The new occupational qualification structure for Fire, Emergency and Security Systems (FESS), which was agreed and publicised in 2019, was developed by an industry working group formed of trade associations, certification bodies and employer representatives following an industry consultation. The structure aligns with the apprenticeship standard and also addresses the fragmented skills within the current workforce.
These changes have been brought in to further the FESS industry’s desire to professionalise the sector and the Construction Leadership Council's move to ensure that all CSCS partnered cards are issued against an industry recognised qualification standard.
Part of this structure allows for those who have been working in the sector for a number of years without formal qualifications to recognise their levels of awareness and experience in the form of the FESS Operative card. This is through the ECS FESS Assessment.
For those who do have relevant qualifications in Fire (such as through EAL or FireQual), there is no need to undertake the FESS Assessment to obtain an Operative card.
The ECS FESS Assessment is not an “open assessment” where all the questions are available to revise ahead of time. It is expected that individuals will be receiving training either through their employer or a training provider to cover all the necessary elements. You can download guidance on what to expect and the criteria for assessment. People may find it difficult to pass the assessment if they have not undertaken training or qualifications in these subjects covering the relevant topics.