The NFER is IFE Australia’s register of IFERG accredited members, including Chartered Engineers (CEng), Incorporated Engineers (IEng) and Engineering Technicians (EngTech).
The IFE is now home to approximately 500 fire engineers registered with the Engineering council. This includes just over 250 Chartered Engineers, of whom nearly 80 are based in Australasia.
The Engineering Council is a signatory of the Washington Accord. Registration with the Engineering Council via the IFE provides a means by which the Fire Engineer’s qualifications are required to be recognised internationally by other signatories of the Washington Accord which include IPENZ, HKIE and Engineers Australia.
By means of this accord, qualifications achieved by IFE registrants are deemed to satisfy the level of academic attainment required for registration at an equivalent grade by the other Washington Accord signatories.
Mutual recognition agreements provide a further mechanism by which existing registration in the relevant discipline with a Washington Accord signatory may be regarded as meeting the criteria for experience and competency required for registration with the Engineering Council. The IFE has enacted its first such agreement, which is with HKIE. This enables the IFE to register HKIE registered fire engineers with the Engineering Council by means of a process that retains appropriate rigour by means of peer assessment of the applicant’s professional review report, but does not require professional review interview for applicants where all peer assessors are satisfied with the report.
At present, professional review interviews for registration by the IFE with the Engineering Council are held either in the UK or in Hong Kong. However, the IFE has been one of the first of the Engineering Council’s licensed professional engineering institutions to carry out professional review interviews by means of video conferencing. The first of these took place successfully in 2009 between the UK and Australia and the Engineering Council has since referred to the IFE approach as a model of good practice.
IFERG Australia has a committee of senior IFERG members consisting of a dedicated IFERG Australia Branch Council member, as well as State and Territory representatives who work as ‘one’ to support all States and Territories on an ‘as needed’ basis. The Australian IFERG BC member represents Australia on the international IFERG Membership Committee and on the Individual Group Panel to assess IFERG applications.
In Australia, the IFERG Australia Committee supports its members with their applications by providing advice and mentoring, as agreed with the IFERG Membership Committee. IFERG applications from Australian members are initially reviewed for administrative accuracy prior to being submitted to the IFE UK by the National Executive Officer. It is recommended that EngTech, IEng and CEng applications for Australian IFE members be submitted through IFE Australia for accuracy checking, otherwise delays in processing may occur typically due to problems, such as insufficient referee information. As the applications must be received in the UK in hardcopy ‘wet signature’ format, postal delays can be a problem if documents have to be resubmitted.
There are considerable benefits in Australia of IFERG registration, with some of these being: –
Particularly at CEng level, there are opportunities for accreditation as a ‘professional fire engineer’ against State legislative requirements
Gaining CEng accreditation has been historically driven in Australia by State registration requirements, predominantly around Queensland’s Board of Professional Engineers (BPEQ) assessment for Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ). IFE Australia is an assessment entity in Queensland in the same way that Engineers Australia, Naval Architects, Institute of Chemical Engineers and several other assessments entities are.
The Western Australia Government and IFE (and other industry organisations) have been working towards registration of fire engineers in WA for a few years and IFE Australia continues to assist government in this way. IFE in Australia is a small but growing fire engineering professional body. Based on IFE’s international model for accredited risk assessors, Australia is the first IFE Branch to implement a register of its fire engineering IFERG members and hopes that other Branches will follow this approach to eventually form a truly global International Register of Fire Engineers, which will facilitate global mobility of our members in an ever shrinking world.
The application process involves completion of an application form with suitable referees at levels specific to the level applied for. In most cases, a Professional Review Report is required.
The NFER is updated on payment of annual IFE and EC membership dues, which is managed by the National Executive Officer, Christine Sharrad.
Download an application form www.ife.org.au/formsor contact – Christine Sharrad on email: firstname.lastname@example.org