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FSA Members recognised by Dame Judith Hackitt for new Level 3 NVQ

As one of the first four people to complete the EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Providing Electronic Fire and Security Systems; FSA Member Daren Pool had the honour of having their qualifications presented to them by EAL’s Managing Director Al Parkes and Dame Judith Hackitt DBE, Chair of the EAL board.

When it was launched in 2020, the EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Providing Electronic Fire and Security Systems was a significant advancement in providing meaningful certification for the fire safety industry, but up until now, no one had successfully completed this challenging experienced worker assessment.

This is an importance development for the Fire Safety industry as this qualification is simultaneously part of an apprenticeship in Northern Ireland and Wales, and provides a pathway for those who have experience of working in the Fire sector, but did not have the chance to undertake an apprenticeship, to meet the same standard through use of this qualification as an Experienced Worker Assessment. Not only does it meet the requirements for industry recognition through the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) for a Fire, Emergency and Security Systems (FESS) Technician gold card, but also meets the baseline competency requirements as part of the review into individual competence following the tragedy at Grenfell led by Dame Judith Hackitt DBE.

All four of these successful learners came through FSA Chair Tom Brookes' firm ZZEUS Training, which provides training and examinations for electricians and fire alarm engineers at its specially designed training centre.

Daren Pool, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Triple Star Fire and Security Limited, embodies a commitment to excellence, innovation, and community service. With a BEng in Building Engineering and extensive fire knowledge, Daren has steered Triple Star towards becoming a beacon of quality and reliability in the fire and security industry. His impact extends beyond the business, actively participating in industry committees. Daren has contributed to safety protocols through BSI committees, serves as Branch Chair of the Electrical Contractors Association, and is a committee member of the Fire and Security Association.

Dr Tom Brookes, Managing Director of ZZEUS TRAINING and Chairman of the Fire & Security Association (FSA), commented:

“I am delighted that four learners from ZZEUS Training have broken new ground in achieving the EAL Level 3 Diploma in Providing Electronic Fire and Security Systems. We’re exploring the possibility of making this qualification a recognized pathway to membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, which would elevate fire alarm engineers to professional engineering status.”

ZZEUS Training differs from many fire alarm training providers. Every course we offer includes at least 4 days of practical hands-on training. All trainers and assessors are EQA, Assessor and Teacher qualified with lead trainer Buddy Squires, holding master’s level teaching qualification. Furthermore, all ZZEUS trainers are active fire alarm technicians.

ZZEUS Training hosts the UK's only EAL and British Fire Consortium Centre of Excellence dedicated fire alarm technician training centre, collaborating with over 15 fire system manufacturers.

Tom continued:  

“Because of my belief in improving the fire alarm sector competency, I was delighted when Dame Judith Hackitt wanted to present the EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Providing Electronic Fire and Security Systems to the first group of experienced workers to prove their competency via this route. The pride I took when Dame Judith said that ZZEUS Training was a pioneer in fire system training will stay with me forever as a testimonial to us striving to do the right thing.”

In attendance at the presentation, which also saw Shaun, Daren, Gary and John receive their ECS Fire Systems Technician Gold cards, were Andy Reakes and Kevin Sparrow.

As Director of Growth and Development at The Joint Industry Board and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme, Andy has been working on improving Fire and Security ECS cards to ensure they are meaningful and meet all the legislative and industry competency requirements. He has played a crucial role in ensuring that the EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Providing Electronic Fire and Security is fully recognised in the electrical and fire sector and is part of both Working Group 2: Installers and the Fire Detection and Alarm Systems pilot group as part of the Competence Steering Groups established by Dame Judith Hackitt DBE following the review into the tragedy at Grenfell.

Kevin Sparrow, EAL’s Industry Portfolio Manager for Building Services Engineering, worked with Tom and ECS to ensure he set about ensuring that anyone completing the EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Providing Electronic Fire and Security Systems would meet the Fire, Emergency and Security Systems (FESS) Technician Apprenticeship Standard and the new requirements of the ECS Fire Systems Technician Gold card.

Al Parkes, Managing Director, EAL said:  

“As the specialist Awarding Organisation, End Point Assessment Organisation and skills partner for the Engineering & Manufacturing and Building Services Engineering industries, we seek to ensure that all our qualifications provide the right skills at the right time to keep up with evolving industry and societal needs.

“The EAL Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Providing Electronic Fire and Security Systems is a great example of this. Not only does it provide a meaningful qualification for experienced fire system engineers, but it also addressed the need we all have for highly skilled professionals to ensure these systems to keep us safe."

Last updated 18 January 24