BAFE continues to raise the competency bar for fire detection and alarm system work

Monday 21st August 2023
BAFE SP203-1 Scheme Document Version 8.0 Published 21/08/2023

Following a thorough review, the BAFE Fire Safety Register have published Version 8.0 of their BAFE SP203-1 Competency Scheme Document for the Design, Installation, Commissioning, and Maintenance of Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems (21/08/2023).

BAFE have taken into strong consideration changes being introduced in respect of competency, including documents such as the BSI Flex 8670 (Core criteria for building safety in competence frameworks). For example with the recommendations of this document, the appropriate skills, knowledge, experience, and behaviours are factored into the updated BAFE SP203-1 Scheme Document. The management scheme requirements regarding competence of individuals have now been made more explicit. Where it was decided that additional conditions were needed, practical changes have been introduced – such as a nominated Lead Individual for each module (design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance) that have heightened competency criteria to ensure these individuals are appropriate to supervise and support the organisation’s management system in relation to this scope of work.

Matt Darville, Chair of the BAFE SP203-1 Monitoring Committee, stated “This has been an extensive process to review the document appropriately, considering both our desires to clarify requirements and the comments and feedback from multiple participants of the Monitoring Committee. The updates made to the BAFE SP203-1 Scheme Document are sensible but raise the competency bar for all relevant individuals employed by an organisation that delivers fire detection and fire alarm work. We trust that this is still very much achievable, and it continues to demonstrate the best possible objective evidence of competency to deliver this work.”

Lewis Ramsay, BAFE Board Director, commented “The work performed by BAFE and the SP203-1 Monitoring Committee has been a substantial undertaking, with an improved document as a result. The current landscape of the fire industry is changing at a rapid pace, and we appreciate that keeping up with all of this is no easy feat. The Responsible Person, Duty Holder, premises manager needs to demonstrate their actions in meeting their fire safety obligations. The BAFE Schemes exist for the industry to demonstrate their capability, and third-party certification towards these Schemes can be a clear differentiator to anyone looking to employ the services of an organisation providing life safety works.”