Engineering A Safer World
On 1 August 2019, EAL launched a new Level 3 Award – Requirements of Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems for Buildings BS 5839-1:2017. This has been designed to help with the fire safety of non-domestic premises. Across one unit, it comprises of 35 Guided Learning Hours and up to 40 hours of Total Qualification Time.
As the specialist skills partner and awarding organisation for the engineering and manufacturing sector, it was imperative EAL play their role in the many efforts to bring about positive change following the Grenfell tragedy. Through purposeful learning and assessment, we have created a reliable knowledge base of relevant and appropriate information to empower building services engineers working on similar projects.
Learners are assessed by a 50-question, on-screen multiple- choice examination that covers the recommendations and commentary of BS 5839-1:2017. This qualification is graded pass or fail only and covers the code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic premises.
This is the first time that a qualification has been able to provide a standardised level of knowledge, understanding and assessment for engineers working within the sector of the electrotechnical industry. The prospect of bringing about much-needed change and positively altering previous methods of working is a priority if lessons are to be learned and new approaches adopted. The award is supported by both the Fire Security Association (FSA) and the Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA).
ZZEUS Training, the Lincoln-based bespoke training provider and examinations centre for electricians and fire alarm engineers, has been very impressed with the results following the introduction of the qualification to their curriculum. Managing Director, Tom Brookes MSc, explains: “The new EAL Award has not only changed our whole business model at ZZEUS Training, but is starting to have a huge effect on the industry. Previously, the options for Level 3 in fire detection were very limited and very cumbersome with a poor take-up. The EAL Award has revolutionised the fire alarm qualification process, giving companies much more choice with regards to their training. Unlike other options in the fire industry, this exam completely focuses on the BS 5839-1:2017. This allows candidates to concentrate their studies exclusively on that subject, supported by rigorous, robust assessment. Moving forward, the government is now intent on raising the competence of all fire alarm installers with recommendations that all engineers will require level 2 or 3 qualifications.
This new Award will meet these new requirements”.
There’s no doubt that EAL is well respected in the sector. This qualification demonstrates uncompromising support for technical knowledge and understanding of an essential fire safety standard. It’s a concrete example of what can be achieved and a contribution towards delivering safer buildings and communities. Each incremental change will have a significant impact in the bid to build a smarter, safer world and enable every engineer to make decisions which will reduce risk and ensure people feel safe in their own homes.
EAL were proud to be awarded the accolade of ‘Qualification of the Year 2019 at the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) Awards. The Panel praised EAL Level 3 qualification because it “goes towards saving lives” and, importantly, is “designed to remove the barriers to take-up”. Our hope is that this qualification will start the process towards regulated industry standards and practices, turning lessons learned into positive actions taken – this is EAL’s commitment and contribution towards engineering a safer world.
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