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Should individuals be accredited as well as firms?

An engineer performing a test on a smoke control system, would it help if individuals were accredited as well as firms?

Are the people who maintain your smoke control systems fully qualified and competent for the task at hand? Would it help if they were accredited?

AN ARTICLE published recently by IFSEC Global is asking whether individual security installers – not just security firms – should be accredited.

It’s got us thinking about accreditation – and really falls in line with our recent calls for making sure the people who maintain your smoke control systems are fully qualified and competent for the task at hand.

Michael Lines, Consultant at Controlled Limited, writes in IFSEC Global: “Increasingly, suppliers who provide certification on their products also certify individuals. They often accept the transfer of individuals from one installer company to another.”

Should individuals be accredited?

Specific accreditation for individuals would be really useful when it comes to appointing someone to maintain a smoke control system.

Olly Lucas, Service Manager at SCS Group, said: “When you get your system maintained, it really is imperative that you check the maintenance contractors carrying out the work are suitably qualified, have a clear scope of works and access to the parts, software and training for the system.”

In a recent article, Olly wrote: “In addition to having experience and training of smoke control systems, the service engineer needs to have an industry recognised level 3 electrical qualification. Training in PLC systems is essential to enable an engineer to interrogate, repair and update the automated software programs utilised in modern smoke shaft systems.

“The person responsible for the building should ensure engineers do hold the correct qualifications before any maintenance work is carried out on a smoke control system. When selecting a contractor to maintain a smoke control system, SCS Group would advise you to choose a member of the Smoke Control Association (SCA).”

Professional standing

Michael Lines, Consultant at Controlled Limited, says that if individual, independent installers had to be both accredited and certified it would help the security industry’s overall professional standing – and we think this would be the same for maintaining smoke control systems.

Michael Lines believes certification for individual installers has not been introduced or extensively lobbied for due to cost and insurance. He said: “In my opinion, the person responsible for signing off on each system should be accredited as well as the business.”

But he added: “In reality, it is the company that holds the professional indemnity insurance and not the individuals. The company holds the risk. Individuals might not like the cost and insurance implications of being independently accredited.”

Whatever the situation with certification, when it comes to maintaining a smoke control system if you are the responsible person or company for a building you should understand that if the smoke control system fails in your building when you need it most, lives could be lost and you could face prosecution.

If you need help with maintaining your smoke control system get in touch today. Email our Service Manager Olly Lucas, here: o.lucas@groupscs.co.uk

For the full IFSEC Global story, click here.

 

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