Summer has come and gone, it seems we have skipped right over fall into winter conditions, and we have exciting new activity going on at the CFPS® Board.
In the previous Chairman’s Update I reported how the work of our Testing Transition Committee would be of paramount focus this Board year. That committee, with the invaluable support of the NFPA Staff has already been hard at work, and the picture is beginning to come more into focus as to how the future, digital Fire Protection Handbook will impact both our knowledge base and the testing process. In fact, this committee’s work is quickly coming to an end, as we are learning that testing on a digital database will not be an option for the future. Instead, it appears the “new” Fire Protection Handbook will be available to CFPS candidates in a print format; enabling them to continue to bring their marked-up and flagged references with them to the testing centers. We will know more on this in a few months, as we learn more about the content of the new handbook, and what additional references may be necessary to round-out the knowledge base. We will keep you informed.
Another significant work of the Board right now is being done by the Eligibility Committee. We are looking at ways to capture a larger sample of the fire protection community as young professionals come out of FP degree programs and enter into the workforce. A couple of different avenues are being studied for how best to achieve that while still maintaining our ANSI accreditation. This group is still working in the information gathering stage, and will be formulating recommended actions based on those findings in the period between now and our next annual meeting in Chicago, in June.
NFPA reports completion of our 2014 Audit by ANSI, and we are in good standing there. ANSI has developed a new standard by which they are measuring all programs, and as a natural result of that process there are new administrative hurdles to clear in order to stay in compliance. Leon Katcharian, our Executive Secretary, and the rest of the first rate staff at NFPA are already at work formulating solutions to those hurdles. We look for those all to be cleared with no major concerns going forward.
From time-to-time we receive inquiries about the authority of a CFPS Certificate Holder to be able to approve and even “stamp” plans, much as a PE would. Our position has been, and continues to be that the CFPS is a professional credential, and not a license to practice. It would effectively be illegal in the United States to represent oneself as qualified to stamp drawings based solely on the merits of holding a CFPS. The NFPA legal department is currently having a look at the question, and will be issuing a policy statement. We realize the CFPS is an international credential, and this has led to some confusion by Certificants from other countries who wish to be cleared by us (the Board of Certified Fire Protection Specialists) to stamp plans. But because we are based in the US and are sworn to uphold US laws, we have no authority to allow such use of the credential in our name.
In closing this report I wish to reiterate the need we have each year for new candidates to seek a Director position on the Board. The Nominations Committee will be meeting in the coming quarter to lay out the timeline for the election process in the Spring. This is a good time also for individuals considering running for the Board to give it further consideration, and talk the idea over with family members and employers. Directors elected to the Board meet in person at least annually at the NFPA Conference & Expo®, and four times a year via teleconference as a full board. All Directors also serve on 2 to 3 committees, which normally also meet via teleconference from 1 to 3 times per year.
Best wishes for the upcoming holiday season. May it be a fire safe and joyous one for you and your families.
David W. Ward, CFPS
Chair, CFPS Board of Directors
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