Greetings and a sincere wish for a healthy and prosperous 2014 from the CFPS® Board of Directors. We wish to congratulate the 148 professionals who took up the CFPS challenge and passed the exam this year. We also wish to thank the 520 existing CFPS certification holders who produced their 3 year required points documentation and successfully recertified in 2013.
Note: For those of you approaching your recertification date, starting the process is as easy as navigating to www.nfpa.org/cfps and clicking on Enter CFPS Online services. Also remember that navigating to the www.nfpa.org/cfps page and clicking on For CFPS certificate holders allows you to view important CFPS related documents including CFPS Board of Director contact information, the CFPS Bylaws, and the recently updated recertification requirements tables.
As we start 2014, it seems appropriate to review where the CFPS program is and where we see the certification going. I am happy to report that the program is in great shape with both a steady certificate holder growth rate as well as an exponential rise in positive exposure. The program currently involves 2,269 certificate holders and although our year over year growth seems somewhat slow, any growth is a welcome sign considering how current global economic conditions have negatively impacted many other professional level certifications.
In regard to program exposure, our CFPS LinkedIn site has over 3,500 members and while many of those participants are CFPS certificate holders, a great number of people visiting the site are seeking out information on how to obtain the CFPS for themselves or for their employees. While the program is always growing within the U.S. industry sector, an increasing amount of our LinkedIn members and program applicants are from outside the U.S., signaling interest in CFPS as an internationally recognized certification. Taken together, the steady U.S. growth and international interest put us in a very good position moving forward.
In other news, the certification program just completed the 2013 ANSI 17024 audit review, a major annual accomplishment that ensures our program meets international standards for personnel certification. Looking to 2014 and beyond, the Board is focused on even larger growth and program recognition. Part of our program growth plan involves maintaining the highest standards of exam and certification program integrity. As part of this process, we will shortly begin reviewing the program design to ensure job role relevance as well as changes and advances in industry technology (this may include a potential time when the Fire Protection Handbook and the CFPS exam are available in a digital format). While we may be a year or two away from implementing these types of changes, it is important that we start to think about the future and what it means to our program and to our candidates. We are also looking at how we might update the program in order to engage engineers earlier in their fire protection careers. These are just a few of the ideas that the Board will be reviewing throughout 2014.
On a final note, the NFPA Conference & Expo® will be here in only a few short months and because the Board has fully implemented term limits, we will need new CFPS industry expertise on the Board. We would like you to please consider running for a position on the Board. Details regarding the election process will be arriving via email shortly.
-Bruce H. Clarke, CFPS Board of Directors