Institution of Fire Engineers

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The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is a worldwide body that provides research, training, conferences and professional qualifications for firefighters and civilians who work in fields related to fire fighting, the science of fire fighting and prevention, and related technology.[1]


The IFE was established in 1918 and upholds professional standards within all public and private fire sectors by offering assessment of knowledge, experience and development and engages with major stakeholders to offer international conferences, identify and promote good practice and enhance technical networks worldwide. The IFE is also an Ofqual recognised Awarding Organisation. Members are involved in a number of areas such as: fire dynamics including ignition, chemistry and toxicology; consultations with government in the drafting and implementation of fire safety legislation and regulations; structural fire protection of buildings; fire insurance and arson investigation; behaviour pattern of persons faced with emergencies; fire detection and alarm systems, fire appliances and automatic fire fighting systems Specialist interest groups include Fire modelling, heritage buildings, transport, fire investigation and research.

Grades of membership: Affiliate, Student, Technician (TIFireE), Graduate (GIFireE), Associate (AIFireE), Member (MIFireE), Fellow (FIFireE) http://www.ife.org.uk/membership/whichgrade/

The mission of the Institution is encourage and improve the science and practice of fire extinction, fire prevention and fire engineering and all operations and expedients connected therewith, and to give an impulse to ideas likely to be useful in connection with or in relation to such science and practice to the members of the Institution and to the community at large.

The IFE has c. 10,000 members with 19 UK branches and 22 International branches

The IFE has been a licensed member of the Engineering Council since 2007 and can register those members that meet the necessary criteria as Chartered Engineers (CEng), Incorporated Engineers (IEng) or Engineering Technicians (EngTech).Number of professionally registered members in 2011 were; • 173 EngTech • 32 IEng • 238 CEng

The Institution also manages a Register of Fire Risk Assessors and Auditors.

The IFE head office moved to Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire in 2011 from its former home at the Fire Service College at Moreton in Marsh.

Grades of Membership[edit]

Affiliate - The title of Affiliate is available for individual fire engineers with an interest in fire engineering, who wish to take part in the IFE's activities but have not, at this stage, met the requirements of a membership grade. Affiliate members are entitled to such rights and privileges as non-corporate members. Affiliate members may make reference to their affiliation to the IFE.

Student – Applicants for Student grade membership will be required to be following a recognised ongoing programme of study. You may be a Student member of the IFE for up to five years, at which point you will be required to upgrade your membership or transfer to Affiliate status. An ongoing programme of study is suggested to run for at least 6 months, the IFE Examinations are also accepted as attaining these requirements. Evidence of study will be required at the time of application.

Technician (TIFireE )– Passed IFE Level 3 Certificate, or have relevant academic qualifications plus the necessary experience. Applicants will also have met the relevant Initial Professional Development (IPD) criteria in: Knowledge and understanding of engineering technology. Contribution to the design, development, manufacture, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of products, equipment, processes, systems and services. The acceptance and exercise of personal responsibility, use of effective communication and interpersonal skills and to have made a personal commitment to adhere to the code of professional conduct.

Graduate (GIFireE) – Hold the IFE Level 3 Diploma, or have relevant academic qualifications, or UK Station Officer Examinations plus three years of acceptable training and experience

Associate (AIFireE) – Hold the IFE Level 4 Certificate or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject and have the support of two corporate IFE members.

Member (MIFireE) – Hold the IFE Level 4 Certificate or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject. Applicants will also need the support of two corporate IFE members and have met the relevant initial professional development (IPD) criteria in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding, theoretical and practical application, provision of technical and managerial leadership, management and supervision skills and to have made a personal commitment to adhere to the code of professional conduct.

Fellow (FIFireE) – Available to existing Members who have demonstrated significant individual responsibility, sustained achievement and exceptional professionalism during his/her career.

The Founding of the IFE[edit]

THE 1914-18 war was drawing to a close when the suggestion to form a professional association of fire engineers was first brought forward. On 31 October 1918, ten Chief Officers attended a meeting held at the Fire Brigade Headquarters in Leicester for the purpose of setting up such an organisation. The next meeting took place on 2 January 1919, in London, when it was announced that 40 Chief Officers had agreed to become members. In 1924 the way was opened for an application for Incorporation to be made officially with the blessing of all concerned. This was done immediately and at a meeting in London on 12 February 1924, authority was given to go ahead. The first registered office was at the offices of the Solicitors in Edinburgh and this meant that the Institution was first registered in Scotland and has been ever since. In the event registration in Scotland has had its disadvantages since a registered office has had to be maintained in Scotland to this day, despite the fact that since at least 1934 all the day-to-day work has been carried out in England.

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