Virginia Fire Marshal Academy Course Descriptions

This list includes course descriptions, prerequisites, text and equipment requirements, hours, recertification and standard/regulation information and any special notes. When a registration fee is required, please make checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia.

If you have questions or require additional information about any of the courses listed below, please contact the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy at

Public/Community Outreach and Education

Communicating with your Community, and NFPA 1035 Fire and Life Safety Educator Levels 1 and 2 have moved under the Community Risk Reduction section and are listed on this page:

Fire Marshal Development

VFMA – Civilian Entry

This course was developed to assist civilians with developing a fundamental level of fire service knowledge before entering into the Fire Marshal courses.

Prerequisites:     None
Cost:                    $0


VFMA – 1031 Bridge Program

This program is intended for 1031 Fire Inspector accredited certificate holders seeking reciprocity to satisfy the requirements of Section 27.34-2 of the Code of Virginia regarding the authority to arrest, to procure and serve warrants of arrest and to issue summons or certificate holders that are classified as lapsed according to Virginia Certification Standard, Section 12VAC5-21-51 regarding issuance and maintenance of certificates.

Refer to the 1031 Bridge Flowchart for more information.


NFPA 1031 Fire Inspector II

This 120-hour ProBoard certified course is designed for the individual conducting fire inspections, life safety surveys/inspection, and fire code enforcement for multi-occupancy structures. The Fire Inspector II course satisfies the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1031 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Inspector and Plans Examiner, Chapter 5 “Fire Inspector II.” It is designed around classroom lectures and individual activities to provide the student the needed skills and knowledge to conduct multiple occupancy fire inspections.

Prerequisites: Firefighter Level II and Hazardous Materials Awareness OR VFMA Civilian Entry Process
Certification Requirements: Students must complete written and practical skills testing, homework assignments and participate in all practical exercises / activities.
Text:   Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code.

Instructions for downloading course materials, i.e. PowerPoint slides, will be provided with registration confirmation.

Hours:            120 hours
Cost:               Priority 1: $100
                        Priority 2: $250
                        Priority 3: $1,000


NFPA 1033 – Fire Investigator

This 160-hour ProBoard certified course targets fire investigators, police officers, and company-level officers with a desire to learn more about determining the origin and cause of fire. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: Determining the Point of Origin, Burn Patterns, Evidence Collection and Analysis, Interviewing Techniques, and Court Procedure and Testifying.  The Fire Investigator course satisfies the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator.

Prerequisites: Firefighter Level II and Virginia recognized Hazardous Materials Awareness OR VFMA Civilian Entry  
Testing: Students must successfully complete written and practical skills testing. Details of the testing process will be provided on the first day of class.
Texts:  NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigation

Required Equipment:  Firefighting Personal Protective Equipment, long sleeve shirt and pants, steel toe shoes / boots, leather gloves, hard hat and respiratory protection (N95, N100, or filter mask approved for carbon and asbestos), flashlight, notebook, pen / pencil, digital camera.
Hours: 160
Cost:   Priority 1: $100


VFMA – Fire Marshal Law Enforcement School

This advanced course is designed to develop current Fire Marshals within the guidelines outlined in §27-34.2:1. Police powers of fire marshals. Over the period of instruction, students will be exposed to a variety of classroom, field exercises, practicals, and examinations.

Prerequisites:     NFPA 1033 Fire Investigator 1033
Equipment:         A detailed list of equipment will be provided to confirmed students.
Hours:                 Approx. 400 hours
Cost:                   $300 – Includes the cost of a VFMA uniform, books, handouts, and forensic supplies.


VFMA – Environmental Investigations

A one week school designed for those individuals assigned the responsibility to investigate (by state or local authority) environmental situations, including illegal dumping or disposal of hazardous materials and waste.

Prerequisites:     Hazmat Awareness. Student must be 18 years of age.
Equipment:         SCBA, mask, and one spare bottle.
Hours:                 40
Cost:                   $25