England and Wales’s largest fire and rescue awarding and assessments organisation, which is trusted by more than two thirds of fire and rescue services, SFJ Awards, has launched its new suite of Incident Command qualifications, from initial command at level 3 up to strategic or gold command level 7.
The launch comes as the National Fire Chief Council (NFCC) updates it National Operational Guidance (NOG), recognising the increasingly complex and challenging environment in which fire and rescue services operate.
Reflecting the NFCC’s updated guidance, the new awards will cover a range of capabilities, including command and leadership skills, communications, associated technical issues and more.
Learning centres approved to deliver the qualifications suite are now inviting applications from learners in fire and rescue coming to the area fresh, as well as experienced professionals revalidating their skills to ensure ongoing competence in the area.
Commenting on the launch, Candace Miller, Managing Director of SFJ Awards, said, “We launch this suite of qualifications at a time of heightened focus on Incident Command. High profile incidents such as Grenfell and extreme weather events in the North of England have demonstrated the importance of a fire and rescue workforce that is skilled in leading, monitoring and supporting the Incident Command System, and we welcome the updated guidance issued by NFCC.
“Through equipping learners at every level with the very latest knowledge and skills, our fire and rescue services can continue to deliver a robust response to major incidents and importantly this gives the public confidence that our frontline emergency services are equipped to respond to rapidly evolving Incident Command environment.”
Jim Martin, Incident Command Manager at The Fire Service College, comments,“Equipping today’s firefighters and other emergency responders with the best possible skills and training to learn the latest techniques and procedures is at the heart of what we do.
“That being so, we welcome the launch of this suite of incident command qualifications, which ensure that fire and rescue services’ learning outcomes remain consistent with NFCC guidance.
“As an organisation with over 40 years’ experience in delivering fire and rescue training internationally, we look forward to continuing to work with SFJ Awards to deliver incident command qualifications you can trust.”
Jim Davies, Group Commander at London Fire Brigade and Vice Chair of NFCC’s NationalCommand & Control User Group, adds, “I am very confident these qualifications will provide learners with the effective knowledge, skills and behaviours required to take command at incidents at all levels. Incident command is one of the key pillars of the National Operational Guidance framework and we value the role that SFJ Awards plays in enabling learners to access training that is consistent with the latest developments in the field.
“Learners at all levels will welcome the opportunity to familiarise themselves with incident command hazards and gain proficiency in implementing the relevant control measures in the context of an everchanging environment. The launch of this suite therefore represents an important step forward for the performance and safety of fire and rescue services and communities nationwide.
“These qualifications are forming the basis of our incident command competency framework and this latest revision provides us with the assurance that we can clearly demonstrate our alignment with National Operational Guidance, and the associated training specifications, which is a vital component of our incident command strategy.”
Upon successful completion of the course delegates will typically receive 30.5 Institute of Fire Engineers (IFE) Continual Professional Development (CPD) hours. In addition to Incident Command levels 3-7, SFJ Awards offers 18 additional fire and rescue qualifications.