How do I qualify as a Fire Safety Trainer?



How do I qualify as a Fire Safety Trainer?  The qualifications required to teach accredited fire safety awards and become a fire safety instructor have changed over the last couple of years.  You can no longer teach accredited fire safety awards with just a fire safety trainer award, as this will not be accepted by any of the UK awarding bodies.

Teaching Qualification

First and foremost if you want to be a trainer you will need to have an entry-level teaching qualification. The PDLSG – Planning and Delivering Learning Sessions to Groups Award or the ETA – Level 3 Award in Education and Training qualification gives the teaching award accepted by all awarding bodies. This course is nationally accredited and by its conclusion will allow the successful candidate to teach any subject they have experience in.

Fire Safety Qualification

Ok, so you now have a teaching qualification either PDLSG or ETA that proves your competence as a trainer. What’s next is to match it up with some relevant experience. The easiest way to do this is to obtain the IFE approved Fire Safety Trainer Award. Holding the teaching qualification and current experience will allow you to teach the following courses:

  • Fire Safety Training
  • Fire Warden Awards

It’s best to also complete at least a half-day fire safety course before you attend the manual handling trainer award.


Trainers will require public liability insurance to gain an approval from awarding bodies but also to protect them in case a member of the public blames you for causing damage or injury. Also on insurance a trainer is advised to take out professional indemnity insurance in case a member of your class accuses you of making a mistake, which they then taught and caused injury. Both of these insurances are around £120 to £140 per year. Please not insurance companies will not cover the training use of live fires, unless you wish it to be extremely expensive.


In fire safety you don’t really need much specialist equipment, its more training equipment you require. The below list of equipment is everything you will need:

  • Fire Safety PowerPoint (some companies will give this free on trainer courses, otherwise it can cost up to £90 )
  • Projector for Powerpoint presentations
  • Fire-Extinguishers for demonstrations on how to use them (Although insurance companies will not cover the use of fire extinguishers on live fires)

Fire Safety Trainer Courses with Teaching Award

If you don’t already have a teaching award such as PDLSG or the Education and Training Award, then you can attend courses with Abertay International Training, IOSH or City & Guilds etc. For example courses from Abertay provide everything you need just click the link below to become an IFE approved Fire Safety Trainer with includes the PDLSG teaching award

  1. Teaching Qualification
  2. Experience or Qualification in Fire Safety
  3. Insurance as stated above
  4. Equipment as listed above

Accredited Fire Safety Certifications

Now that you have followed the above and are now qualified as a Fire Safety Trainer, how do you gain accredited certification.  OCN plus City & Guilds Fire Safety Trainer Courses are great awards, as they are very good courses that cover what you need to know in order to become a Fire Safety Trainer.  Both OCN and City & Guilds have a disadvantage however in the certification from them, will not allow you to gain accredited certification from awarding bodies without an additional separate teaching/assessing award.  The Abertay or Nuco courses will however as they include a separate teaching award as part of the course and included in the costs and trainer certificates are from UK awarding bodies. There are even others who list themselves as Level 3 such as TrainerQuals, but this company only accredit themselves and they would not be recognised by awarding bodies in the UK or have any regulators (OfQual, CCEA Regulation or SQA Accreditation) that would audit them for quality assurance or accreditation.

Once you have all the above, you then need to apply to one of the awarding bodies to apply to become an approved centre so that you can gain accredited manual handling certifications for the candidates you then teach. There are many awarding bodies out there but one of the most reasonable for costs is SafeCert Awards. They cost 295 for centre approval with manual handling certification at around 5 pounds each. There are also Highfield for centre approval 450 plus vat and certification costs at at around 8 pounds.  With awarding bodies all will require an annual spend and therefore cost you around 250 to 350 per year, but we included SafeCert as there is no annual spend requirement.  Before selecting your awarding body do your research, you can search for awarding bodies for fire safety awards on google for more information.