Pro Board accredits first European organization: The Fire Service College of the United Kingdom

November 19, 2015 – The Pro Board is pleased to announce accreditation of its first ever European fire training academy, the Fire Service College (FSC) of the United Kingdom (U.K.). Entities that achieve Pro Board accreditation are recognized as having met the rigors of their testing protocol by an independent organization. This third party independent review is the best way to assure candidates and governance bodies that the entity’s program meets recognized standards. 

The Fire Service College (FSC) is the home of firefighter development in the United Kingdom and the first center in Europe to achieve Pro Board accreditation to certify to the U.S.-based National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. 

The Fire Service College is an award-winning leader in fire and emergency response training and one of the world's largest operational fire and rescue training facilities. It specializes in providing dedicated training for fire and rescue services, emergency responders and a wide spectrum of commercial and public sector clients globally. FSC instructors are currently serving as fire officers from individual fire rescue organizations across the U.K. The NFPA is a leading world authority on fire prevention and safety. 

The Pro Board accredits organizations that use the NFPA's professional qualification standards. The specific NFPA standards that the Fire Service College can test against are: 


Accreditation is the Pro Board stamp of approval of the certification processes and procedures used by the Fire College to test the knowledge, skills and abilities of learners wishing to be certified to NFPA standards. 

In recognition of this achievement, the Chairman of the Pro Board’s Board of Directors, Chief Jim Estepp, visited the Fire College to present the Pro Board’s Accreditation Certificate. “The use of NFPA professional qualification standards is gaining support internationally as the number of Pro Board Accredited Agencies outside of North America continues to grow,” said Chief Estepp. “This achievement of the Fire College in Europe is a prime example of the greater acceptance of Pro Board Accreditation worldwide. We congratulate the Fire College in being the first in Europe to achieve this milestone.” 

According to Sir Ken Knight, CBE QFSM FIFireE, Chairman, Fire Service College, "As Chairman of the U.K.’s national Fire Service College, I am delighted that the reputation of the College is further enhanced as we become the first center in Europe to achieve Pro Board accreditation to certify to the US based National Fire Protection Association standards. This accreditation, the result of the demanding and rigorous processes exercised by Pro Board, underlines the position of the Fire Service College as a leading provider of firefighter training both at home and abroad. This significant achievement will further assure the safety, competency and interoperability of U.K. and international firefighters undertaking training provided by the Fire Service College." 

Bernie Higgins, FSC Director of Training, said, “This accreditation underlines our position as a leading provider of firefighter training both at home and abroad. It acknowledges that the FSC is working to the most widely recognized fire and prevention standards in the world – now including those of the American fire and rescue services. Pro Board approval opens up new opportunities for the Fire Service College, allowing us to extend the delivery of assessed, accredited and assured training to new and existing international customers.” 

This latest development supports the Fire College vision of becoming a true center of excellence for both U.K. and international fire and rescue services. The Fire College represents one of the world’s premier fire training venues, attracting customers from around the globe to train in a world-class facility with internationally recognized credentials. 

The Fire Service College is an award-winning leader in fire and emergency response training and one of the world's largest operational fire and rescue training facilities. 

It specializes in providing dedicated training for fire and rescue services (FRSs), emergency responders and a wide spectrum of commercial and public sector clients globally. Our instructors are current serving fire officers seconded from individual FRSs across the UK. Further information on the Fire Service College can be found at: http://www.fireservicecollege.ac.uk

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, non-profit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess

Pro Board Accreditation
Mission: The purpose of the Pro Board (www.theproboard.com) is to establish an internationally recognized means of acknowledging professional achievement in the fire service and related fields. The accreditation of organizations that certify members of public fire departments, both career and volunteer, is the primary goal. However, other organizations with fire protection interests may also be considered for participation. Accreditation is generally provided at the State or Provincial level to the empowered certifying authority of that jurisdiction. 

Accreditation: The Pro Board accredits organizations that use the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA's) professional qualification standards. The accreditation process begins with the submission of an application, including a detailed self study document, by the organization seeking accreditation. The application package is then reviewed by the members of the Committee on Accreditation (COA) for completeness and compliance with the accreditation criteria of the Pro Board. The next step is a site visit by a team of COA members, usually two, who perform an extensive on-site review of the organization's testing and certification processes. The site visit team prepares a report and presents it to the COA. The COA decides if accreditation is granted. 

Certification: An entity that is accredited by the Pro Board makes certification available to its members. Members are then eligible to be entered into the Pro Board's web based certification registry and receive a certificate from the accredited entity, or apply for a certificate from the Pro Board, affirming that they were certified by a Pro Board accredited entity and that they are entered in the Pro Board's certification registry. In addition, the Pro Board encourages reciprocity among certifying entities. This helps assure that Pro Board certification will be recognized by the department as the members seek advancement, and by other departments should they seek to transfer within the fire service. 

Benefits: Professionalism has long been a goal sought by members of the fire service. It has only been within the past 30 years that a system has evolved to produce professional qualifications standards that an entity can use to establish performance measures for personnel. Entities that achieve Pro Board accreditation are recognized as having met the rigors of review by an independent organization. This third party independent review is the best way to assure candidates and governance bodies that the entity’s program meets the national standards. 

Pro Board recognized certification from an accredited entity is a statement of success, an indisputable mark of performance belonging to individual fire service professionals. Each successful candidate for certification from an accredited entity knows that he or she has been measured against peers and meets rigorous professional qualifications standards. Certification affords the individual a uniformity and portability of qualifications. In addition, the credibility of an organization is enhanced by having members certified to consensus standards. A high percentage of certified members within a department should certainly help managers be assured of the qualifications and capabilities of their department.

Contact: Lorraine Carli, NFPA Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275

Contact: Fred Piechota, The Pro Board Public +1 413-267-5140