Choosing a Fire Safety Trainer
'The Responsible Person (RP) must ensure that his employees are provided with adequate safety training....' [Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005(FSO) - Article 21(1)].
The RP under the FSO is tasked to carry out fire safety training which must :-
a) 'include suitable and sufficient instruction and training on the appropriate precautions and actions to be taken by the employee in order to safeguard himself and other relevant persons on the premises;
b) be repeated periodically where appropriate;
c) be adapted to take account of any new or changed risks to the safety of the employees concerned;
d) be provided in a manner appropriate to the risk identified by the risk assessment; and
e) take place during working hours.'[FSO - Article 21(2)].
The RP may not have the skills or time to fulfil this requirement and may wish to bring in someone else to complete this task. Any person used should be competent to carry out the task.
'a person is to be regarded as competent for the purpose of this article where he has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to assist in undertaking the preventative and protective measures' [FSO - Article 18(5)].
This help can be from within the business or an outside contractor. The RP still retains the ultimate responsibility, and therefore they need to have confidence that any help they have is COMPETENT.
A competent person should have the knowledge, skills and behaviour to improve performance. With regard to Fire Safety Training they should have knowledge of general fire safety (as it applies to premises), experience of fire safety (as it applies to the specific work environment) and skills in training and presentation. Any fire safety trainer that you choose should be right for your circumstances with a mix of the above skills that will enable them to provide meaningful training. The training should not contradict your fire action plan, but should reinforce and justify it, and be appropriate to the hazards and risks identified by the fire risk assessment.
When selecting a trainer the following list should be considered (please be aware that this list is not exhaustive and only provides general guidance):
Previous experience of fire safety training
Industry qualifications & background of trainer
Knowledge of your type of premises, business and industry
Recommendations, references or testimonials of previous customers
Member of a professional recognised body
Accreditation on a national register of fire safety trainers.
There are several sources that can be used to find potential fire safety training providers:
Google or other search engine e.g. "fire safety training"
Yellow pages or other directory e.g. under "fire" or "health & safety consultants"
National fire safety training registers e.g. Institution of Fire Engineers
Companies that provide fire alarm, fire extinguisher and other fire protection services may also provide fire training services.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service's Business Education Department aims to engage with the business community, in particular small and medium size enterprises, and provide advice and guidance on how to comply with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order.