What does being a competent person mean?

Fire Safety – What does being a “competent person” mean?

Dame Judith Hackett’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety final report – uses the word “competence” 152 times

But what is competence and how do you define it?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 2005 states……

13 (3) (b) “The responsible person must, where necessary…nominate competent persons to implement those measures and ensure that the number of such persons, their training and the equipment available to them are adequate.”

13 (4) “A person is to be regarded as competent…where he has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to implement the measures referred to.”

Competency could a have various definitions to prove this is true of a person / company;

  • Listed on a register
  • References and personal qualification
  • Company certification
  • Product compliance
  • Reputation and relevant experience

Third party certification is a recognised way of ensuring both person and product compliance.

“Third party certification schemes for fire protection products and related services are an effective means of providing the fullest possible assurances, offering a level of quality, reliability, and safety that non-certified products may lack. This does not mean good and services that are not third- party approved are less reliable, but there is no obvious way in which it can be demonstrated”

“Third-party quality assurance can offer comfort both as a means of satisfying you that goods and services you have purchased are fit for purpose, and as a means of demonstrating that you have complied with the law.”

Quality assurance of fire protection equipment and installation, Section 8 (Home Office)

“Another way is to use the services of companies, including sole traders, that are third party certified under appropriate schemes operated by certification bodies that have, themselves, been UKAS accredited as competent to certificate against such schemes”

“One way of verifying the competence of an individual assessor is to select the assessor from a list of competent fire risk assessors maintained by a professional body or a UKAS accredited third party certification body”

Fire and Rescue Service endorsement of Third-party schemes


Dame Judith Hackett demanded change to ensure certification of products are in place and qualified persons (for some disciplines) are in place,

along with certification schemes for companies.

So, ask yourself, is the company or person you are using meet these guidelines for being “competent?”


Area of work Scheme
Fire Risk assessment IFC Fire Risk assessment scheme


Fire Detection and Alarm Systems BAFE SP203-1


Fixed Gaseous Extinguishing Systems BAFE SP203-3


Emergency Lighting Systems BAFE SP203-4


Portable Fire Extinguishers BAFE SP101


Sprinkler Systems LPCB LPS1048
Warrington FIRAS


Fire Doors IFC
Warrington FIRAS


If you would like more information please get in touch, we offer free site surveys and no obligation quotations.

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