NSW industry practitioners are advised that from April 2020, only persons accredited as competent fire safety practitioners (CFSPs) under the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) will be authorised to endorse plans and specifications of fire safety systems. “Assessing performance of essential fire safety measures should be completed by a trained and competent fire safety professional, according to a transparent accreditation system,” NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said.
A CFSP performs annual assessments of essential fire safety measures and annual inspections of fire exits and paths of travel to fire exits. CFSPs are also responsible for the endorsement of the plans and specifications for installation or modification of hose reels, hydrants, sprinkler systems, fire detection systems and alarm systems, as complying with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) prior to installment for which a construction certificate or complying development certificate has been issued. The only alternative to obtaining the endorsement of the plans and specifications from a CFSP is to obtain a compliance certificate from an accredited certifier.
This change is intended to improve NSW’s building regulation and certification industry, and the quality of checks made. The change enables co-regulatory frameworks relying on the expertise of industry associations to accredit individuals and ensure that construction can continue, without compromising safety. Therefore, to avoid delays to construction and sign-off, there must be a sufficient number of persons accredited in both Fire Safety Assessment and Fire Systems Design classes before 6 April 2020.
Becoming operational in April 2020, the FPAS scheme is the only accreditation scheme approved by the NSW Government. It oversees the accreditation of competent practitioners who endorse the design of relevant fire safety systems, such as sprinklers, hydrants and hose reels, fire detection systems and alarm systems. The scheme also ensures that there is a sufficient supply of persons accredited by FPA Australia, to prevent increased costs and delays to the construction industry and to building owners.
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