From Brendon Wood, NZFBI President
The New Zealand Fire Brigades’ Institute has been embarking on a drive to modernise and update its examination structure.
This has come about due to falling numbers of candidates—which can be attributed to the changing needs of firefighters and the ways and means in which people gain skills and qualifications.
The old format, which was introduced in the 1980s, met the needs of the day and was a much better format than its predecessor, first set up in the 1940s. But it failed to keep pace with learners’ needs and expectations.
New exam structure
The NZFBI council was mandated at the Auckland conference in 2013 to establish a new structure and this has been phased in over recent years.
I was conscious of the impact in changing structures and pushed for a phasing in period where both structures ran in tandem. This would allow candidates midway through their qualifications to complete their progression, without losing the hard work they had done.
A phasing in period was also needed as it would take time and effort to produce a new structure from scratch.
The new Associate paper is into its second year. This year will see the first round of the new papers for the Member Diploma. These exams are topic specific and focus on a broader range of subjects, including rural to cater for our non-urban colleagues.
There are compulsory units which apply across all sectors and Continued Professional Development (CPD) hours which prove the candidate is actively continuing their self-paced learning.
The examination panel has been working hard to produce syllabi and reading lists for the new Member papers. Once audited and moderated, we will place these on the UFBA website for candidates to access and refer to when preparing for examinations.
The Associate syllabus is unchanged and the current format will remain.
Benefits of NZFBI exams
I encourage every firefighter who is striving to advance and seek knowledge, seeking promotion or looking for further qualifications to consider the NZFBI exams as a suitable option.
There is monetary reward for NZFS volunteers and promotional incentives for career staff.
It is also a timely reminder for those yet to complete a course of study to tidy up those loose ends before the transition period ends.
“The NZFBI diploma examinations are a fantastic way to build on your firefighting knowledge. Anyone who’s thinking about sitting the exams should, as they will help you to upskill, which can only make you a better firefighter.”
Quinn Le Cheminant, Newlands Volunteer Fire Brigade
For more about the NZFBI exam structure click here
The exams will be held on 3 September and applications close on 1 August. Click here for application forms.
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