Bushfire has long been part of the Australian natural environment. Due to climate change, however, the frequency, severity and unpredictability of bushfire has reached unprecedented levels across Australia. The catastrophic impact of the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-2020 brought to the nation’s attention that the risk of bushfire is spreading from the rural and urban-bushland interface and into towns and built-up areas. Governments at the local, state, and federal levels are introducing regulatory imperatives for planning and construction in bushfire prone areas to protect people and property and to improve bushfire resilience. This has highlighted the need for national skills standards to support a range of job roles associated with the application of planning and building requirements to improve bushfire resilience of developments in bushfire prone areas.
On behalf of the Property Services Industry Reference Committee (IRC), Artibus Innovation is managing the development of a Diploma of Bushfire Protection Assessment. The Australian Industry Skills Council (AISC) approved the project in December 2021. The Case for Change outlining the rationale for the project can be downloaded below.
The aim of the proposed Diploma of Bushfire Assessment Protection is to provide a vocational training pathway into the field for practitioners wanting to specialise in bushfire consultancy and for those working in related areas wanting to upskill and improve their knowledge of factors affecting bushfire behaviour, and the planning and building regulatory frameworks and strategies used to mitigate bushfire impacts on property. Related occupations include:
- bushfire attack level (BAL) assessors
- bushfire consultants (Planning)
- local government officers working in land use planning, building approvals and emergency management
- building designers
- building surveyors / certifiers
- landscape gardeners
- fire services assessment officers
- land use planning consultants
- conservation and land management officers.
Broad stakeholder consultation is scheduled to commence 10 March 2022, when draft units of competency and a draft qualification structure will be made available on this project page for feedback.
On-line consultation workshops are planned for Thursday 24 March 2022. This is an opportunity to discuss the drafts with the project team by joining either the morning or the afternoon session. The focus of the workshop will be the draft units and the skills and knowledge required for work activities related to bushfire protection assessment.
The scope of the project was informed by preliminary consultation with subject matter experts and a workforce analysis of skills and knowledge required by individuals whose work involves the application of planning, development and building legislation and policies to improve bushfire resilience and safety of property in bushfire prone areas. They work in a range of government and private practice contexts in roles such as bushfire attack level assessors, bushfire consultants, local government officers in land use planning, building approvals and emergency management, builders, building designers, building surveyors/certifiers, landscape gardeners and fire services assessment officers.
Opportunity to have your say!
The first draft of one qualification, a Diploma of Bushfire Protection Assessment and nine new units of competency are now available for your review and comment. The units are:
- Analyse factors affecting bushfire behaviour
- Assess compliance of building materials for bushfire resilience
- Assess compliance of building design for bushfire resilience
- Advise on improvements to existing developments for bushfire resilience
- Advise on landscaping design measures for bushfire resilience
- Prepare a bushfire emergency plan for domestic premises
- Determine bushfire regulatory requirements for simple subdivisions in bushfire prone areas
- Determine bushfire regulatory requirements for complex subdivisions in bushfire prone areas
- Determine bushfire regulatory requirements for vulnerable occupants in bushfire prone areas.
The first draft of the new units and proposed structure of a Diploma of Bushfire Assessment Protection were available for public consultation between 10 March and 10 April 2022.
Thank you to all who provided valuable feedback via the online feedback survey, emailing the project directly, attending the webinars or through telephone discussions with the technical writer or project manager. The collated feedback is available to download below.
In addition to the Artibus Innovation newsletters in March and April, stakeholders were alerted to the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft training products by direct emails to all 547 local governments across Australia, to 74 contacts on the Artibus database who had contributed to related areas of Building Design and Building Surveying, and to 26 RTOs with the unit PUAFIR518 Conduct and record a bushfire attack level (BAL) assessment listed on scope. Two information webinars were conducted on 24 March 2022, with a combined attendance of 13 participants. In addition, using its newsletter the Fire Protection Association of Australia’s alerted its members (approximately 300) to the project.
The predominate feedback was from NSW bushfire consultants. While supporting the qualification as a pathway for those entering the field, and as a pathway to further post graduate studies, they did not support the qualification being recognised in the industry accreditation scheme. Matters of industry accreditation have been referred to the Fire Protection Association of Australia, the agency that administers the accreditation scheme.
Strong feedback was received not to include the unit referring to vulnerable occupants. In consideration of this feedback and on advice from the technical advisory group, this unit has been removed.
After analysis and consideration of feedback, unit titles and content have been adjusted to clarify intended outcomes and the qualification structure and packaging rules have been refined to enhance flexibility.
The second drafts of the training components for bushfire protection assessment were available for public consultation between 10 May and 31 May 2022. Feedback received during the validation stage was considered by subject matter experts and changes made to the units where they agreed that the feedback was relevant to the intended outcome. The unit ‘Prepare a bushfire emergency plan for domestic premises’ was adjusted. Domestic premises was replaced with small scale buildings, which were defined as ‘less than 500 square metres’.
The Case for Endorsement Bushfire Protection Assessment, one qualification, and eight new units of competency underwent independent Editorial and Equity and Quality Assurance reviews and the products met the requirements of the Standards for Training Packages 2012, Training Package Products Policy and the Training Package Development and Endorsement Process Policy.
The Case for Endorsement – Bushfire Protection Assessment, the CPP51222 Diploma of Bushfire Protection Assessment and the new units (listed below) are now with the State and Territory Training Authorities for their review.
- CPPBPA5001 Assess factors affecting bushfire behaviour
- CPPBPA5002 Advise on building materials for bushfire resilience
- CPPBPA5003 Advise on building design for bushfire resilience
- CPPBPA5004 Advise on landscaping design measures for bushfire resilience
- CPPBPA5005 Advise on improvements to existing developments for bushfire resilience
- CPPBPA5006 Prepare a bushfire emergency plan for small scale buildings
- CPPBPA5007 Assess statutory planning applications for compliance with bushfire requirements
- CPPBPA5008 Assess strategic planning proposals for compliance with bushfire requirements.
It is anticipated that the training components for Bushfire Protection Assessment will be submitted to the Commonwealth Government in early September in preparation for consideration by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) at its meeting 12 October 2022.
CURRENT PROJECT DOWNLOADSCase for Endorsement - Bushfire Protection and Assessment
CPP51222 Diploma of Bushfire Protection Assessment
Units of Competency