Although it is not a necessity to employ a registered fire risk assessor or indeed to use an external assessor at all to carry out your fire risk assessment, it has been recognised for a while now that there is a need for a more in-depth system of control to be in place for those offering this service. The Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) launched the new professional register for fire risk assessors on December 1, 2011.
In June 2011 a document, Competency Criteria for Fire Risk Assessors, was drawn up by the Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council, which highlighted concerns of the standard of work carried out by fire risk assessors on a third party basis. As a result of this the IFSM decided to launch this new register.
It is hoped that the register will provide those wishing to outsource the task of carrying out their fire risk assessment with a database of qualified assessors to ensure that the contracted risk assessor is able to carry out an adequate fire risk assessment. There have been several fatalities from fires at premises that had a fire risk assessment carried out by a third party, which was found to be of an inadequate standard.