Jump to content

Competent person

Guest Chris

Recommended Posts

Dear all, 

I write to kindly request some advice and/or guidance on what is the legal requirement when it comes to being the “competent person”. 

A few of my former clients (mainly small construction businesses) asked for my help with creating fire risk assessments (construction projects and a joinery workshop). 

I previously worked for a health and safety consultancy company (for 5 years) where I also dealt with fire safety management. Based on my experience and knowledge, I feel confident providing a full and adequate FRA, however I’d like to make sure it’s legally compliant for me to do that.

I have 5 years of experience within health and safety in construction, passed NGC1 exam and completed a few fire related trainings. 

I’m just wondering if my expertise is legally sufficient in this case? 


I'd be grateful for any suggestions. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fire safety is a subject in it's own right and from experience some of the worst FRAs are by H&S people who haven't gained the suitable experience & knowledge (usually through training) to do the job adequately.

Whilst not mandatory (yet) increasingly the provision of life safety fire risk assessment is advised to be by accredited individuals and companies.

Having said that, in house FRAs can be done by anyone who feels competent and can use the guidance correctly and for small to medium premises this is often done and is often adequate.

What fire related stuff have you done? It may fill in the gaps you need - your H&S experience gives you a solid background in the principles of risk assessment, it's just the specialist knowledge on fire safety, fire safety systems (alarms, extinguishers, fire-stopping, emergency lighting, etc). Joinery workshops could have process risk elements under DSEAR as well.

Does your insurance cover this?

The FPA have a range of suitable courses https://www.thefpa.co.uk/training/fire-risk-assessment-training-courses

Look up all the specific sector guidance and see how you feel - if you are confident you understand it all you may well be fine - just remember you are legally liable for your work and, unlike with H&S consultants, it's not uncommon for those providing poor FRAs to be prosecuted, particularly where providing it as a service to a Responsible Person

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Anthony, 

Thanks very much for your exhaustive response. 

The projects I’m currently working on seem quite straightforward. However the further I get into the subject the more complicated it gets and it would be invaluable to get some advice from an experienced fire safety advisor.  

I’ve already enrolled for one of the courses you recommended, but I’d like to seek some coaching meanwhile. Would you know of anyone who’d be able to offer paid consultancy session and have the conversation face to face and answer my questions? 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...