FRACS - Fire Risk Assessors Certification Scheme
UK fire safety legislation requires that all buildings used in commercial or similar type activities, but not those that are solely domestic, are required to carry out a fire risk assessment for the purpose of life safety protection and keep the fire risk assessment up to date. It is the responsibility of a designated 'responsible person or duty holder' to ensure that a fire risk assessment has been completed and that it is suitable and sufficient for the purpose of protecting the life safety of those relevant persons in or around the building.
Normally the responsible person/duty holder will not be an expert in fire safety, and he/she may wish to appoint a 'competent person' to undertake this assessment. How then does the responsible person/duty holder assess the competence of a fire risk assessment consultant?
FRACS Individuals Scheme
FRACS has been designed to provide a 'technical reference' for the risk assessor; using the international standard for bodies operating certification of persons; BS EN ISO/IEC 17024: 2003. FRACS provides a standardised and nationally recognised certificate of competence. Fire risk assessors who have completed the comprehensive technical evaluation successfully and achieved certification are considered 'competent' to produce risk assessments that are 'suitable and sufficient' for the purposes of the relevant UK fire safety legislation.
FRACS certified fire risk assessors are all listed on Warrington Certification's register of competent fire risk assessors; a valuable reference for the 'responsible person/duty holder', who needs to commission a fire risk assessment.
Therefore, using a FRACS certificated assessor provides a powerful demonstration that a responsible person/duty holder has exercised due diligence in the selection and appointment of a competent fire risk assessor.
FRACS Company Scheme
FRACS Company is a quality assurance scheme aimed at companies who offer fire risk assessment services; who wish to differentiate themselves from competitors through an independent certification scheme.
The assessment procedure for certification not only examines the competence of the employees but it also assesses the quality management systems and procedures operated by the company. Thus assuring high standards of service and competence can be delivered by the certificated company to their clients on a reliable basis.
By using the same core competence assessment as the FRACS scheme for individual assessors, the company scheme provides a 'bench mark' comparison for all assessors and enables the certificated company to use subcontract assessors with confidence. It is increasingly important for the responsible person to be able to demonstrate due diligence when appointing a fire risk assessor and third party certification is one way of satisfying this requirement.