NFCC is requesting your feedback on a draft Competency Framework for Fire Investigators.

The Framework has been developed through the NFCC Fire Investigation Group, which has representation from every Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) through regional representatives, the Institute of Fire Engineers and the United Kingdom Association of Fire Investigators.

The Framework seeks to simplify previous levels of fire investigation and place very clear, minimum, competency requirements for FRS Incident Commanders, undertaking basic fire investigations in order to provide statistical returns to the Home Office on the Incident Recording System, and FRS Fire Investigators carrying out that specialist role either as part of a dedicated team or as a bolt on to other duties.

This guidance has been developed for organisations requiring their staff to undertake Fire Investigations anywhere within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Previously, investigations have been split into three separate levels, however it is felt that whilst the competencies required for the first level are different, the competencies required for the second and third level are actually the same.

The only real difference being that the third level tended to be a multi-agency investigation. This document splits the competency requirements up into Tier 1 (previously referred to as “Level 1”) and Tier 2 (previously referred to as “Level 2 and Level 3” fire scene Investigations). It clarifies the definition of the two different tiers of investigation and provides guidance as to what level of competency is required for each of them.

Whilst this document identifies the competency required for Tier 1 and 2 investigators based on the Skills for Justice assessment criteria for Fire Investigation, or an equivalent standard, it is not the intention to state that FRS must accredit the training that has been provided to its investigators.

The Competency Framework will be key to the future ISO 17020 accreditation of FRS, which is required by the Forensic Science Regulator by October 2020, and will also assist delivery against the Code of Practice for Investigators of Fires and Explosions for the Criminal Justice Systems in the UK, which came into effect in April 2017. 

The intention is for the framework to come into effect in April 2020, to ensure that FRS are able to adapt their staff development plans for 2019 to comply with it.

Any comments should be made by July 31st.

Please circulate this to anyone within - or outside - you Service who you feel may wish to contribute.

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* 1. Could you please give your name?

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* 2. Could you please give your email address?

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* 3. Could you please tell us your job title?

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* 4. could you tell us with organisation your work for?

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* 5. Regarding the Fire Investigation Competency Framework, Do you agree with the previous three levels of fire investigation being replaced by two tiers of investigation?

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* 6. Do you agree with the Competency Framework being aligned to the Skills for Justice assessment criteria?

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* 7. Do you agree that the framework should come into effect in April 2020?

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* 8. Please give any more details or information with reference to the Competency Framework.