FIRE PROTECTION TECHNICIANS TRANSITION

Posted on : Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board (the Board) has successfully transitioned the vast majority of experienced fire protection technicians who handle scheduled extinguishing agents, to an Extinguishing Agent Handling Licence (EAHL) - Qualified Persons (Entitlement 1-5).

"I am delighted that most technicians have updated their qualification by the 30 November 2015 deadline, we see this as a positive reflection on the strength and direction of those working in the fire protection industry," Board Chairman, Mr Chris Orr said.

The achievement of successfully transitioning technicians has been driven largely by the Board's mission to minimise emissions from scheduled extinguishing agents.

The Board believes this transition bolsters professionalism and builds confidence in the industry and the community. As a result, anyone in the community employing the services of fire protection technicians can expect that they are appropriately trained, qualified and competent, as specified under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Regulations 1995 (the Regulations).

The Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) facilitates and services the Board through a service agreement with the Department of the Environment (the Department). The Board administers the fire protection industry permit scheme under the Regulations. Previously industry technicians could hold their licences based solely on their industry experience but are now required to undertake formal assessment to acquire updated qualifications.

"In addition, we continue to work collaboratively with the Department, with a joint vision that the required changes to licensing will further promote 'best practice' activities by fire protection technicians and improve awareness and understanding," Mr Orr said.

"The Board's position is that businesses and technicians must continue to comply with all legislative and regulatory requirements and relevant codes of practice under the Regulations," Mr Orr said.

From 1 December, 2015 any technician who has not undertaken the required units of competency is no longer able to hold an EAHL Experienced Persons (Entitlement 1-5) and cannot continue to work without a valid licence.

The Board acknowledges FPA Australia and the industry's outstanding contribution in developing learning and assessment resources which support technicians to successfully transition to EAHL - Qualified Persons licence.

The Board is aware of approximately 300 technicians who have not transitioned to Qualified Persons (Entitlement 1-5). Anyone suspected of working without a licence will be contacted by the Board regarding non-compliance under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and the Regulations.

If you have not transitioned and are working with scheduled extinguishing agents you may be in breach of the Regulations and should contact the Board for assistance.

Anyone requiring more information about the fire protection industry permit scheme or with media enquiries can contact the Communications & Compliance Manager, peter.najibi@fpaa.com.au.

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