Foundation Course (2 Days)

Foundation in Fire Detection and Alarm Systems

This two day unit is the starting point for the advanced qualifications and will give learners a strong grounding in standards and codes of practice. Taught by experts in the industry, learners will benefit from the high level of knowledge and experience of our trainers.

***If you have passed the Fundamentals to FD&A Qualifcation you should take the Fundamentals to Advanced Course. Click here for more information***

The foundation course is an intensive two-day course designed to provide learners with a strong grounding in the requirements of BS 5839-1, the code of practice for design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of non-domestic fire detection and alarm systems, plus many other relevant aspects as detailed below in the course outline.

The foundation course is the starting point for our advanced qualifications and successful completion of the exam will enable delegates to progress towards the four Advanced Qualifications for Installation, Maintenance, Commissioning and Design. Delegates can choose to complete one or more of the advanced qualifications, and will also need to complete the two mandatory units covering Environmental requirements for field technicians and Health and Safety requirements for field technicians.

Delegates with pre-existing qualifications relating to the environment and/ health and safety may not need to sit all the mandatory units. Please refer to the prerequisites section for further information.

Have you already completed the fundamentals in fire detection & alarm systems course?

Delegates who have already completed the fundamentals in fire detection & alarm (FD&A) systems qualification have the option to take the fundamentals to advanced course as an alternative route to access the advanced qualifications detailed above. The fundamentals to advanced course is a one day course that concludes with delegates taking the foundation course examination. Successful completion of which, allows delegates to proceed onto the advanced qualifications courses.

Delegates taking the Foundation course will receive a course book at the start of the course. The course book will contain a copy of the slides used during the course, along with an explanation to accompany each slide and space to make their own learner notes. These books are to be retained by the delegates and are a useful reference tool for the work place.

For courses that take place within the classroom environment, a hard copy of the course notes will be provided at the start of the course. For courses taking place on-line, delegates will have access to the course notes digitally. Following completion of the online course delegates will be contacted and have the option to receive a hard copy of the course book in the post. Details on how to access the digital course book will be provided within the course invitation e-mail. Delegates will need to set up access to the digital course book prior to the start of the course.

At the end of the foundation course, you should have an understanding of the following:

  • An introduction to the requirements of BS 5839-1;
  • Legislation;
  • Explosive Environments;
  • Construction Product Regulations (CPR);
  • The Equality Act;
  • Types of Contracts;
  • Third Party Certification;
  • The Fire Event and Passive Protection;
  • The Fire Risk Assessment;
  • Construction, Design & Management (CDM);
  • Standards, Codes of Practice, Guidance and Technical notes;
  • A brief introduction to BS5839-6 for domestic premises;
  • Fire Detection & Alarm System Technology;
  • False Alarms and Un-Wanted Fire Signals;
  • Documentation.

For a full overview of the Foundation Course, we have prepared an overview video of approximately 13 minutes in duration, which is available by following the link provided below.

What's on the Foundation in Fire Detection & Alarms unit?

At the end of the course, delegates will take an examination to test their knowledge. The examination is closed book and no reference material will be allowed.

For any courses held online, the examination will also be online. For details about the online examination process, please visit the following links, FIA online examinations for its industry-leading qualifications and How to take an FIA online Qualification exam.

Delegates taking the course in the classroom, will be provided with a tablet to access the exam.

If you are unsuccessful during the exam at the end of the course, you will be eligible for a free exam re-sit.

A copy of the course syllabus is also available for clicking on the following link, Foundation Course Syllabus.

The FIA would recommend only embarking on the Foundation course and the associated Advanced Qualifications if you have at least one year’s experience in the industry.

If you are looking to improve your knowledge on the basic principles of BS 5839-1 and the associated fire legislation, we also offer the ‘Access to FD&A’ course. For more information, please click on the following link Access to FD&A (

If you have already completed the fundamentals in fire detection & alarm (FD&A) systems qualification, please consider the fundamentals to advanced course as detailed in the overview section of this page.

Before taking this course, we would recommend delegates undertake some pre-learning by reading through the ‘Learner Manual for Legislation & Contracts’ that is available for download using the link provided below.

Learner Manual Legislation & Contracts Section to download

We would also recommend watching our Pre-learning videos, that are available by clicking the links provided below:

Fire Safety Law

Fire Science

Third Party Certification

Passive Fire Protection

Fire Detection & Alarms (Part 1)

Fire Detection & Alarms (Part 2)

Fire Detection & Alarms (Part 3)

Fire Detection & Alarms (Part 4)

FD&A Revision Session

These videos contain information that is vital to the course and we strongly recommend that learners watch them before taking the course for the best chance of success in the examination.  They can also be used for revision by delegates taking an exam resit, or for revision during the evening of day 1 for those delegates already on the course.

Six practice examination questions are also available via the survey monkey website, a link to which is provided below:

Practice exam questions

We also have a short video available to help delegates tackle multiple choice exam questions. This video will be useful not just for the foundation course examination, but also for anybody taking the advanced qualifications.  Please click on the following link to view this video, FIA Multiple Choice Exam Techniques.

The successful completion of this course & the exam, is the first step towards an Advanced Qualification.

Upon completion of the exam, delegates will get an instant result and successful delegates can then progress to the Advanced Qualifications for Installation, Maintenance, Commissioning and Design.

We do not issue certificates for completing the Foundation course as it is not a qualification, it is part of one. A certificate will be issued when the qualification is complete. In the interim period, e-mails will be sent out confirming pass/fails that can be used as evidence.

Yes, this training has 13 Hours CPD.

  • FIA member £300 +VAT   Payable by invoice or debit/credit card
  • Non-members £500 +VAT  Payable only by debit/credit card