Hi Everyone, I thought I'd add my 2 cents to this interesting conversation in regards to IFSAC and ProBoard Certifications.
The AHJ (OFMEM) recently addressed the NFPA Grandfathering Process for Fire Services across Ontario and the NFPA Certifcation Process at the June 2016 OMFPOA Conference. I have also attended two NFPA Qualification / Pre-Employment Credential Recognition Seminars for Municipal HR Staff in regards to the acceptance of IFSAC, ProBoard and Non-Accredited Certifications and Courses. First off, its important to recognize that Accreditation / Certification is a voluntary process. The AHJ (in Ontario that is the OFMEM) offers IFSAC and ProBoard Certification for those wishing to have accreditation as part of the training process. Accreditation is important to Municipalities from a Pre-Employment , Training and Occupational Health & Safety Perspective to ensure that the persons they are hiring or promoting have the desired skills required to do the job. Example; In March 2014 Ontario Municipalities were directed to ONLY accept NFPA 1001 Level 1 & 2 Diplomas with an IFSAC or ProBoard Seal as a mandatory prerequisite qualification for the position of Operations Firefighter. This will ensure that the prospective employee completed a minimum baseline training that covers the entire NFPA 1001 ProQual Standard and will be ready for duty (or close to) with minimal post-employment training. Having said that, Municipalities are free to hire whomever they want, with or without any training what-so-ever. For larger self insured municipalities with a full time service, this would be very risky.
Here's where it gets interesting. Some Municipal Fire Chiefs / Senior HR / Chief Training Officer Staff made the decision to become an NFPA only department. Therefor only accepting IFSAC and ProBoard Accreditation for all other "Preferred Qualifications" i.e NFPA 1006, NFPA 1002, NFPA 1035, etc. This posed a problem in 2014 due to the fact that the OFMEM did not offer theses courses to outside students(aka Civilian Personel). Only full time municipal or volunteer firefighter persons who attended the Ontario Fire College could get a seal. Since then, some municipalities have decided to either keep the IFSAC & ProBoard requirements OR abandon the process all together as the accreditation is voluntary. (Keeping in mind that the NFPA 1001 Level 1 & 2 will always be required to have the IFSAC or ProBoard Seals.)
Now, as far as moving forward, it will depend on the municipality that you are applying to, whether or not they have decided to ONLY accept IFSAC and ProBoard Accredited as acceptable education or they do not care where the potential employees credentials came from. Having said that, I can assure you one thing, since Ontario adopted the NFPA Pro Qualifications in 2014, more fire services have started to request IFSAC Accredited Courses as acceptable pre-employment credentials. The matter of fact is that IFSAC / ProBoard Accredited Courses are always a better choice when deciding to take a course to improve your resume since the certificate is signed be the AHJ. There will never be a fire service that will NOT accept a AHJ IFSAC or PROBOARD Accredited Certification. One way to take a sneak peak into the future of Fire Service Training and Recruitment requirements is in the Municipal Fire Master Plans. I have read, and help developed several GTA Fire Service Master Plans. The Training of Operations, Prevention and Communication Staff will transitioned to NFPA ACCREDITED Training Programs...its only a matter of time.
I hope this helps with your resume building course decisions.
Last edited by FireHR : 06-27-2016 at 03:19 PM.