The South African Qualification & Certification Committee (SAQCC) Fire is an industry-elected body established to ensure that individuals working within this sector of the fire industry have the appropriate competence through training, qualifications, and experience in compliance with:
The specifications laid out in SANS 1475 for portable fire extinguishers,
The requirements of SANS 14520 and/or SANS 306 where individuals and companies designing, installing, commissioning, and servicing gaseous fire extinguishing systems,
The requirements of SANS 10139 where individuals and companies designing, installing, commissioning, and servicing fire detection and alarm systems.
Following a directive given to the SAQCC-Fire by the Department of Employment and Labour, an additional SAQCC-fire detection and gas suppression committee was set up to establish and implement procedures for the qualification and certification of authorised persons in order to ensure safety, quality of work and high standards of excellence within the industry.
SAQCC-Fire works closely with Certification Bodies approved by the Department of Employment and Labour to ensure standards are met and technicians and servicing companies adhere to the law. The South African Qualification & Certification Committee (SAQCC) Fire is a Non-Profit Company.
The SAQCC-Fire has:
- Established a MOI (Memorandum of Incorporation) which provides assurance that, no matter who is elected to the committee, the management has a set of rules it shall follow. This ensures that the SAQCC-Fire is not an old man’s club where the rules can be changed as some person feels like it.
- Created a representative body (SAQCC-Fire committee), which is made up of elected Directors and Executive members. The Directors and committee members are voted in by the technicians or their representative, and their main purpose is to serve fire technicians.
- The representative body provides technicians with access to major forums, e.g. DEL, SANS, NRCS, PER, SANAS etc. This gives technicians, and the industry in general, more say in decision making.
- There is a full time GM. This ensures technicians have a point of contact for advice, assistance or to lay complaints.
Note: Committee members offer their time freely without remuneration. The committee members are representative of a wide range of companies and expertise. Technicians therefore have free access to some of the top ‘fire brains’ in the country.
- On instructions from The Department the SAQCC-Fire has regulated the fire industry by certifying the competence of fire technicians. This in turn has endorsed fire technicians’ professionalism. At the same time, it has ensured safe practise in work being undertaken by technicians. Competence has not only been certified, it has been certified in three main fields with sub levels within the fields e.g. Portable fire extinguishers, fire detection and gaseous fire suppression systems. Industry wants to use competent technicians as it gives them assurance that the work is being carried out by a professional. A badge is provided to verify technicians’ levels of competence.
- Driven knowledge and kept our technicians informed of current events. This is done via:
- Bulk SMSs
- Road shows
- Training courses
- Helped fire technicians establish a career path.
- Driven the QCTO process. This is a long process that the SAQCC-Fire is driving, as it most important.
- Ensured that no legal matters are handled in house: a legal firm provides counsel and advice. Should there be hearings, the SAQCC-Fire has an independent Chairman to sit on these.