The certification of a Designer of fire safety is based on the Land Use and Building Act (in Finnish), as well as the decrees and guidelines complementing it (Ministry of the Environment: Legislation on land use and building (in Finnish)) as a needs-oriented certification of the industry. The Act does not present the special branch of fire safety as such, but it is mentioned under section concerning special procedures of the Act (150 d§).
The certification grades are:
The certification grades are based on the requirement classes of design duties stated in the Land Use and Building Act.
The certification requirements consist of requirements on education and work experience. A summary of certification requirements by certification grade is presented below. Detailed certification requirements are presented in the application form of the certification in question.
The requirements for education consist of a degree and studies. The required degree and study credits are described in the table below. The education may include studies performed for degrees, as well as training complementing such degrees.
Table. Requirements on degree and studies by certification grade.
|Conventional||A degree in building or technology applicable to the structural design task in question, the equivalent of the previous degree of a technician or other corresponding degree.||A minimum of 20 credits in studies relating to fire safety, as well as structural engineering, which shall include the following credits:
|Difficult||A degree in building or technology applicable to the structural design task in question, being a university degree in a branch of technology, or the equivalent of the previous degree of a higher professional education or other corresponding degree.||A minimum of 30 credits in studies relating to fire safety and structural engineering, which shall include credits in the following areas:
|Exceptionally difficult||A higher university degree in a branch of building or technology applicable to the structural design task in question.||A minimum of 35 credits in studies relating to fire safety and structural engineering, which shall include credits in the following areas:
The diploma work of a degree can be partially included in the required studies, provided that the applicant can prove its relevance to fire safety and that it has strengthened the applicant’s expertise in the subjects presented. A maximum of 30% of a diploma work’s credits can be accepted as part of the studies. Similarly, work experience in excess of 10 years can be accepted to substitute studies in part (maximally 20%). The above described total quantity of studies shall, however, be performed as study credits.
The so-called AHOT procedure i.e. identification and recognition of previously acquired expertise is an activity to be executed within the educational system. Wishing to exercise this procedure, the applicant may turn towards educational institutions providing e.g. training for certifications. The certification board does not perform the so-called AHOT procedure, but the studies presented in the applications shall be recognized by educational organisations.
The work experience required for the verification of certification of a Designer of fire safety is presented in the table below.
Table. Requirements on work experience by certification grade.
|Conventional||A minimum of 3 years of experience in assisting with design tasks relating to at least conventional fire safety.|
|Difficult||A minimum of 6 years of experience in design tasks relating to conventional fire safety, of which a minimum of 2 years of experience in assisting with design tasks relating to difficult fire safety.|
|Exceptionally difficult||A minimum of 10 years of experience in design tasks relating to fire safety, with at least 6 years of experience in design tasks relating to Difficult tasks or in assisting in Exceptionally difficult tasks, including a minimum of 4 years as a responsible designer relating to at least Difficult tasks. The experience shall include projects from the higher end of the Difficult grade in fire safety. The above mentioned 6 years’ experience shall be performed in full after completion of the degree.|
In the Conventional and Difficult grade, a minimum of 2/3 of the work experience shall be performed after completing the degree. In the Exceptionally difficult grade, a minimum of 6 years of work experience shall be performed after completion of the degree that is required for the work task in question. Work experience performed during the studies shall only be accepted for the part of work experience performed after fulfilment of the required credits and that can be deemed as designing work (e.g. final draughting of designs is not accepted as designing).
The certification grade Exceptionally difficult requires 2 demonstrations of skills (e.g. a specific fire-technical plan or a fire safety plan), which will demonstrate the level of skills and the demanding nature of the design projects. In the grade Difficult, demonstrations of skills can be required, when necessary.
The Act on the Amendment of the Land Use and Building Act, 41/2014, includes a transitional provision, according to which a person who prior to the effective date of the Act (1 September 2014) has been approved as certified for exceptionally difficult fire safety designing tasks by the building inspection authority or by the client, and thus can be deemed to have the requirements required for an exceptionally difficult design task, can be considered as a designer fulfilling the certification requirements.
When applying verification of certification based on the transitional provision, the applicant shall be verified as having the general certification in the grade, in which the requirements set for degrees and credits in accordance with the new act are fulfilled. The certification in the Exceptionally difficult grade shall be delimited to apply for corresponding design tasks that were the basis for verifying to certification.
With regard to work experience, the applicant shall fulfil the requirements set for the Exceptionally difficult grade, presented under WORK EXPERIENCE.
A verified certification will be valid for a period of 7 years at a time, after which the certification shall be renewed.
By renewing a certification, the applicant shall prove that he/she has worked actively in the task determined by the verified certification. The application shall provide information on employment, work experience and updating training during the certification’s period of validity.
The requirement is a minimum of 3 years of work experience in certification grade in accordance with or higher than the certification, during the certification’s period of validity.
The requirement is updating training that supports the design of fire safety, a minimum of 3 training days (21 training hours) or 3 credits for the previous 7 years’ registering period.
If the verification of certification is applied for in a requirement grade higher than before, it shall be applied for as new certification.
A certification or renewal of a certification is applied for using an application form that can be accessed by depressing the button APPLICATION FORM FOR CERTIFICATION at the top of this page. The application form provides detailed certification requirements and the instructions for applying for the certification.
The processing and registering fees for the Application of certification are given under APPLY FOR CERTIFICATION.
Additional information on the application for certification as Designer of fire safety is given by the secretariat organisation RIL (in Finnish) that is responsible for the certification board of designers of fire safety.