As the year end approaches we look forward with great excitement to 2020. Since the 2014 announcement that the UAE had been successful with the bid for the Expo 2020 the preparation for the event has been unprecedented. We also look forward to new groups being established in Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2020 with support provided from the local GCC UAE branch. In the next update I anticipate providing a positive update on sponsorship for the branch which again will help support our strategic plans and growth for the branch.
Expo 2020 Update
In this update I thought it would be a timely opportunity to remind readers about the Expo. Expo 2020 Dubai will be hosted at a location in the midst of the UAE that provides the ideal global stage for the first ever World Expo in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. Less than 35 km southwest from downtown Dubai, the site is easily accessible to audiences from every corner of the city, the region, and the world and it is strategically located between the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in order to leverage the location as a key international transit hub for people and goods.
The urban development plans for the city of Dubai, conceived before the awarding of the Expo 2020, were designed to concentrate future growth around the southwest corridor to-wards Abu Dhabi, including areas such as the Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai Industrial City, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Investment Park (DIP). All these plans will be maintained moving forward, and Expo Dubai 2020 will act as an accelerator allowing for faster and more prosperous development of the areas surrounding the site, and in particular the development of the Dubai World Central. In legacy mode the site becomes an integral component of the development of this part of Dubai and will ensure continuation of the positive impact of hosting Expo 2020 through the physical real estate built for the Expo, business model, knowledge creation and reputation of the UAE.
The Expo 2020 Dubai Site is approximately 4 km long and 1.8 km wide, covering a total of 438 hectares comprising three separate affection plans. It is bordered by the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, E77 Road, and the airport. The expansion of the Dubai Metro Line will connect the Expo site to the central area of Dubai and to Dubai International Airport.
The Expo 2020 will be an opportunity to bring the international community together over a 6-month period to explore and experience the different perspectives as they relate to the overall theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future and the three subthemes:
- Mobility, and;
The strategic goal is to deliver the Expo site development successfully balancing the requirements, aspirations and commitments for a successful Expo and sustainable legacy development integrating the Expo main theme and the three subthemes.
The three subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability represent three timeless, interconnected drivers of change that constantly shape our world and create our future. Together, they capture the changes we are experiencing, and bring into focus the need for partnerships in developing the solutions needed to address today’s complex challenges. Each subtheme provides different perspectives for exploring the web of connections that intertwine with each other, with the resources at our disposal and with our society and systems as we endeavor to shape our future.
The development of a legacy plan for the Expo site is a core part of the overall Expo 2020 vision. The legacy plan will follow the vision of contributing to youth, innovation, and economy set out with as much flexibility as possible to accommodate future development opportunities.
To ensure a safe and resilient design for the Expo site and facilities project design codes were developed including Dubai Civil Defence fire and life safety requirements. The purpose of the Dubai Universal Design Code is to define how the built environment and transportation systems in the Emirate shall be designed, constructed and managed to enable one to approach, enter, use, egress from and evacuate independently, in an equitable and dignified manner, to the greatest extent possible, in line with the Universal Design concept.
The requirements of the design code covered a wide range of human abilities, embracing all aspects of life. In some instances, parameters in the code were quite specific; in others, they include dimensional ranges which are intended to provide some flexibility of design solutions.
The Bentley Academy
In previous editions I have provided updates in relation to discussions with the Bentley Advancement Academies. In 2020 we will be able to use the Bentley Academy Dubai Hub for meetings and presentations and invite other international branches and members to simultaneously participate in the events through other Bentley Hubs and through their IT infrastructure. The International Hubs that we initially hope to connect with include:
The Bentley Institute partners with industry organizations to advance international best practice through the latest knowledge sharing which can have a lasting benefit to society. It is intended that the local IFE branch meetings and events will act as a catalyst to support and align advancements in fire engineering and fire & life safety practices. We have provisionally booked sessions on a re-occurring basis for the third Thursday of every month from 2-4pm to allow connectivity across the international time zones. It is intended to have both local and international presentations at these meetings.
Again as we enter 2020 it is a timely opportunity to remind readers about what the IFE can offer. 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 2020 examinations will take place on Thursday 12 March and Friday 13 March 2020 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 Level 5 Diploma in Fire Engineering Design
- IFE Level 2 Certificate in Passive Fire Protection
- IFE Level 3 Certificate in Passive Fire Protection
IFE Qualifications are mapped to National Occupational Standards.
The International General Assembly (IGA)
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. The format of the IGA is more interactive and 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
- Smoke Ventilation
- Fixed Firefighting Systems
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 2020 but members are welcome and encouraged to get involved in any of the SIGs independently of local arrangements.
Over the coming months and through 2020 there will be a lot of activity focusing around branch sponsorship, supporting the establishment of regional groups, branch meetings and presentations through the Bentley Academy. 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 realising our business plan and increasing membership numbers. 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