GQA helps raise fire safety standards


GQA, an awarding and qualifications writing body, is supporting Fire Door Maintenance (FDM) in its efforts to raise safety standards across the industry.

GQA is developing accredited training and qualifications covering fire door installation, maintenance and inspection in partnership with FDM, which is owned by UAP, a door and window hardware supplier.

FDM officially opened a Training Academy this month at Bury, Greater Manchester. According to  a statement, the 3,000ft² Training Academy is said to be the UK’s first practical training centre for the fire door industry. With a variety of fire doors and components from multiple manufacturers, it noted that the facility will provide a dedicated space for hands-on training and classrooms for theory-based learning.

Accredited by GQA Qualifications, the academy is set to offer a variety of courses aimed at fire door inspectors, installers, maintenance engineers, Building Control professionals, Local Authority representatives and duty holders in higher risk buildings. The first to launch will be a fire door inspector course, followed by one centred on fire door maintenance and another focusing on fire door installation.

After completion, participants will receive a GQA skills card. The accredited courses and qualifications awarded by GQA are designed in collaboration with the FDM team to address life safety risks associated with fire doors, a statement said.

As well as ensuring compliance with the latest fire safety regulations, it cited, the accredited training will respond to the Hackitt report’s recommendations following the Grenfell Tower fire. The inquiry into the tragedy revealed fire doors did not perform as expected, it added.

Out of the 120 doors in the building, 106 had been replaced and comprised different hardware from the tested door, the statement said. This signifies recognition that addressing life safety is a responsibility that demands rigour, quality and demonstrated competency, it noted.

The opening of the Academy was attended by GQA.

Dan Brown, GQA’s strategic relationships manager, said: “We are proud to partner FDM in this initiative. Post-Grenfell, we are at a crucial time for the built environment. The proper upkeep and maintenance of fire doors is crucial for life safety during evacuations.

“Neglecting the responsibility to maintain fire doors appropriately is neglecting the value of life itself. The timing of the FDM Academy’s launch is exceptionally relevant, coinciding with a period of introspection in the industry fuelled by the Building Safety Act.”

David Jennings, a director and founder of FDM, added: “I have been hugely impressed by all of the GQA Qualifications team. Thank you for your unwavering support. We are going to do great things together.”

Topics covered by the courses at the Academy will include areas such as:

  1. Key legislation and regulations relating to fire doors and fire door inspections
  2. Different types of fire doors and their uses
  3. The main components of a fire door set and their functions
  4. How fire doors and components are tested and test evidence reports
  5. Why fire doors need inspecting and what to inspect
  6. When is a fire door compliant and non-compliant with regulations
  7. How to use technology to write a fire door inspection report
  8. What does a fire door inspection report contain and writing effective reports
  9. Dealing with potential conflict during an inspection

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