Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS)

FPAS is now mandatory in NSW


The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) was formally  approved by the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service under  section 59 of the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018


This means that if you: 


  • endorse plans and specifications for designs, and do not hold C8 or C14 registration with the Department, you must be Fire Systems Design (FSD) accredited; or


  • endorse fire safety measures on annual or supplementary fire safety statements, you must be Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) accredited. 


All other fire protection roles are unaffected by the announcement.  


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Fire Safety Assessment & Fire Systems Design - Transitional to Qualified Update, Feb 2021


In 2017, the NSW Government amended the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (the Regulation) to require the endorsement of fire systems designs and performance to be carried out by competent practitioners.


This change was in line with private certification views of the Independent Review of the Building Professionals Act 2005 (the Lambert Report), which considered the "approach to the regulation of the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of fire safety system" to be "a major deficiency" in need of urgent reform. 

It was always the NSW Government's intent that an industry-based accreditation authority would be approved to accredit practitioners. On 1 July, 2020, Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) was recognised as an accreditation authority by the NSW Department of Customer Service. The announcement by the NSW Secretary recognised FPA Australia for Fire Safety Assessment (FSA) and Fire Systems Design (FSD). 

NSW FSA and FSD practitioners can be recognised through a Transitional pathway until 30 June 2021 after which only the Qualified pathway for accreditation will apply.


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The Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS), launched in July 2013, is the only nationally harmonised accreditation system designed to recognise the skills and competencies of individuals working in the fire protection industry across all state and territory jurisdictions in Australia. 


The FPAS Scheme incorporates existing and essential components of the Australian Government training agenda on competency-based training and assessment. 


While mostly voluntary, FPAS has been recognised for fire systems design and fire safety assessment by the NSW Government, under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018, and the Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2020.  


You are not required to be accredited under FPAS to work in the fire protection industry, except for designers or assessors in NSW, nor do you have to be a member of FPA Australia to be part of the scheme. 


The Association has introduced FPAS for the benefit and sustainability of the fire protection industry and has committed to ensuring that all appropriately qualified practitioners are eligible for accreditation. 



Available Classes of FPAS Accreditation


FPAS currently covers the followng areas of work: 



We are currently working on other classes of accreditation, which will be introduced over time. 


These will include: 


  • Installation and Commissioning;
  • Maintenance; and
  • Emergency Planning and Training (EPT). 


The FPAS classes are financed through a fee-based system on the application, attainment, and renewal of accreditation. 


Accreditation is delivered to individuals, not companies, although our 2020 Vision seeks to have companies become Recognised Businesses by getting all of their technicians accredited for Inspect and Test (routine service). 


FPAS is a key part of ongoing efforts by the fire protection industry to:  


  • increase professionalism;
  • deliver quality services by engaging a technically competent workforce; and
  • improving fire safety outcomes for the community. 



Individual Accreditation


Individuals accredited under the Scheme must demonstrate competency to provide the services for which they are accredited via an objective, formal assessment process. 


Where launched, there are three (3) accreditation pathways for individuals: 


1.    Qualified Accreditation

2.    Transitional Accreditation

3.    Trainee Accreditation


Accredited individuals who have gained Transitional or Trainee Accreditation are required to transition to Qualified Accreditation within a specified period. 


This transition period allows the individual to complete the required units of competency needed to successfully gain Qualified Accreditation under the Scheme. 


See the FACT Sheets or NSW Reforms for further information on obtaining Qualified, Transitional or Trainee Accreditation.