Finding a Risk Assessor

Choosing a competent fire risk assessor

Ultimately, the person in charge of a premises (or responsible person) is responsible for ensuring a fire risk assessment is carried out.  Irrespective of who does the fire risk assessment, if the resulting fire risk assessment fails to identify all the risks and places people in danger the responsible person could be liable.

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The level of competence required to complete a fire risk assessment is not fixed and will depend on the size and complexity of the premises, therefore may be difficult to pinpoint who will be suitable to carry out a fire risk assessment.

In the case of small low risk businesses the responsible person or a “competent” employee may, after reading the HM Government Fire Risk Assessment Guides be capable of producing a suitable fire risk assessment.

Larger organisations may need to either employ a fire safety specialist to carry out the fire risk assessment, or hire an external risk assessor.

In all of the situations it is essential the responsible person shows “due diligence” by ensuring the person is competent.

Competence is a mix of experience, education and training and so these factors should be checked before contracting anyone to carry out a fire risk assessment.  Usually this information can be found in a CV or company resume but checking a portfolio of work, client lists and client feedback will help.  If you have limited knowledge around fire safety this is a difficult judgement to make so some organisations can do this for you through certification schemes (third party certification).

Although not a legal requirement, if you employ a company or individual who has third party accreditation you should be assured that they will be competent to carry out the fire risk assessment.

For more information on accreditation please go to our Third party Certification Page or go to the United Kingdom Accreditation Service website.

The Fire Risk Assessment Competency Council is a workstream consisting of the major stakeholders concerned with this aspect of the fire safety sector.  It works within the wider Fire Sector Federation and has published a set of criteria against which the competency of those undertaking fire risk assessments can be judged.  The Guide provides advice and information when appointing a specialist to undertake the Fire Risk Assessment and provide fire safety advice.

The guide provides advice on finding a specialist person or body, and identifies the certificating bodies that operate registration schemes.

Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), the Fire Sector Federation and the Competency Council strongly recommend this guide to help achieve compliance with fire safety legislation in the UK.

This guide is intended to be an easy to read introduction to choosing a competent fire risk assessor.

Download  A Guide to Choosing a Fire Risk Assessor (PDF)