November 19, 2015 – The Pro Board is pleased to announce accreditation of its first ever European fire training academy, the Fire Service College (FSC) of the United Kingdom (U.K.). Entities that achieve Pro Board accreditation are recognized as having met the rigors of their testing protocol by an independent organization. This third party independent review is the best way to assure candidates and governance bodies that the entity’s program meets recognized standards.
The Fire Service College (FSC) is the home of firefighter development in the United Kingdom and the first center in Europe to achieve Pro Board accreditation to certify to the U.S.-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.
The Fire Service College is an award-winning leader in fire and emergency response training and one of the world's largest operational fire and rescue training facilities. It specializes in providing dedicated training for fire and rescue services, emergency responders and a wide spectrum of commercial and public sector clients globally. FSC instructors are currently serving as fire officers from individual fire rescue organizations across the U.K. The NFPA is a leading world authority on fire prevention and safety.
The Pro Board accredits organizations that use the NFPA's professional qualification standards. The specific NFPA standards that the Fire Service College can test against are:
- NFPA 1001, Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications
- NFPA 472 (Chapter 4), Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents – Awareness Level
- NFPA 472 (Chapter 6), Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials Incidents – Operations Core with Missions Specific PPE and Product Control Levels
Accreditation is the Pro Board stamp of approval of the certification processes and procedures used by the Fire College to test the knowledge, skills and abilities of learners wishing to be certified to NFPA standards.
In recognition of this achievement, the Chairman of the Pro Board’s Board of Directors, Chief Jim Estepp, visited the Fire College to present the Pro Board’s Accreditation Certificate. “The use of NFPA professional qualification standards is gaining support internationally as the number of Pro Board Accredited Agencies outside of North America continues to grow,” said Chief Estepp. “This achievement of the Fire College in Europe is a prime example of the greater acceptance of Pro Board Accreditation worldwide. We congratulate the Fire College in being the first in Europe to achieve this milestone.”
According to Sir Ken Knight, CBE QFSM FIFireE, Chairman, Fire Service College, "As Chairman of the U.K.’s national Fire Service College, I am delighted that the reputation of the College is further enhanced as we become the first center in Europe to achieve Pro Board accreditation to certify to the US based National Fire Protection Association standards. This accreditation, the result of the demanding and rigorous processes exercised by Pro Board, underlines the position of the Fire Service College as a leading provider of firefighter training both at home and abroad. This significant achievement will further assure the safety, competency and interoperability of U.K. and international firefighters undertaking training provided by the Fire Service College."
Bernie Higgins, FSC Director of Training, said, “This accreditation underlines our position as a leading provider of firefighter training both at home and abroad. It acknowledges that the FSC is working to the most widely recognized fire and prevention standards in the world – now including those of the American fire and rescue services. Pro Board approval opens up new opportunities for the Fire Service College, allowing us to extend the delivery of assessed, accredited and assured training to new and existing international customers.”
This latest development supports the Fire College vision of becoming a true center of excellence for both U.K. and international fire and rescue services. The Fire College represents one of the world’s premier fire training venues, attracting customers from around the globe to train in a world-class facility with internationally recognized credentials.