In our last update it was highlighted that 2018, being the IFE’s Centenary year, we should not forget the importance of promoting international best practice and bringing together the fire community to celebrate the 100th year of the IFE.
Much work has been going on at the UK Head Quarters in coordinating the centenary campaign. As part of the celebrations there will be a centenary torch relay. For all participating branches it is programmed that the torch will pass from branch to branch – it is planned that the torch will be passed over to Dubai in November 2018 on its journey around the globe. On receiving the torch, all branches should incorporate the torch into either their centenary or a similar event they are holding in 2018, before passing it on to the next branch. The IFE will publicise all events where the torch is featured and a tracker on the main website will follow the torch’s progress around the globe. With enough branches taking part and the various events being held throughout the year it is hoped to secure significant press interest that in turn will promote the IFE, its centenary and our global presence.
The torch will start its journey in Leicester on 9th January 2018 at the centenary kick-off event and finish back in the UK in Edinburgh during the International Conference and centenary celebrations.
The Centenary encompasses a `young people’ theme aiming to capture all young people up to the age of 25. Throughout the year, Branches should look to get involved with all groups supporting and having involvement with young people particularly those with disabilities requiring support.
Many queries directed to an International branch feature membership, qualifications, examinations and training. As part of this update, I would like to take the opportunity to focus on these areas and the wider strategic aims of the IFE and how as a branch we aim to integrate into the objectives through our own branch strategy.
We are familiar with the fact that The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is a truly global organisation connecting fire professionals and has been sharing expertise since 1918. Members of the IFE share a commitment to envisioning, preparing, mentoring and building for the future, ensuring that the fire profession remains relevant and valued, protecting people, property and the environment from fire.
IFE members represent the whole spectrum of the fire sector and benefit greatly from opportunities to meet, exchange views and develop professional networks and friendships on a global scale.
The IFE is a professional engineering institution and assesses suitably qualified and experienced members for registration as Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians.
It is important to remember that the IFE is neither a political organisation nor a trade union; it remains neutral from these areas, focusing on what science in all its disciplines can provide and do for fire engineering. It is a member led organisation.
So what can the IFE offer? With a proven record of accomplishment, the IFE can offer an enhanced professional status for its members with accredited qualifications for fire professionals. All members receive a free subscription to the International Fire Professional Journal; have access to a range of accredited examinations and a voice in national and international debates on fire related issues. The branch network and international conferences provide an unparalleled opportunity to network with fellow professionals worldwide.
Introduction to IFE Qualifications
IFE vocational qualifications are recognised by employers throughout the UK and internationally. They are recognised and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and by the Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA).
The IFE is the only regulated Awarding Organisation in the UK that specialises entirely in the fire sector. IFE assessment materials are developed and quality assured by sector experts who bring extensive experience and up-to-date knowledge to the assessment process.
The IFE’s delivery processes comply with best practice and meet national regulatory standards. Candidates entering for IFE qualifications can be confident that:
- They are accessing a valued qualification recognised nationally and internationally
- They will receive a professional and robust assessment by industry experts
- Achievement will provide them with a platform for further study and professional development
Being a member of the IFE ensures that you get the professional recognition and other benefits, which include:
- Improved career prospects and employability.
- Higher earning potential.
- Demonstration of a professional attitude valued by employers and customers.
- Enhanced status leading to higher self-esteem.
- International recognition of competence and commitment.
- Evidence of expertise.
- Greater influence within your own organisation and industry
Many enquiries to the branch relate to the type of membership available on joining the IFE so by way of brief summary the IFE offers 5 grades of membership with letters after your name (post nominals) that are recognised and valued by employers worldwide, namely;
- Technician (TIFireE)
- Graduate (GIFireE)
- Associate (AIFireE)
- Member (MIFireE)
- Fellow (FIFireE)
The IFE is also licensed by the Engineering Council and, if you are appropriately qualified and experienced, you could be registered as a Chartered Engineer, an Incorporated Engineer or an Engineering Technician. If you have recently graduated and want recognition of your qualifications whilst you build your experience as a fire engineer, you could become an Interim registrant.
Each year the IFE receives around 6,000 exam entries from candidates in more than 35 different countries and interest in IFE qualifications continues to grow each year.
The March 2018 examinations will take place on Thursday 8 March and Friday 9 March 2018 and an examination centre will be running in Dubai as previously.
The IFE offers six qualifications. Information about each qualification is provided below. Full information relating to the qualifications and associated syllabus’ can be found on the IFE website: http://www.ife.org.uk/IFE-Qualifications-with-Syllabus-Links.
The qualifications available are:
- IFE Level 2 Certificate in Fire Science, Operations and Safety
- IFE Level 3 Certificate in Fire Science, Operations, Fire Safety and Management
- IFE Level 3 Diploma in Fire Science and Fire Safety
- IFE Level 4 Certificate in Fire Science and Fire Safety
- IFE Level 3 Certificate for Operational Supervisory Managers in Fire and Rescue Services
- IFE Level 5 Award in Fire Investigation: Theory and Practice
IFE Qualifications are mapped to National Occupational Standards.
IFE Strategic priorities:
Within the IFE Strategic Plan 2014-18 six priorities were identified to ensure that the Institution provides the best possible outcomes for its members. These priorities are to:
- Facilitate awareness of fire issues and developments through the communication of ideas, knowledge, information and the contribution of members, through an international network of branches and special interest groups.
- Foster professionalism by establishing and maintaining pathways and recognised standards of fire professionalism and competency.
- Increase knowledge in the science, practice end professionalism of fire engineering.
- Provide independent leadership and confidently promote the value and services provided by the IFE.
- Promote the IFE by increasing the standing of the Institution and the significance of membership.
- Organisational development – ensure the IFE continuously improves and provides value to our members.
Two key areas to highlight where I believe these priorities are embraced by international branches are through the International Group Assembly (IGA) and Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
The IGA and the forum that the IGA uses is an opportunity for the Institution and the Board to hear the inputs and insights from branches all around the world. Previously there was a very limited number of people attending the IGA all from similar backgrounds. This year in particular there has been renewed interest within the IGA, with a number of branches that have not attended for a significant time which have come back, re-engaged, and contributed. The GCC UAE Branch was represented at the IGA for the first time in 2017. The format of the IGA has also changed. Rather than being a conventional sit around the table meeting, the format now consists of a lot of discussion sessions and breakout plenary groups working on issues and developing approaches to them and then feeding back to the rest of the IGA and sharing that insight. These key discussion points can then be fed back up to IFE Board level and promote true international forward integration.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
SIGs provide the opportunity to members to share their experience and learning with like-minded fire professionals. Each group offers news updates and document postings for knowledge exchange and worldwide networking. New special interest groups currently under development include Fire Fighter Safety and Industrial Fire and Risk. Current SIGs include:
- Competency and Ethics
- Fire Investigation and Research
- Fire Modelling
- Fire Resistance
- Fire Fighter Safety
- Heritage Buildings
- Industrial Fire and Risk
Within the GCC UAE Branch, there is a particular interest to provide more focused regional groups based on the model of the SIGs. This will hopefully start to roll out during 2018.
Over the coming months and through 2018 there will be a lot of activity focusing around the centenary celebrations but establishing and the development of a new branch in the region remains a high priority. It is important to ensure the IFE remains meaningful and that the obvious benefits of membership lead to increased membership and improved community outcomes. We need to ensure the we all adapt to changing circumstances and the IFE provides value to its members and broader society well into the future. Within the GCC and UAE, we will focus on increasing member numbers, diversity within the membership and the involvements of these members at the Institution’s Annual General Meeting and conference. The branch is well positioned within the region to support initiatives and programmes of supporting the fire industry within the Middle East, developing countries and to foster partnerships with key stakeholders, the broader fire industry and communities and also integrate and support other international branches.
For more information, go to www.ife.org.uk/branches/GCC-UAE