Please click here to view the press release

Members will recall we are represented in a number of the working groups and heavily involved in competencies for fire risk assessors.  Please see here a copy of the first quarterly report of the IRG Steering Group on Competences for Building a Safer Future, which was submitted to the Secretary of State (copied to Dame Judith Hackitt) on Friday.  As you can see from the report, things are moving very fast but we will try our best to keep you updated and informed as we move along.

There is a fairly ‘stiff’ timetable we are working to and there will be significant outcomes involved, significant for all of us in the fire sector. When the time is right, probably around the first quarter of 2019, we will be holding seminars to update you all on the outcome of these working groups. In the meantime, attending and working on these groups is taking a lot of our chairmans own time and hopefully the report will keep you updated but if you do have a ‘burning question’ on the working groups or anything in the report, please email info@ifsm.org.uk and it will be forward it on to our chairman.

 

Quarterly Report – FINAL PDF

Mr Darren Cook, the Head of Group Compliance at Principal Hotel Company, recently became the 1000th Member to join to The Institute of Fire Safety Managers. The Institute is delighted to welcome Mr Cook and mark this momentous occasion by presenting him with an expense-paid invite to our 2018 AGM and a year’s free membership. Our AGM, which will be held at Eventcity, Manchester on the 9th October 2018 will include a Technical Meeting and a Presentation to celebrate this significant milestone.
Current membership Secretary, Dave White said “this is a fantastic achievement and really reflects the great work and progression that we are making as an Institute”.

The Institute was initially formed 25 years ago in 1993 to provide a professional ‘haven’ for those people who were involved directly with fire safety management in industry and commerce. Initial membership was about 15-20 persons however as more individuals qualified with the CFPA Diploma, so the numbers grew. Gary Whitworth, Stewart Kidd, May Husseyin, Peter Cowland and Ken Day played a major part in the early days.

 

Around 2002 the membership had reached a critical point. Retirements, people moving on to new horizons, changes in employment and the constant pressure on individuals to try and run the Institute meant a slump in activities followed quickly by a slump in membership. However, there were a few people who did still have a ‘vision’ and on 7th February 2005 a meeting was held in Hatfield, chaired by Bob Docherty to re-establish the Institute and discuss its future development. it was decided that a new and larger team should be formed at which time Dr Bob Docherty, John Williamson, Stuart Cocking, Andy Frankowski and Ken Day came on board and formed a new Council with Stewart Kidd as President.

 

On January 9th, 2006, Companies House accepted the Institute’s application to be called an Institute as a registered, certified, fully incorporated and limited company with the title of The Institute of Fire Safety Managers. Over the past 13 years we have grown rapidly with a dedicated team on Council whose members represent the Institute on national and international committees and forums. Our input and participation on these is highly valued and respected. It is all part of our goal to raise the standard of fire safety both at a national and local level, to consult with all stakeholders and respond to changes in legislation and to actively encourage a professional approach to fire safety management through education and awareness.

 

From the initial 15-20 Members who came together in 1993, to the few who shared the vision to re-invigorate the Institute back in 2005, to the 1000 plus Members we welcome in our community today, it has been an incredible ride for the IFSM and no doubt a ride that will continue onwards and upwards to more great things. Here’s to the next 25 years and the next 1000 members!

As we are now getting to work on the details of competencies across the whole construction and fire sector, please see here a press release from the IRG working Group

As you can see from this document, we are actively working at representing our Member’s interests at the highest levels in this fast changing environment and working on the IFSM’s primary objective of moving Fire Safety forward. We will endeavour to keep all members posted with any developments with regards to this topic.

 

IRG press statement

Many organisations spanning the construction and fire sectors have come together to form a steering group to take forward key recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, to improve competences for those working on the design, construction and operation of higher risk residential buildings.

Read the competence group press statement here.

Several expert witness reports have been released by the Grenfell Inquiry and can be downloaded from the below link:

 

https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/evidence

 

  • Professor Luke Bisby – ignition of façade materials
  • Dr Barbara Lane – fire protection measures within the building and extent to which they failed
  • Professor Jose Torero – fire spread throughout the building
  • Colin Todd – statutory and regulatory requirements in force over the lifetime of Grenfell Tower

 

Hot off the press please find the link below to the Final Report of Dame Judith Hackitt.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-building-regulations-and-fire-safety-final-report

 

It is the start of the consultation process of ‘all things’ that will come out of the Hackitt review. It is highlighted for members information but as you can see, you can comment directly on the document (there are 12 questions they ask) but also, Council will be putting in the Institute’s corporate response. So, if you feel like contributing to it, please forward your responses to the 12 questions to bobwdocherty@gmail.com so that we can collate into our collective response.

The MHCLG on 11 April 2018 issued a consultation on proposed amendments to Approved Document B (statutory guidance on fire safety) that would restrict or ban the use of assessments in lieu of tests (also known as desktop studies). The consultation document can be viewed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/approved-document-b-fire-safety-amendments-to-statutory-guidance-on-assessments-in-lieu-of-tests

You can respond to the consultation online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S9V7BMQ and the deadline for consultation responses is 25 May 2018

Any responses should be sent to bobwdocherty@gmail.com

As always we will try our best to make sure you are kept up to date with all developments.

The Hackitt Review Interim Report was published on Monday 18th December 2017 and provides a ‘first step’ critical analysis of the building regulations system and fire safety provisions including regulation. The Institute welcomes this report along with all its key recommendation for improvement and we, together with our other colleagues in the fire sector will endeavour to support Dame Judith throughout the whole process, both as a professional body in its own right and through the Fire Sector Federation.

Look around at any fire safety event aimed at the ‘professionals’ and you will see a raft of experienced heads; you can tell that by the grey hair and, indeed, the lack of hair!

 

It’s a lot harder to spot the ‘future’ fire safety expert; the ones just starting out on the journey that the older generation have travelled along. A recent article on IFSEC Global highlighted the skills shortage in fire systems engineering – but that can be said of many fire disciplines too: fire risk assessors, fire engineers, fire safety managers and trainers.

The IFSM (Institute of Fire Safety Managers) council have young professionals on their radar, and below are some ideas and initiatives they would like to introduce, aimed directly at supporting the young and student members of the IFSM and wider fire safety community.

Who are young professionals? Those in their teens, 20s and early 30s.

 

We are looking for an original thinker, someone with a new approach to fire and fire safety. Tell us about what ideas, theories or strategies you can see working.

 

Career pathways, mentor support and career opportunities

One thing is obvious in the fire community: the career path the Fire and Rescue Service has provided for many senior figures in UK fire today.

However, that system of progressing through the fire service isn’t for everyone. Indeed, the flow of well-trained and experienced fire safety professionals leaving the service to work in the private sector has slowed down.

Many other career paths into fire safety are less clearly defined, especially in the fields of fire-risk assessment and fire-risk management.

A stepping stone!

The IFSM is working with various organisations on a fire-safety apprenticeship scheme. It’s early days at the moment, but having a structured foundation course delivered on an academic basis will undoubtedly encourage young people to make fire safety a career choice.

We all need a helping hand!

When you work in an industry where the answer to any question is ‘it depends…’, there will always be times when you need the help of a wise old head or even just a second opinion on something.

For those with an established network there is always a peer at the end of a phone or email who can be a sounding board. Even those with many years under their belt need to chat through tricky problems.

The IFSM Council and, hopefully, senior members of the institute will be available as mentors. Young professionals and student’s members can approach the institute and have a mentor assigned to them. They will give you a helping hand or a second opinion, within reason and if they can!

Membership has its free privileges!

We will continue to engage with the ‘fire’ universities in the UK and recruit as many student members as we can. Membership for full-time students is free and Lloyd and Simon are embarking on a virtual and physical tour of universities in the UK to try and sign up new and existing students.

They will be starting in September this year, with an aim of lowering the average membership age significantly. Students will enjoy the benefits of IFSM membership and hopefully become lifelong members.

This is me!

How can employers find and recruit new and talented young professionals?

We would like to feature graduates and young professionals in the institute’s quarterly magazine, Daedalus, in a series of interviews.

The articles will be a broad look at the individual – both professionally and personally – in an attempt to introduce the person to as wide a community as possible. If you are, or know of, a young professional, please get in touch with us at the foot of this article.

That’s new! £200 award for the most original and thought-provoking article.

We are looking for an original thinker, someone with a new approach to fire and fire safety, a fresh pair of eyes looking at the sector and sector-specific issues. Tell us about what ideas, theories or strategies you can see working.

We are looking for 250 to 1,000 words on anything fire related. We will print the best ones in Daedalus (The Institute’s newsletter) and present the award to our winner at our AGM in Manchester on 10 October. This competition is open to members and non-member students and young professionals.

See below for contact details.

Lloyd Morgan: LM12429@live.com

Simon Ince: simonince@ascentfiresafety.com

Click here to download flyer