FIA online examinations for its industry-leading qualifications

What’s involved?

We are committed to listening to our members and the wider fire industry and through offering online examinations we hope this enables fire professionals from around the country, and the world, to take advantage of our industry-recognised.

Online examinations have been taking place since the 01st June 2020 providing fire professionals the opportunity to undertake and complete their qualifications during the pandemic.

Once pandemic restrictions are hopefully eased, we are looking forward to making a move back into the class-based environment, however, we do anticipate that remote on-line learning & exams will form part of the range of training services that we offer in the future.

We feel that this is a progressive step in order to expand our reach and meet both individual & company requirements.


Students will require an operational webcam and microphone for the examination in order to allow for the exam to be invigilated. Whilst the microphones will not normally be used during an exam, they will be required to allow two-way communication to verify identity, check passwords, and for general questions & assistance.


Whilst courses are presented using Zoom webinars, examinations are normally conducted using Zoom meetings, due to certain limitations associated with the webinar functionality and the requirement that all students switch on their cameras. This is a straight forward process and one that will be explained during the course.


Prior to the exam, the trainer will make a brief presentation to thoroughly explain the exam process. During the presentation, students will be asked to show their photo ID to the camera to allow their identity to be verified. Students will also be provided with their unique ID & password for the exam and time will be taken to verify that this has been correctly recorded to make the exam process as smooth as possible.


The software used for the exam format is the same as that used in the class-based environment, but rather than using a tablet, the exam will be accessed from a tablet, desktop or laptop computer using a web browser, preferably Google Chrome, from wherever the student is based.


The operation and use of the exam software will be thoroughly explained during the presentation, where students are encouraged to raise any questions that they may have with regards to the software.


In order to meet the requirements of the qualifications awarding body (AO), the exam will be recorded by the FIA and kept for a period of time mainly to provide the opportunity for an AO audit.  A recording is also made to verify that an exam was conducted properly, should there be any claims of cheating or improper conduct.


Each exam will normally be invigilated by two representatives of the FIA. This helps to ensure that students receive a prompt response to any queries that they may have, before, during and after an exam and also to help maintain at least one invigilator at all times. 


Depending on which qualification an examination relates to, an exam may be either open book or closed book. When an exam is closed book, students will not be permitted to bring any reference material into an exam. When an exam is open book, as would be the case for the Fundamentals courses, students will require a copy of either BS 5839-1 or BS 5893-6, dependent upon the exam they are taking. Both hard copies or electronic copies of the standards are permitted.


Notepaper and a pen or pencil is permitted within the exam. This should be blank notepaper and can be used during an exam to help work through questions. Once you have finished an examination, you are required to show the notepaper to the camera when requested to do so by the trainer. This is part of the invigilation process.


It can sometimes be beneficial to operate with two screens or two separate devices. This will allow the course manual to viewed on one screen, whilst watching the presentation on the alternate screen. This same technique can also be used during the exam to have Zoom and/or the British Standards (only for open book exams) on one screen, whilst using the alternate screen to access the actual exam using Google Chrome.


Our Qualification Courses that are eligible for online exams:

  1. BS 5839-1 Fundamentals in FD&A Conversion Course
  2. BS 5839-1 Fundamentals in FD&A Unit 2
  3. BS 5839-6 Fundamentals in FD&A
  4. Foundation Course
  5. Fundamentals to Advanced Course
  6. FD&A Advanced Maintainer
  7. FD&A Advanced Installer   
  8. FD&A Advanced Commissioner
  9. FD&A Advanced Designer
  10. Environmental Course