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Fire safety apprenticeships receive boost with IFSM and SSAIB collaboration

The ASFP is preparing to resume face-to-face classroom training on Passive Fire Protection in Dublin and Coventry on Wednesday 8 July.

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In a bid to address the growing skills gap in the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems (FESS) sector, the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) and certification body Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) have announced a joint initiative that strengthens the impact of the FESS apprenticeship programme. This venture underlines the value of the professional technician status conferred by the specialised apprenticeship and its significant contribution to the sector.

Under the new initiative, apprentices will receive complimentary student membership from the Institute as they embark on their regional FESS apprenticeship. Following the successful completion of their training, apprentices, equipped with their ECS/FESS competency card, will be eligible to apply for the IFSM’s Technician membership grade, TIFSM. The IFSM is extending an offer of free first-year membership to these budding professionals as they launch into their chosen careers.

A crucial component of the IFSM and SSAIB joint initiative is the pathway it creates for the existing workforce, enabling Operatives to upskill to Fire Technician roles. With the support of their ECS/FESS competency card, these skilled workers can apply for the IFSM’s Technician membership grade, TIFSM, recognizing their professional status.

Trevor Jenks, SSAIB National Training Manager, expressed his delight at the new initiative: “SSAIB are delighted to have been involved in this exciting new initiative which gives professional recognition to the FESS Fire Systems Technician. Starting with IFSM student membership the apprentice will benefit from the Institute’s support throughout their journey to FESS Fire Technician and starting their professional career as an IFSM Technical member. The SSAIB continues to take a leading role in setting and raising technical standards as the whole FESS sector upskills on its route to competence and professional recognition.”

Echoing his sentiments, David White, Chairman of IFSM, said: “The Institute is passionate about encouraging young professionals into the industry and creating a career pathway for those working in the fire industry. Competency is key, and the Institute is happy to recognise the ECS/FESS card as part of its membership scheme. Members at all grades are kept up to date with the latest industry news/legislative updates and benefit from continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities. CPD is a requirement of membership, and this helps those in the industry to continue to develop and remain competent.”

IFSM has prepared a presentation for registered FESS training providers, offering guidance on the benefits of professional body membership and application procedures. For further information about this joint initiative or for details on how to join the Institute, please contact the SSAIB or the IFSM.


SSAIB – The Inspectorate for the Professional – serves as the UK’s and Ireland’s leading third-party certification body, certifying over 2000 firms for a range of services in the security, safety, and fire safety industries. For more than 25 years, SSAIB has been protecting businesses and homeowners through its certification, leveraging the skills of its highly trained industry experts. For more information, visit:

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