National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications
The NBFSPQ accredits fire service training agencies that use the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) professional qualification standards. The accreditation process begins with the submission of an application, including a detailed self study document, by the organization seeking accreditation. The application package is then reviewed by the members of the Committee on Accreditation for completeness and compliance with the by-laws of the NBFSPQ. The next step is a site visit by a team of COA members, usually two, who perform an extensive on-site review of the organization’s testing and certification processes. The site visit team prepares a report and presents it to the COA. The COA decides if accreditation is granted.
An agency, which is accredited by NBFSPQ, makes national certification available to its members. Members are then eligible to be placed on the NBFSPQ national register and receive a Certificate of National Certification. In addition, the NBFSPQ encourages reciprocity among certifying agencies. This helps assure that NBFSPQ certification will be recognized by the department as the members seek advancement, and by other departments should they seek to transfer within the fire service. The cost of national registration including an NPQS Certificate is $17.50.
International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC)
The International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) is a not-for-profit, peer-driven, self-governing system of both fire service certifying entities and higher education fire-related degree programs. IFSAC’s mission is to plan and administer a high-quality, uniformly delivered accreditation system with an international scope.
The IFSAC Certificate Assembly provides accreditation to entities that certify the competency of and issue certificates to individuals who pass examinations based on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire service professional qualifications and other standards approved by the Assembly. The accreditation is made at the state, provincial, federal government, or territorial level for fire fighter certification programs.
Accreditation is granted only after an integral self-study is conducted by the entity or institution seeking accreditation, followed by an on-site review by a panel consisting of peer representatives from other member entities or institutions.