Essential information about our qualifications

15 January 2019 by Michael Gregg, FIA Training Manager

We are now halfway through January and it’s a bit chilly and dull – but perhaps it is time to revisit your New Year’s Resolution.  If your resolution was to improve the skills and knowledge of your staff and get them qualified to work on fire detection and alarm systems, then you’re in the right place.

You might be aware that the FIA now provides qualifications in fire detection and alarm systems (and if not, welcome – you’re obviously new around here!).  There are four qualifications on offer: Advanced Design, Advanced Installation, Advanced Maintenance, and Advanced Commissioning.

The diagram below should help give a better understanding of what units need to be studied to gain the qualification.  There are four essential units to each one, and as you can see, the Foundation course is the first unit of the qualification pathway.

FIA Fire Detection and Alarm Qualifications have 4 units of study.  This flowchart shows that the Foundation Course is the first unit.


But what if doing a qualification sounds a bit… daunting? What if your staff require a confidence boost before they begin?  

It is understandable – everyone gets a case of exam jitters.

For this reason, for those that may like to do a little bit of extra learning before doing the qualification pathway, we’ve developed the ‘Access to FD&A Foundation Course’.  It has been designed to be less formal than the qualification. The pace of the day is slower and there aren’t any formal examinations, just a few ‘open-book’ style quizzes throughout the day so that learners can look up the answers and discuss them with the trainer.

The Access course is ideal for those that are completely new to the industry, or perhaps have less experience and would like to increase their confidence in their own knowledge of fire detection and alarm systems before they start the Foundation Course of the qualification at a later date.

As this is a training course, there is no pass or fail result (so less pressure than doing an exam), but it will give learners a simple overview of BS 5839-1, false alarm management, third party certification, and detector types. You can see the full scope of what the day covers on the course description page.

At just £150 for an FIA member, it’s a worthwhile investment to ensure your staff feel prepared enough before taking the qualification, especially if they are new to the industry or feel they need a little extra study time.


If you or your team have studied on our qualification pathway and would like to be interviewed for our blog, then please email us.