FIA qualifications launch at FIREX a huge success

The Fire Industry Association (FIA) officially launched their new qualifications in fire detection and alarms at FIREX (held at ExCel, London).

Three seminars were held on the topic of the new qualifications; one on each day of the three-day fire industry expo.  The seminars were given by VIP speaker, Martin Duggan, General Manager of the FIA, who delivered an insightful set of presentations about the different qualifications that are due to become available.

“The seminars were very well attended and it was a great opportunity to answer questions directly from visitors at the show.  These qualifications have taken years of development and we are really excited to share with the industry exactly what shape the qualifications will take,” said Martin Duggan.

“We’ve taken on new staff and had a small shake-up of the FIA team in preparation for the launch of the qualifications in order to answer all those initial questions and to ensure that the booking process goes smoothly.”

The new qualifications were met with an excellent response by visitors attending the fire industry expo, with a range of interest from across the sector – including a strong international interest.

“There are four new qualifications,” said Martin Duggan. “Designer, Installer, Maintainer, and Commissioner.  They are equivalent to a Level 3 in the UK, so that is the same as an A-Level, but in Europe it is the same as a Level 4 qualification on the European Qualifications Framework.”

Alongside the seminars, the FIA also had a fully decked out stand to look like a pub, serving up a range of snacks and drinks, which was a huge hit with visitors.  The stand had an information desk to meet with the FIA staff and pick up a prospectus for the new qualifications.

“The FIA Lounge was very successful,” said Kat Schabowska, Marketing Communications Executive of the FIA.  “We had back-to-back enquiries at the information desk and the bar area was full every day of the expo.  We are delighted to be able to say that this year’s footfall on our stand was even better than last year.”

An exciting development for the betterment of the industry, the new qualifications will contain a wide range of new topics and key information not seen in previous FIA training.  As a result, the courses will be longer due to the amount of new content and the rigorous exams at the end of each unit.

“We did a gap analysis of our current training and the new qualifications to discover how much more the new qualifications would offer.  The results show us that the courses will at least double in size,” explained Martin Duggan during his presentation.

“We’ve developed some units that are completely new, plus we added extra sections that industry stakeholders and employers have asked for.  Our members have very much guided us in this direction towards including more content and making the courses longer and more extensive, in order to stretch the learners’ knowledge further than before.”

“We recommend that if you’re interested in our new qualifications or courses that you sign up to our email newsletter to find out when our booking system will go live,” commented Kat Schabowska.

To sign up, click ‘Sign up to our enews’ from the FIA’s homepage,

The new qualifications prospectus is available to download for free from the FIA’s homepage, or a hard copy can be requested by emailing



More than ever raised at CHSA Gala Ball!

Almost £10,000 raised for RNIB by generous CHSA members and guests

Members and sponsors of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) together with their guests raised £9,950 at its Annual Gala Ball for the Chairman’s Charity, this year being  The Royal National Institute for Blind People.

The Annual Gala Ball, held again this year at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, is a wonderful way for members to come together.  Alongside the sumptuous dinner, the evening was packed with entertainment including a comedian/compere, silhouette artist, close-up magicians, live band and dancing.

David Garcia, Treasurer of the CHSA and the driving force behind the Gala Ball, explained: “The Gala Ball is a wonderful event, bringing together our members for a very special evening.  My special thanks to Linda Belcher who did such an amazing job as usual.”

“Putting something back is at the heart of our ethos and so we always take the opportunity to raise funds for charity at the Gala Ball.  This year we are celebrating raising over £9,950 for the Royal National Institute of Blind People.  A huge thank you to all our members and guests who contributed on the night and to our sponsors who made the whole event possible!”

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the Chairman’s Charity for 2017.  The RNIB offers practical and emotional support to people who are losing their sight or are blind or partially sighted, helping them face the future with confidence.