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Fire safety practitioners 

The NSW Government is working to strengthen the state’s building regulation and certification system by introducing reforms to fire safety.

New regulations will come into effect on 1 October 2017, including the requirement for fire safety statement assessments to be carried out by a competent fire safety practitioner. For more information on these reforms, visit the Department of Planning website.

This page outlines the role of competent fire safety practitioners, the framework being established for their accreditation and how they will be appointed while the framework is being set up.

Organisations seeking to set up and gain recognition for their competent fire safety practitioner accreditation scheme should visit the Professional bodies and industry associations page for details on this process.

Competent fire safety practitioners 

A competent fire safety practitioner is a person who has been accredited by an approved industry organisation to undertake functions outlined in recent amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the EP&A Regulation). 

The EP&A Regulation requires that a competent fire safety practitioner performs the following functions:

  • endorsing plans and specifications for relevant fire safety systems
  • endorsing fire safety alternative solution reports
  • endorsing exemptions to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) for minor works to existing relevant fire safety systems and
  • undertaking the annual fire safety statement assessment of buildings.

To become a competent fire safety practitioner you will need to be accredited by an approved industry organisation. The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) is currently accepting applications from industry organisations seeking approval to accredit competent fire safety practitioners.

A list of approved bodies will be provided on this website as they become available. To be notified when an industry organisation is recognised, please complete this registration form.

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The Competent Fire Safety Practitioner Co-regulatory Accreditation Framework 

The Competent Fire Safety Practitioner Co-Regulatory Accreditation Framework establishes the structure under which government and private organisations will work together to regulate the inspection and certification of fire safety systems.

The NSW Government has adopted a co-regulatory model for determining the qualifications of people who are capable of carrying out the functions of competent fire safety practitioners.

Instead of a traditional licensing scheme where the government sets the requirements that individuals must meet, this model relies on the expertise of professional bodies and industry associations to determine the skills, knowledge and experience an individual must have in order to capably perform one or more of the competent fire safety practitioner functions.

This framework is currently being set up. Organisations seeking to set up and gain recognition for their competent fire safety practitioner accreditation scheme should visit the Professional bodies and industry associations page for details on this process.

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How are competent fire safety practitioners appointed before the framework is operational? 

As it will take some time for the accreditation scheme to become fully operational, the Department of Planning will be issuing interim guidance material to industry about how to select a competent fire safety practitioner. More information can be found on the Department of Planning website.

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