Development Unit V1, and apply this standard to their work throughout the process.
              (Note: it is not a requirement for internal verifiers of this award to hold V1, however
              ABBE recommends it as good practice)

             Attend training events which contribute to their continuing professional development
              (CPD) covering aspects such as:

              o    national occupational standards and the current guidance on the inspection and
                   reporting criteria for fire risk assessment,
              o    standardisation of assessment practice and decision-making linked to
                   interpretation of current guidance.

4.3      Centre Assessor and IV training requirements:

         ABBE centres are required to conduct their own internal training and standardisation
         meetings on a regular basis as a condition of approval. Internal staff training programmes
         should be discussed with the ABBE EV prior to commencement. These events should be
         geared to the roles and responsibilities of their assessors and internal verifiers.

         To assist in ensuring that all centres continue to maintain a consistent approach, ABBE
         will set up and run training and assessment seminars to which all centre assessor and
         verifier staff are encouraged to attend. ABBE will offer training events for assessors and
         internal verifiers, either as generic or in-house events, at which practical problems
         identified during external verification can be addressed and good practice promoted.




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SECTION 5:    EXTERNAL EXAMINATION

5.1   Examination arrangements

      To successfully achieve the ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment, candidates
      are required to achieve a pass within the External Examination. The pass mark for the
      examination is 70%. Candidates must complete all 4 units and the external
      examination [independent assessment]. Candidates must achieve unit 2 before
      they can undertake any of the practical units [3 and 4].

      The examination has been designed as an independent test of the knowledge and
      understanding component of these units and must be undertaken in addition to
      candidates collecting evidence to meet the knowledge and understanding requirements of
      the units. The examination uses a multiple-choice examination mode and is available on
      pre-determined dates and times. A timetable showing the availability of the examination
      is available on the ABBE website at www.abbeqa.co.uk.

      The examination is set and assessed by ABBE and is 30 minutes in duration.

      Candidates are permitted to take the external examination any number of times. The
      initial candidate registration fee includes entry to two attempts at the examination. Any
      further attempts required will attract a new examination entry fee. This allows candidates
      to use the examination as a means by which to measure their current level of
      competence. Failing the examination may indicate the need for further training. This
      should be done prior to taking the examination for a second time.

      The examination results are then ratified by ABBE and issued to assessment centres.

      The ABBE Centre Operations Guide provides information on how to register candidates
      for the examination.

      The ABBE External Examination Guidelines for Assessment Centres and Invigilators
      provide comprehensive guidance on the administration and management of the
      examination. These documents are available on the ABBE website at
      www.abbeqa.co.uk.


5.2   Examination content and format

      The examination is of 30 minutes duration and contains 25 number of multiple-choice
      questions. Each multiple choice question will consist of the question and four possible
      answers.

      The following is a list of areas which will typically be covered. Candidates should also
      make use of the approved ABBE Reading List which can be found in appendix 2 at the
      back of this handbook.

       Subject area                                                    Number of questions in exam
       Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Regulations & Codes                                4
       Building elements and the fabric of buildings                                      4
       Interpretation of fire risk scenarios                                              2
       Identifying and assessing fire risks                                               4
       The characteristics of a fire                                                      2
       Concept of compensatory measures                                                   2
       Means of escape                                                                    2




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5.3      Application of reasonable adjustments

         The reasonable adjustments allowed for the external examination component of the ABBE
         Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment are as follows:

         Additional time

         Where there is evidence of need, centres may grant additional time to those candidates
         whose ability to demonstrate attainment is affected by their disability or learning difficulty.
         It is anticipated that in most cases an allowance of an additional 15 minutes of extra time
         will be sufficient to allow the candidate to complete on an equal basis with candidates who
         have no particular requirements.

         Additional time must be requested at the time the candidate is registered for the
         examination with ABBE.

         Amanuensis

         An amanuensis is a person who, in an examination, records (usually in writing, or on
         computer) a candidate’s dictated answers to questions. Candidates are eligible to use
         amanuensis if they suffer from long term or temporary disabilities that prevent them from
         providing their answers by other means.

         Where an amanuensis is used, centres must ensure:

             their use neither gives a candidate an unfair advantage nor disadvantages the
              candidate
             the role is carried out by a responsible adult who is able to produce an accurate
              record of the candidate’s answers. Under no circumstances may a relative, friend or
              peer of the candidate carry out this role
             the candidate is accommodated in such a way that no other candidate is able to hear
              what is being dictated
             the amanuensis does not also act as the invigilator

         During the examination, the amanuensis:

             must not give factual help to the candidate
             must not advise the candidate on any aspect of the examination
             must record the answer exactly as specified by the candidate
             must immediately refer any problems in communication during the examination to the
              invigilator

         An amanuensis can be used without prior application to ABBE, however their use must be
         recorded on the invigilation certificate submitted to ABBE after the examination.

         Reader

         A reader is a person, who in an examination reads questions to a candidate. Candidates
         are eligible to use a reader if they suffer from a long term or temporary disability which
         prevents them from reading the questions themselves.

         Where a reader is used, centres must ensure:

             their use neither gives a candidate an unfair advantage nor disadvantages the
              candidate
             the role is carried out by a responsible adult who is able to accurately convey the
              question to the candidate. Under no circumstances may a relative, friend or peer of
              the candidate carry out this role

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           the candidate is accommodated in such a way that no other candidate is disturbed by
            what is being read
           the reader does not also act as the invigilator

        During the examination, the reader:

           must not give factual help to the candidate
           must not advise the candidate on any aspect of the examination
           must read the question exactly as specified in the examination
           must immediately refer any problems in communication during the examination to the
            invigilator

        A reader can be used without prior application to ABBE, however their use must be
        recorded on the invigilation certificate submitted to ABBE after the examination.

        Alternative examination accommodation arrangements (e.g. hospital, home)

        Where a candidate is unable to attend an examination centre to undertake an ABBE
        examination due to temporary illness or disability, an alternative venue can be considered.

        An alternative venue must be requested at the time the candidate is registered for the
        examination with ABBE.



SECTION 6:       ADMINISTRATION ARRANGEMENTS

Full details of how to register candidates for this qualification and the examination and make
claims for certificates can be found in the ABBE Centre Operations Guide on the website at
abbeqa.co.uk.

Details of the fees for candidate registration, entry for the examination and external verification
can be found in the ABBE Fees List.




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ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



SECTION 7:         STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

7.1     Qualification Structure

         The qualification structure

         These units are offered as a qualification in fire risk assessment, which is to be made
         available at levels 3 and 4 of the QCF.

         The qualification is also scoped at level 5 for context although not likely to be offered at
         that level; professionally qualified fire engineers are offering that level of service already.

         It is offered as a qualification for fire risk assessors that are acting either in-house, or as
         an external consultant acting as a ‘competent person’ as defined by the RRO.

         Summary statements explaining the differentiation between levels:

         Note: The methodology recommended in P.A.S. 79 provides an excellent structure and
         basis of training for the undertaking the assessment and compiling the action plan at all
         levels.

         Level 3

         Straightforward building layouts up to 5 stories in height accommodating lower risk single
         or multiple occupancies, routine but not excessive public access and for which
         appropriate actions plans can be largely developed using the guidance documents and
         codes, such as those published by CLG, cross-referenced to appropriate sections of B.S.
         5588 and other British Standards referred to therein. The use of compensatory measures
         to produce risk proportionate solutions will be understood and applied in more
         straightforward situations.

         The occupants will:
          be awake
          other than visitors, will be familiar with the premises AND fire safety measures

         The premises:
          will not routinely contain hazardous processes or storage risks, (although isolated
            instances may be encountered), nor
          may have a significant number of occupants (under 60 staff and under 300 persons in
            public access buildings)

         For example: office and industrial premises, small and medium sized shops, sports
         premises and arts centres


         Level 4

         More complex building layouts including those over 5 storeys, with routine and significant
         public access or those accommodating high risk occupancies. Fire risk assessment is
         likely to require a higher understanding of the principles of fire safety engineering to use
         compensatory measures more routinely in achieving risk proportionate action plans.

         The occupants may:

             be asleep
             be unfamiliar with the premises

         The premises may:
          routinely contain hazardous processes or storage risks
          cater for larger numbers of occupants

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      For example:
      Large shops and shopping centres, museums, leisure centres, museums, leisure centres
      and other large assembly buildings, hotels, care homes, manufacturing plants, airports….


      Level 5

      Complex building layouts or simple layouts that have been designed using fire safety
      engineering. Appropriate action plans require a sound understanding of fire safety
      engineering and are only likely to undertaken by those with a relevant professional
      qualification.



      Auditing of existing fire risk assessments
      It is proposed that a qualified fire risk assessor at levels 3 or 4 should be capable of
      auditing and monitoring existing fire risk assessments and fire strategy documents at the
      higher level 4 or 5 respectively.


7.2   Limitations of competency
      Before accepting an instruction to a fire risk assessor needs to undertake sufficient
      research to ensure than the premises and occupancy type is within their range of
      competency.

      However, the complexity of a fire risk assessment may not be immediately apparent
      especially where isolated and unexpected issues are discovered during the course of the
      assessment. There is an underlying requirement that fire risk assessors should realise
      their own limitations and seek external help when necessary in undertaking a risk
      assessment or audit.

      Listed buildings and fire risk assessment
      Listed buildings are protected by legislation meaning that any alterations to the building
      fabric require local authority consent. Achieving adequate levels of fire protection will
      often require the use of compensatory measures and an underlying understanding of the
      historic importance of the building fabric.

      Fire risk assessors are therefore likely to be qualified to level 4 in terms of fire risk
      assessment and have experience of working with historic buildings.

      Differences between in-house assessors and those acting as consultants at level 3.

      It is anticipated that consultants qualified to level 3 will be conducting fire risk
      assessments in premises that are straightforward in their design and the level of risk is
      relatively low.

      In-house fire risk assessors qualified to level 3 may be able to undertake more complex
      assessments where their knowledge of specific buildings, their use and any hazardous
      processes, together with any health and safety role, demonstrate their ability to deal with
      the risk assessment of those occupational complexities.

      Similarly where consultants opt to specialise in a particular sector then further
      professional development, training and experience regarding the additional occupational
      risk factors might enable more complex situations to be undertaken.




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ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



7.3      Benchmarks for the qualification

         The ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment uses the commentary for clause 7
         of the Publicly Available Specification 79 2007 Fire risk assessments: Guidance and a
         recommended methodology (PAS 79), as a guiding principle. PAS 79 has a 9-step
         approach to fire risk assessment methodology and was developed as a progression from
         the 5-step CLG guidance on fire risk assessment. An extract is shown below:

         Competence does not necessarily depend on the possession of specific qualifications,
         although such qualifications might contribute to the demonstration of competence. In the
         case of small simple buildings, where the fire risk assessor might, for example, be an
         employee of the occupier, it is possible that, provided the fire risk is relatively low, the
         following attributes of the fire risk assessor might be sufficient in conjunction with a study
         of suitable guidance documents:

         a) an understanding of relevant current best fire safety practices in buildings of the type
            in question;
         b) an awareness of the limitations of the fire risk assessor’s own experience and
            knowledge;
         c) a willingness and ability to supplement existing experience and knowledge, when
            necessary, by obtaining external help and advice.

         Higher risk or more complex premises will require a higher level of knowledge and
         experience on the part of the fire risk assessor.(ABBE Level 4)

         For complex buildings, there will be a need for the specific applied knowledge and skills of
         an appropriately qualified specialist.(ABBE Level 5)

         In such cases, evidence of specialist training and experience, or membership of a
         professional body, can enable competence to be demonstrated.

         In general, other than in the case of simple, low risk buildings, fire risk assessors,
         particularly those offering their services on a commercial basis (e.g. consultants), need:

         1) a good understanding of the legislation under which the fire risk assessment is
            required;
         2) a sound underpinning combination of education, training, knowledge and experience
            in the principles of fire safety;
         3) an understanding of fire development and the manner in which people behave when
            exposed to fire;
         4) training and/or experience in carrying out fire risk assessments;
         5) an understanding of the fire hazards, fire risks and occupants especially at risk from
            fire that are likely to occur in the building, or part of the building, for which the fire risk
            assessment is carried out.

         In the context of the above list, education is likely to involve formal education of a
         relatively academic nature, often culminating in a qualification (although not necessarily to
         degree level). Training involves training of a practical nature, often given on the job.
         Knowledge can be obtained by academic study, training, working alongside.”

         Note: As this qualification is being offered to both in-house assessors and potential
         consultants the second list of requirements (1-5 above) runs through levels 3 and 4
         although potentially at different levels of understanding.

         Why this qualification using PAS79 as its primary focus.

         Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 79 2007; ‘Fire risk assessment. Guidance and a
         recommended methodology’ has been adopted as preferred methodology for training and
         reporting within the Certificate.



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PAS 79 recognises the universal 5 stage approach commonly adopted for fire risk assessment but
further refines the process into 9 stages in a way that is particularly relevant to those offering their
services as an external consultant.

It is important to recognise that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
do not recommend a particular format for such assessments and so Centres can accept other
methods provided they are judged to be fit for purpose such as the format adopted by Health
Scotland.

Students are expected to be fully familiar with the content and recommendations of the current
DCLG guides across a range of building occupancies as a pre-cursor to PAS79




                                              Page 25 of 39
                                                            ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment



        The Units of the Certificate are as follows:

        UNIT 1 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE IN FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT
        UNIT 2 FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES AND CONCEPTS FOR FIRE RISK
        ASSESSMENT
        UNIT 3 PREPARE TO UNDERTAKE FIRE RISK ASSESSMENTS
        UNIT 4 UNDERTAKE AND REPORT ON FIRE RISK ASSESSMENTS

7.4     Unit structure

        Each unit of the qualification is structured in the same way as follows:

        Description of unit: provides a summary of the content of the unit, including details of the
        individual Learning Outcomes, which make up that unit.

        Learning Outcome title: states the ‘task/activity’ to be undertaken.

        Assessment criteria: identifies the measure of performance and/or knowledge that
        candidates must demonstrate their competence and achieve the Learning Outcomes.

        Evidence requirements: identifies any evidence that must be presented by the
        candidate and provides examples of the types of evidence which may be suitable.

        Additional guidance (where required): provides details of additional supporting
        guidance for the unit and where it can be found.

        Syllabus: provides broad subject areas of knowledge and understanding that are
        considered essential for those undertaking fire risk assessments

Assessment

These units will be assessed and internally verified by the ABBE approved assessment centre.


ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE

A reading list to support these units can be found on the ABBE website at www.abbeqa.co.uk

It would greatly assist candidates, assessors and verifiers if the fire risk assessments could be
entered on to a grid for easy reference. An example of a grid is shown below, the buildings
chosen are purely indicative, and the buildings actually used may be drawn from a wider range.


          Attributes              Low rise (1-2 storey)         Medium rise (3 – 5 storey)
          Low risk                Doctor’s surgery              Small office building providing
                                                                serviced office suites
          Higher risk             Car body shop
          occupancy

        NOTE: 2 of the three risk assessments MUST be done on buildings that are
        accessed by the public on a regular basis.




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Title                                Unit 1: Professional practice in fire risk assessment
Level                                3
Credit Value                         4
Unit purpose and aims
This Unit covers the essential, general competences expected of all professionals regardless of
their working environment. Fire risk assessors are expected to work in a safe, effective and
professional manner throughout their work, whether they are in an office or elsewhere.
Learning outcomes                    Assessment Criteria
Fire risk assessors will be able     To demonstrate this they can:
to:
1. Act in a professional and             a) carry out work in accordance with prescribed codes
   ethical manner                           of conduct, ethical standards and recognised good
                                            practice
                                         b) maintain and continue to develop personal skills and
                                            knowledge through a structured personal
                                            development plan
                                         c) manage your own work activities effectively
                                         d) recognise and respond appropriately to pressure
                                            from any person which might influence the
                                            objectivity of your judgement or potential conflicts of
                                            interest
                                         e) comply with the auditing and monitoring
                                            requirements of the accreditation organisation
                                         f) comply with all legislation relevant to your work
2. Contribute to the maintenance         a) carry out working practices in accordance with legal
   of health and security at work           requirements
                                         b) identify any health, safety and security risks in
                                            different locations and take action to minimise or
                                            mitigate such risks
                                         c) follow the workplace policies and suppliers’ or
                                            manufacturers’ instructions for the safe use of
                                            equipment, materials and products
                                         d) follow emergency procedures effectively to protect
                                            the health, safety and security of people
3. Develop and maintain effective        a) present a positive personal and professional image
   working relationships (3,4)              at all times when dealing with others
                                         b) develop and maintain productive working
                                            relationships with others which promote goodwill and
                                            trust
                                         c) deal with others in a tactful, courteous and equitable
                                            manner at all times
                                         d) work within the limits of your own competence and
                                            expertise
                                         e) recognise and manage any potential conflicts of
                                            interest that may arise during your work
                                         f) request information from others in a polite, clear and
                                            professional manner
                                         g) respond promptly to enquiries from others and ask
                                            questions to clarify their information needs
                                         h) handle disputes and differences of opinion in ways
                                            which minimise offence and maintain respect
                                         i) comply with the formal complaints procedure




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                                                             ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Indicative syllabus
1) The importance of:
    a) presenting a positive personal and professional image when dealing with people and how
       this can be achieved
    b) promoting goodwill and trust when working with others, and ways in which this can be
       achieved
    c) assessing the extent and limits for your own competence and expertise, and not working
       beyond these limits
    d) knowing how to respond to enquiries that are outside your authority, beyond your area of
       knowledge/expertise or where the information requested is confidential
2) Potential conflicts of interest that may be encountered, and the action required to mange
   these
3) ways in which disputes or differences of opinion should be handled to minimise offence and
   maintain respect
4) the details of the formal complaints procedure that covers your work, and any specific
   organisational requirements with regard to complaints
5) your specific responsibilities under prescribed codes of conduct and ethical standards
6) the importance of complying with recognised good practice
7) the specific auditing or monitoring requirements that relate to your registration with your
   accreditation organisation; your responsibilities in complying with these
8) the legal duties for health, safety and security in the workplace as required by legislation,
   including:
    a) health, safety and security risks could exist in different locations, and the action to take to
       minimise or mitigate risks
    b) the importance of remain alert to the presence of risks in the workplace
    c) the importance of personal conduct in maintaining the health, safety and security of self
       and others
    d) conflicts between different health, safety and security requirements
    e) procedures for different types of emergency
9) the main points of the legislation relevant to your work – be it derived from the Regulatory
   Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and its associated Regulations or elsewhere
10) relevant approved guidance relating to the fire risk assessment of buildings




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                                                           ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Title                               Unit 2: Fundamental principles and concepts for fire risk
                                    assessment
Level                               3
Credit Value                        12
Unit purpose and aims
The aim of this unit is to provide the candidate with an understanding of the fundamental
principles and concepts that underpin the practice of fire risk assessment in respect of:
    a) The situation before the introduction of Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
         (RRO) and reasons for change.
    b) The responsibilities and obligations imposed by the RRO and in particular the roles of the
         duty holder, responsible person and competent persons.
    c) How buildings are constructed and how they can on one hand contribute to the fire risk
         and on the other make an essential contribution to fire safety.
    d) The nature of fire and fire growth.
    e) Identification of fire hazards.
    f) Different approaches to ensuring fire safety in respect of protecting those particularly at
         risk.
    The legislative framework
    Fire risk assessors will be          To demonstrate this they can:
    able to:
    1. Advise clients on the             a) Outline the situation within different use classes
       essential differences                before the RRO was introduced.
       between their previous            b) Explain the benefit of the approach adopted by the
       obligations and those now            RRO and the roles and responsibilities that it creates.
       imposed by the Regulatory         c) Explain the consequences of non-compliance.
       Reform Order (RRO)
    2. Demonstrate an                    a) Explain the relationship between the Building
       awareness of the                     Regulations, Approved Document B and BS5588.
       legislation that informs fire     b) Demonstrate an awareness of the emerging BS9999
       safety standards in new              and Fire Safety Engineering as alternative
       construction, material               approaches.
       alterations or
       refurbishment and the
       alternative approaches
       available to demonstrate
       compliance.
    Construction & building
    services
    Fire risk assessors will be          To demonstrate this they can:
    able to:
    3. Interpret a building to           a) Identify the materials used through interpretation of
       determine the type of                drawing or site inspection.
       structure and fabric and          b) Explain the physical properties of materials used.
       services used.                    c) Explain the significance of these properties in respect
                                            of fire safety
    4. Identify the nature and           a) Identify the nature of services used in the building
       location of building                 and their location
       services within a building        b) Suggest how these services might interfere with, or
                                            support, a fire safety
    5. Distinguish between active        a) Describe what is meant by active and passive
       and passive means of                 systems and provide examples of their use.
       containment.                      b) Demonstrate how each might become vulnerable



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ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




                                                       over time
    6. Identify the means of                       a) Describe the different alarm systems that can be
       communication used to                          used and identify their relative merits
       support fire safety
    7. Identify how access within                  a) Identify specific provisions they may be necessary to
       and surrounding the                            ensure adequate access for the fire service
       building(s) can assist the
       fire service.
    The nature of fire and
    principles of fire safety
    Fire risk assessors will be                    To demonstrate this they can:
    able to:
    8. Demonstrate an                              a) Define what is meant by the ‘triangle of fire’
       awareness of the nature of                  b) Demonstrate how reference to the triangle of fire
       fire                                           helps in identifying and controlling fire risk.
    9. Demonstrate an                              a) Identify a range of different causes of ignition
       awareness of ignition and                   b) Define terms used in explaining fire growth
       nature of fire growth                       c) Explain the significance of the term ‘flashover’
    10. Identify the sources and                   a) Identify the potential fuel loads associated with the
        significance of fuel load                     structure and fabric or buildings, fixtures and fittings
        within a building fire.                       and materials associated with different use classes.
                                                   b) Explain the significance of fuel load in determining
                                                      likely fire hazards.
    11. Identify who might be                      a) Identify who is likely to be particularly at risk within
        especially at risk in                         different scenarios and why.
        different circumstances                    b) Demonstrate how behaviour may be influenced by:
        and illustrate the different                  - Familiarity and unfamiliarity
        types of occupant                             - Age and infirmity
        behaviour that may occur                      - Disability
        when exposed to a fire.                       - Sleep
                                                      -Anti-social behaviour
                                                   c) Explain the importance of taking human behaviour
                                                      into account.
    12. Describe tactics that can                  a) Describe how the following tactics can combine as
        be utilised in seeking to                     the basis of a successful fire safety plan:
        achieve adequate levels of                    - Prevention
        fire safety within buildings.                 - Communication
                                                      - Escape
                                                      - Containment
                                                      - Extinguishment
                                                   b) Briefly outline the essential characteristics of each
                                                      tactic
    13. Outline the difference                     a) Illustrate what is meant by the terms ‘passive’ and
        between passive and                           ‘active’ in respect of fire containment by reference to
        active means of fire                          examples.
        containment                                b) Suggest how the success of each approach might be
                                                      compromised over time.
     14. Outline the difference                    a) Identify the key differences in approach between the
         between prescriptive and                      Building Regulations Approved Document B,
         performance-based                             BS5588 and BS 7974 in building design.
         approaches to fire safety                 b) Compare the limitations and benefits of each
         design.                                       approach.
                                                   c) Compare these approaches to that used within the
                                                       CLG guidance


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                                                             ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

    15. Illustrate where a                 a) Identify areas of weakness in fire protection
        shortcoming in respect of             measures, evaluate the circumstances and propose
        passive protection can be             compensatory measures that reduce the risk to an
        compensated for by the                acceptable level
        use of active means or
        additional management.


Indicative syllabus

The legislative framework

1) Background to how fire legislation for building design has developed empirically

2) Building Regulations Approved Document B, BS5588, BS9999 and fire safety engineering
   (BS7974)

3) Fire Precautions Act 1971; fire certificates required, offices, hotels & Boarding Houses

4) Theatres Act and similar legislation; licensing required for ‘public’ buildings

5) Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997; first fire risk (self) assessments introduced

6) Why the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) was introduced

7) How the RRO operates and the roles and responsibilities it creates.

8) British Standards and other official publications that guide fire safety, in particular: see reading
   list


Construction and building services

1) Structural systems:
   a) Low / medium rise structures
       i) Brick
       ii) Stone
       iii) Timber framed
   b) Steel frame
   c) Concrete frame
   d) Short / medium span structures:
       i) Lattice truss
       ii) beam
   e) Portal frame

2) External envelope
   a) Cladding systems:
       i) Cavity wall
       ii) Concrete panel
       iii) Curtain walling
       iv) Rainscreen Cladding
       v) Curtain walling
       vi) Profiled sheeting (especially flammable core)
   b) Roof construction
   c) Traditional roof truss and ‘attic’
   d) Trussed rafters
   e) Flat roofs
       i) Timber deck
       ii) Steel deck
       iii) Concrete deck



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ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




3) Compartment walls and protected shafts
   a) Typical construction
   b) Fire resistance, spread of flame
   c) Protection; pressurisation lobbies and fire stopping

4) Floors
   a) Types: typical construction
   b) Timber
   c) Steel composite
   d) Concrete

5) Internal components:
   Partitions
   a) Stud
   b) Frame and sheet
   c) Panel
   d) Demountable and relocatable

6) Doors and ironmongery (fire doors)

7) Suspended ceilings

8) Raised floors

9) Surface finishes

10) Passive systems of protection
    a) Structure, compartmentation, envelope protection
    b) Where used
    c) Typical construction / arrangement
    d) Fire stopping and intumescents
    e) Lightening protection
    f) Vulnerability – unsupervised building works

11) Detection and communication
    a) Fire alarms (types)
    b) Detection
    c) Communication

12) Active systems of protection
    a) Sprinkler installations
    b) Smoke vents
    c) Pressurization
    d) Smoke curtains
    e) Door release
    f) Vulnerability – poor maintenance

13) Services
    a) Boilers and plant rooms
    b) Ventilations systems
    c) Air conditioning
    d) Electrical and data distribution
    e) Service ducts

14) Significant characteristics of building materials in fire safety design
    a) Ignitability: ease of ignition
    b) Combustibility: rate of burn
    c) Fire propagation: contribution to spread through heat release
    d) Surface spread of flame: rate of transfer across the surface


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                                                             ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment

    e) Smoke obscuration: amount of smoke generated (under which conditions)
    f) Fire resistance: load-bearing, integrity, insulation

15) Significant characteristics of building design
    a) Compartments
    b) Protected shafts
    c) Lobbies and refuge
    d) Protected routes
    e) Cavities / voids

16) Extinguishment
    a) Manual
    b) Auto Suppression
    c) Fire Service provision

17) Signs
    a) expand detail



    The nature of fire and principles of fire safety

1) Ignition and growth

2) Fuel load

3) Persons at risk

4) Human behaviour

5) Tactics*
   a) Prevention of fire
   b) Communication of a fire occurring
   c) Means of Escape
   d) Containment of a fire
   e) Extinguishment of a fire

6) Passive means of containment
   a) Active means of containment and compensatory measures
   b) Prescriptive v performance-based approach to design
   c) Management regimes and staff training
   d) Accessibility issues regarding escape
   e) Principles of fire risk assessment
   f) Determining complexity level
   g) Moving towards risk proportionate outcomes


* Abrahams and Stollard: Fire From First Principles, E & FN Spon, July 2006 3rd Edition




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ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Title                                          Unit 3: Prepare to undertake fire risk assessments
Level                                          3
Credit Value                                   4
Unit purpose and aims
The aim of this unit is to provide the candidate with the ability to:
    a) Receive a request to carry out a fire risk assessment and determine if the have the
        necessary level of competence to undertake the task.
    b) Estimate the necessary resources required to undertake the assessment and prepare an
        estimate.
    c) Ensure that the duty holder and / or responsible person understands their obligations
        under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
    d) Ensure that the terms and conditions are understood and agreed by all parties
Learning outcomes                              Assessment Criteria
Fire risk assessors will be able to:           To demonstrate this they can:
    1. Respond appropriately to                a) Draft a ‘confirmation of instructions’ letter for approval
       requests to undertake fire                 with the client prior to commencing an assessment.
       risk assessments
    2. Clarify and confirm the                 a) Draft a ‘confirmation of instructions’ letter for approval
       requirements and                           with the client prior to commencing an assessment.
       expectations of clients and
       the scope of the instruction
       with the context of the RRO.
    3. Ascertain the nature of the  a) Construct a pro-forma questionnaire requesting
       building and quality of         advance notice information that will be required in
       existing documentation on       assessing whether the instruction can be accepted
       the construction of the         and the level of information available.
       premises, nature of the
       occupancy, previous policies
       regarding fire safety and
       ‘significant’ events.
    4. Determine any restrictions in           a) Construct a pro-forma questionnaire requesting
       terms of access to the                     advance notice information that will be required in
       premises or documents and                  assessing whether the instruction can be accepted
       confirm the impact that this               and the level of information available.
       may have on the overall
       assessment.
    5. Provide any necessary                   a) Construct a summary of the roles and responsibilities
       guidance to the client in                  imposed by the RRO that could be attached to the
       respect of the nature of                   confirmation of instruction letter and serve as the
       obligations imposed by the                 basis of discussion if clarification is necessary.
       Regulatory Reform (Fire
       Safety) Order 2005 (RRO)
    6. Estimate the resources         a) Produce a method statement and an estimate of costs
       required to undertake the fire    based on a given scenario and cost structure.
       risk assessment and prepare
       a quotation.




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                                                            ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Indicative syllabus

1) Business correspondence

    a)       A basic understanding of simple contracts and reasonable terms
    b)       Writing business letters and maintaining a file
    c)       Clarification of liability in the case of specific aspect of the risk assessment
             subsequently falling outside of the competence offered by the risk assessor.
             Confirmation over who carries the additional costs of consultants and who the
             consultants are contracted to (the assessor or the client (Duty Holder).
    d)       Constructing and confirming letters of engagement

2) Customer relations

    a)       Meetings
    b)       Interviews
    c)       Negotiations
    d)       Variations to contract terms
    e)       Customer Complaints

3) Desk studies; obtaining relevant (advance) information

    a)       Essential Information needed in order to determine the likely level of risk and
             complexity before accepting an instruction; in particular issues arising out of the
             building structure, fabric, use and occupancy type.
    b)       Interviews and interpretation of drawings.
    c)       Constructing a questionnaire the elicit information from the Responsible Person or
             Duty Holder to be included with the Terms of Engagement

4) Method statements

    a)       Establishing a methodical routine for assessments of different complexity sufficient to
             demonstrate the necessary rigour and assist in the estimation of like time and
             resources in putting together an estimate of cost.


5) Estimating procedures

    b)       Accurate costing of time and resources associated with investigating and interpreting
             current arrangements for fire safety, conducting a fire risk assessment and making
             recommendations.
    c)       Strategic adjustments to estimated costs in tendering a bid (establishing a profit
             margin according to circumstance)

6) Roles and responsibilities imposed by the RRO

    a)       Communication of the roles and responsibilities to the client to ensure a common
             understanding of relationships before accepting an instruction.




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   ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Title                                      Unit 4: Undertake and report on fire risk assessments
Level                                      3
Credit Value                               10
Unit purpose and aims
The aim of this unit is to provide the candidate with the ability to:
    a) Gather and evaluate the evidence necessary to support a fire risk assessment
    b) Determine the hazards and risks that exist
    c) Evaluate ways to remove or reduce the risk
    d) Report significant findings and propose an action plan
Learning outcomes                          Assessment Criteria
Fire risk assessors will be able           To demonstrate this they can:
to:
    1. Inspect building(s) and                  a) Inspect existing records of:
       documents, interpret the                    - any previous fire certificates or
       findings and produce                        - licence agreements,
       evidence for use in the fire                - servicing logbooks for services and fire installations
       risk assessment.                            - fire drills and staff (fire) training
                                                   - notes of any shortcomings or unresolved issues that
                                                   may affect the fire risk assessment
                                                   - view and interpret existing plans to determine the
                                                   overall layout, circulation, structure, fabric and
                                                   services
                                                b) Meet with the duty holder or responsible person to
                                                   confirm any outstanding matters in respect of the
                                                   terms of engagement and agree the format and
                                                   logistics of the inspection including the need to
                                                   access areas and/or interview staff
                                                c) Devise and apply a systematic methodology for
                                                   inspecting and recording information on site
                                                d) Determine the nature of construction in respect of
                                                   structure, fabric, fixtures, fitting and services.
                                                   Compare the layout as found with existing plans that
                                                   may have been provided and note significant
                                                   differences
    2. Conduct the fire risk                    a) Apply a knowledge of building construction and fire
       assessment in accordance                    safety in order to:
       with CLG guidance and                       - Identify fire hazards within the building(s)
       with reference to the                       - Identify people at risk
       appropriate sections of BS               b) Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from risk by:
       5588                                        - Evaluating the risk of a fire occurring
                                                   - Evaluating the risk to people from fire
                                                   - Removing or reduce fire hazards
                                                   - Removing or reduce the risks to people
    3. Recognise own limitations                a) Identify complex scenarios that require more detailed
       when undertaking a fire                     evidence and analysis to produce a satisfactory
       risk assessment and refer                   outcome.
       on to a competent person
       who has the necessary
       expertise.
    4. Record significant findings              a) Record significant findings in an appropriate format to
       and recommend an action                     demonstrate:
       plan in accordance with                     - The fire hazards identified
       CLG guidance and with                       - Actions recommend in removing or reducing the


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                                                              ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment


     reference to the                       chance of a fire occurring
     appropriate sections of                - Persons who may be at risk, particularly those at
     BS5588.                                greatest risk.
                                            - The actions recommended to reduce the risk to
                                            people from the spread of fire and smoke (protective
                                            measures).
                                            - The actions people need to take in case of fire
                                            - The information, instruction and training you have
                                            identified that people need and how it could be given.
                                            - Provide additional photographs, sketches or simple
                                            plans to illustrate the fire precautions that exist and
                                            recommended actions



Indicative syllabus

1) CLG Guidance notes for a range of building types

2) Specific risks specific to each building types

3) PAS 97 including pro-formas for the fire risk assessment and action plan

4) Application of BS 5588 to specific areas such as management, fire drills and evacuation of
   disabled persons.

5) Maintenance requirements for fire safety installations:
   a) Fire alarms and associated ‘active’ systems of protection
   b) Sprinkler installations
   c) Emergency lighting
   d) Fire fighting equipment
   e) Lifts
   f) Fire doors and associated ironmongery

6) Methodical approach to the process of undertaking an assessment
   a) Interviews
   b) Inspection of plans
   c) Site inspection routine and recording site notes

7) Identification of fire hazards within the building(s):
   a) Sources of ignition
   b) Sources of fuel
   c) Sources of oxygen

8) Identifying people at risk
   a) In and around the premises
   b) Those especially at risk

9) Evaluation, removal, reduction and protection from risk:
   a) Evaluate the risk of a fire occurring
   b) Evaluate the risk to people from fire (incl human reaction)
   c) Remove or reduce fire hazards
   d) Remove or reduce the risks to people
      i) Detection and warning
      ii) Fire-fighting
      iii) Escape routes
      iv) Lighting
      v) Signs and notices
      vi) Maintenance




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ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Appendix 1: Additional unit Information

Unit 1: Professional practice in fire risk assessment
Additional information about this unit
Unit expiry date
Details of the relationship between     SkillsPlus UK: Emergency Fire Services Fire Safety NOS
the unit and the national               2004
occupational standards or other
professional standards or curricula [if FSB6, FSB10, FSB13
appropriate]
Assessment requirements or                    None
guidance by a sector or regulatory
body [if appropriate]
Support for the unit from a SSC or            Skills for Justice/SkillsPlus UK
other appropriate body [if required]
Location of the unit within the               1.4 Public Services
subject/sector classification system
Name of the organisation submitting Awarding Body for the Built Environment
the unit
Availability for use                          Shared unit
Unit available from
Unit Guided learning hours                    20



Unit 2: Fundamental principles and concepts for fire risk assessment
Additional information about this unit
Unit expiry date
Details of the relationship between     SkillsPlus UK: Emergency Fire Services Fire Safety NOS
the unit and the national               2004
occupational standards or other
professional standards or curricula [if All units
appropriate]
Assessment requirements or                    None
guidance by a sector or regulatory
body [if appropriate]
Support for the unit from a SSC or            Skills for Justice/SkillsPlus UK
other appropriate body [if required]
Location of the unit within the               1.4 Public Services
subject/sector classification system
Name of the organisation submitting Awarding Body for the Built Environment
the unit
Availability for use                          Private unit
Unit available from
Unit Guided learning hours                    60




Release Issue1: November 2008                                                     Page 38 of 39
                                                               ABBE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Risk Assessment




Unit 3: Prepare to undertake fire risk assessments
Additional information about this unit
Unit expiry date
Details of the relationship between     SkillsPlus UK: Emergency Fire Services Fire Safety NOS
the unit and the national occupational 2004
standards or other professional
standards or curricula [if appropriate] FSB1, FSB6, FSB11, FSB13
Assessment requirements or               None
guidance by a sector or regulatory
body [if appropriate]
Support for the unit from a SSC or       Skills for Justice/SkillsPlus UK
other appropriate body [if required]
Location of the unit within the          1.4 Public Services
subject/sector classification system
Name of the organisation submitting      Awarding Body for the Built Environment
the unit
Availability for use                     Private unit
Unit available from
Unit Guided learning hours               20



Unit 4: Undertake and report on fire risk assessments
Additional information about this unit
Unit expiry date
Details of the relationship between the SkillsPlus UK: Emergency Fire Services Fire Safety NOS
unit and the national occupational      2004
standards or other professional
standards or curricula [if appropriate] FSB10, FSB11, FSB13, FSB15
Assessment requirements or               None
guidance by a sector or regulatory
body [if appropriate]
Support for the unit from a SSC or       Skills for Justice/SkillsPlus UK
other appropriate body [if required]
Location of the unit within the          1.4 Public Services
subject/sector classification system
Name of the organisation submitting      Awarding Body for the Built Environment
the unit
Availability for use                     Private unit
Unit available from
Unit Guided learning hours               30




                                              Page 39 of 39

								
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